“Prejudice cannot be legislated away” -W.E.B. Du Bois
In March of 2020, right before life changed forever, my wife and I flew to the capital of sin where we committed tons of sins. Vegas. Lord forgive me.
Our plan was to drive back to South Carolina so we could see the country. We were ecstatic. We took an alternate route so that we could vibe with my sister who lived in Utah. We stayed a night in Cheyenne, Wyoming. That next morning we would leave at sunrise and cross into Nebraska. Not even two minutes over the border we see a cop car parked under an overpass. I was going 79 and in a 75 (yes the speed limit was 75) so I knew there was a possibility those blue-red lights were about to pop on. Being stopped didn’t bother me at all. I was speeding. The disturbing and unsettling part was that he asked me questions, but didn’t believe a word I was saying.
“Where are you coming from”? : Vegas
“Where are you going”? : South Carolina
“Why are you driving across the country”?: To see America
“What’s in your trunk”?: Luggage
After answering all of his questions truthfully he said that he had “probable cause” because of certain “indicators”. Of course.
A black man with a black wife sporting black shades listening to black music wearing all black in a rented big black car.
More officers arrived at the scene. These were the type of cops that still think cannabis is the devils lettuce. They patted me down and pushed me into the cop car for no reason. They split us up in an attempt to poke inconsistencies in our story, hoping we trip over our words. I guess it was an interrogation technique they learned in training that was ineffective, obvious, and racist. They knew our trunk was full of drugs. They were certain that they had their golden goose for the month. Until the German Shepherd sniffed and sniffed and sniffed and found nothing. It looked at them and said :
“why are y’all wasting my time”?
“Let them go! Oh yeah.. I want a treat for this bullshit when we get back too” !
When I got back in the car and rejoined my wife we embraced for a while. I wasn’t even pissed. I actually felt bad for them. I don’t know what it is inside of me but I naturally feel pity for anyone who is ignorant because I know at the core they’re unhappy. I knew that that incident would be the most exciting thing that happens in their lives for the next few months. For some reason, a memory from childhood popped into my head and inside I chuckled.
When I was a kid my mom bought me a book that was filled with facts about every state in America. The state bird, flag, animal, and a brief history on the formation. I was fascinated by this book so much that I memorized every capital on the first day. I couldn’t put it down. There was a picture of the cornfields of Nebraska in the book and I dreamed of running through the fields. Social studies, History, or any class that centered around geography I found a natural interest in. And excelled. To this day my wife and I play a geography quiz game on my ipad where you learn the capitals of countries all over the world. This deep seeded love for adventure has shaped my adulthood and I’ve seen some amazing sites. A nice view in solitude is restorative. My love and I discovered that our souls were intertwined with those two ingredients. I am away from the noise and busyness of the world. My mind is quiet. My ego disintegrates and so with it it’s selfish desires. This is where my faith is rooted. This is my spiritual practice. During my communion with nature is when I hear the still voice of God and although America is gorgeous and full of iconic landscapes, I only feel comfortable in certain spaces.
I want to stay in a cabin in the middle of Montana. I want to ride a horse in Southern Utah. I want to go skiing in Idaho. Hell, I want a farm in Southern Oregon where we can grow fruits and vegetables. Maybe even some cannabis. OG Kush to be exact. I’m an explorer. I enjoy traveling but there is a part of me that knows if I were to fully embrace this pulling of my heart, I would put myself in danger. Finding Zen in black skin is conditional. Your brain won’t allow your being to rest in places where you are not welcome. You can’t operate as a whole person in parts of this country where you are viewed as a threat. So I must carefully and strategically choose our destinations in alignment with the beliefs of that particular city. This America wasn’t built with me in my mind. This America wasn’t built with my peace in mind. That cop in Nebraska proved to me that no matter what I say, no matter what I do, as the great poet Jay Z said: “I’m still a nigga”. He saw all of that black and activated his switch! I could’ve been Jesus himself but because my skin was black his unconscious bias colored his perception of reality. This subtle operation ordered his assumptions of criminality. His mind automatically became fixed and rooted in imperialism and white supremacy. Sadly, he didn’t even know. Sadly, a lot of white people still don’t notice this. And I get it. The hardest thing I’ve ever done was self introspect. You find a lot shit you don’t like about yourself. But I’d rather go through some humbling pain than live in delusion.
I want to go, but for right now, I’ll have to put my curiosity at a standstill. I want to go, but for right now my black consciousness tells me to stay in the city. I want to go, but for right now, I can only dream. To my future kids reading this, go get your farm nigga! And grow me some OG Kush. And CBD.