Many of you probably have been wondering how I feel about what is happening around our country. First of all, this is nothing new. Secondly, ONLY one of my friends had the courage to ask me directly, thanks Tina E. And lastly, yes, I am scared shitless for my son.
And here is why:
There have been many times that I, KPE, have been pulled over by the police for no reason other than the color of my skin. I can’t even begin to think of the environment in this country for black men. And before you blow me off, let me tell you my story….
3 summers ago, my husband and I were traveling to Northwestern Wisconsin between La Crosse and Eau Claire, to be exact. We were profiled and pulled over by a local officer. Peter was driving, I was in the passenger seat and my young son was sleeping peacefully in his car seat in the back. Once the officer came up to the window, he asked Pete for his identification, he compiled. He stepped back to his vehicle. So far, so good. Then a second squad pulled up and then a third. We were thinking what the heck is going on here but decided that we would remain calm and comply. Then the officer came back to our car (with an officer locked & loaded on my passenger side) and asked the following questions:
-Who was I? My wife.
-Where was my identification? Gave it him
-Why were we in the area? To go to our property
-Who were we going to see? Land that we own
-How long were we going to be there? The weekend
-Why were we here again? To go camping
The officer then took 45 minutes to process our documentation only to let us go and say ” You know you are a little far from Milwaukee, right?”
Whoa! Did that just happen? Peter was Furious!!!!!!!!!!
Why? I can only imagine:
-He felt helpless
-He felt anger for the treatment of his wife and son
-He felt sad
and most importantly (though he probably wouldn’t admit)
-He felt embarrassed because there was nothing that he could do about it without there being a potentially “deadly” outcome.
Up until now many people don’t know this story in our life because we choose to not dwell on the ignorance of others. You better believe that we try everyday to equip our family with the education and strategies to overcome the challenges of the society that we live in. We have had this conversation with our son since he was 5 years old, now he is 7. He understands that even though he is half Black & half White, law enforcement will most likely identify him as Black. So we have started to prepare him for the proper “rules of engagement”, so that he can make it back home alive to us each and every time he leaves our door!
Law enforcement is not the problem. They do a very difficult job in protecting us. With that being said, we cannot be blind to what is going on. The answer is not to spew hate towards any certain group but to admit and recognize that there is a “Real” issue in our country.
I respect my husband for not wanting to put his family in harm’s way. We have had to make difficult decisions concerning our family. So we don’t take the cross country road trips that we want to experience. So we have to be picky about the countries we visit internationally. So we really research and ask questions on any new destination we plan to travel to. So now family & friends, now you know the answer to why we may not visit more often. Please understand our reasons. And please pray that we can keep our family safe.