I’m so mature that my face can rearrange in days
change in ways that cops everyday need to stop me and see my ID
I’m currently living in Westchester. Somewhere in Peekskill, Montrose, around one of those places. It’s still “the real boondocks”. As a black man (temporary) living here, I think the neighborhoods are pretty much part of the American Dream. One time, coming back from NYC one late night, I walked down to where I was staying at. In order to get to there, I have to walk a mile & a half, which would take me about 30 minutes. While I was walking, the Highway Patrol spotted me. and they were going in one direction. I thought nothing of it, until 3 minutes later when they turned back to stop me. They asked me where I was going. I told them I was heading to where I “rest my head at”. They asked me if I got a home here, and I told them “no, because I’m only staying here for a while. It’s not ‘home’ to me.” Then they ask for Identification, which I gave to them. Afterward the unwarranted interrogation (questioning me about things on my own ID), I asked them for a ride, which they brush me off by saying “have a good night and get to your destination and stay put”. I almost wanted to say “why sir? Mr. Lincoln says I was free,” but kept my mouth shut.
While getting stop for an ID isn’t really something to complain about, it’s all part of the “black experience” here in the United States. It’s almost as if they want to prevent me from some imaginary crime they thought I was going to commit simply because I don’t belong there.
Going around saying “we’re post-racial” is a lame catch-all for saying “okay, we elected one of your people to the highest office of our (as in, we own this ish, you’re just visiting) great nation. So, we’re even, right?” They say this as if people that once thought that being black anything was evil now think that being black is cool. Like we have a certain swagger that makes us magical. Yet, we still have stereotypes attached to us. We are naturally talented in sports & entertainment. We are too laid back & ducked normal responsibilities (Like paying the bills). We’re the last one that people want in their family, but the first ones they will look at when someone’s wallet was stolen. Did these stereotypes disappeared and did racial profiling ended? I must have been the last one to get that memo. So, when someone asked that question, I pulled up this video that sums up the “black experience” in the USA.
Back in 2000-something, I saw ALBe Back (formerly spelled Al B. Back) performed this piece on Def Poetry. He explains how his observers look at him as though he has “superhuman powers”. He made a lot of interesting points poetically. Even thought he’s one of the few poets who read his poem, he makes up for the reading by talking in a “Superman” narrator voice. At the end of the poem, he wishes that everyone looks at him the same way most of us wishes others outside our race can look at us.
Update (10:04 AM): I forgot to add this poet’s myspace page.
Also, I made a mistake in the spelling of his name. His name is spelled “ALBe Back” not “Al B. Back”. FYI, he’s just released his first album called “Hi.” Check it out.
Update #2 (11:57 PM): Caught a few grammar mistakes. I usually read backwards before posting. I need to read backwards twice.