I've been amazed at the number of people who I've heard say how afraid they feel when they see the flashing lights of a police car pulling them over. That idea is quite foreign to me but when they say it, I know they are telling the truth and I've been trying to understand it. I always think about Chaney, Goodman and Shwerner, the freedom riders killed in Mississippi, the summer of 1964 at the hands of cops and how that had to be an extremely traumatizing time for dark-skinned people and anyone supporting them, such as Goodman and Schwerner who were accompanying Chaney. I can't imagine people having that same level of fear today, yet many seem to express that.
So I think I've analyzed and discovered why I and many others have never had a fear of law enforcement and why so many others have. Of course this won't be a popular opinion, but I'm not running for President so it won't matter.
The answer came to me as we debuted our Talk Unity Radio Show today with my co-host Richard Jennings. I have been pulled over way too many times for me to even estimate how many it is. When I was a young man in my late 20's I had a candy apple red BMW 318 is 5-speed and it was built to move, complete with installed telephone. Not sure if it attracted more girls or more cops.
And if that wasn't enough, I was living in Albany, Georgia. If there was ever to be a place to have fear because of my skin color, it would've been there. So why did I not have any fear on all of those occasions that I was pulled over? The answer is simple, or at least according to my theory I think it's simple. Here it is; I had then and have always had deep personal relationships with people of all skin tones. How profound. As I told my cohost Richard during the show, if a 6'5" light-skinned cop pulled me over and began approaching my car, in my mind, this guy is probably like Richard Jennings. So my point of reference is based on the relationshps I have in my life. If I have no relationships upon which to reference, then I will fear the unknown.
This principle doesn't just work for one particular skin color either. It goes for everyone. So this is simple. Build your circle of relationships with more diverse groups of people and you can remove the fear of the approaching officer or the fear of the approaching customer or the fear of the approaching waiter, salesperson, trash man, bus driver, neighbor or anybody you will have to deal with in life. That person should remind you of pre-existing relationships. He or she is probably like the friend you have. That's a better alternative than living with fear that they are going to try to take your life. After all, statistics are heavily in your favor that that is not going to happen.
Of course people will find a reason to disagree with me on this, but as a former school teacher and as a life-coach of sorts, I simply provide options upon which people can have better lives. It is up to the people to weigh the value of what I'm proposing and then either accept it or reject it. If you don't have a fear problem then this doesn't matter but if you are one of those people who sees lights and becomes fearful, then you have a decision to make. You can continue to live with that fear or you can try this solution, or I guess you could also go protest the cops and probably end up spending more time with them in hopes that the fear will go away. Just remember; cops don't scare me. Maybe relationships is the answer.