Black Anxiety


     B
lack anxiety occurs when a vast majority of your mental thoughts are dedicated to worrying about what will happen when you encounter the police.  Do you fit the description of someone else they are looking for in connection with a crime?  Will a good officer or a “donut eating cop” a/k/a “rogue cop” stop you? If you have ever driven a car without a valid driver’s license (such as a suspended license) or improper registration or no insurance, you knew you would get arrested or ticketed if you got stopped by the police.  Now remember how you felt when you suddenly passed a patrol car? Remember that feeling you had upon seeing the police car? And remember that feeling you had after you passed it? The hot flash, nervous actions, and the mental blackouts that were so profound that you forgot where you were supposed to be going – that’s Black anxiety!

     I know because I am writing from personal experience.  Those are the same feelings experienced on a day-to-day basis by the vast majority of Black men, Black women, Latino men, Latino women, Hispanic men, Hispanic women and other minority cultures and sub-cultures living in America.  I am confident that members of other cultural and ethnic groups also share this dilemma.  Unfortunately, almost every young Black and or Latino/Hispanic male has experienced Black Anxiety or will experience it before age 16, because of the past and present political inaction, social injustice and the maltreatment of various minority groups by law enforcement officers nationwide.  As a result of the King beating and this so-called new awareness of the unjust treatment of Blacks by the police, more police misconduct incidents have been highlighted and reported.  The media made it a priority-reporting topic, rap artists wrote about it in their songs, and so-called Black leaders spoke out against it.  Even more phenomenal was that the courts were inundated with lawsuits that were filed against the local and state law enforcement departments.  The cases almost always involved some type of police misconduct, which was dominated by reports of police brutality.

     In the wake of the verdict in the Rodney King beating, it appeared as though Blacks had regained their second wind in pursuit of the mysterious goal long yearned for by those who came before them.  The next two and half years would be filled with heavy reconciliatory dialogue.  This was a frantic attempt by the powers-that-be to stabilize the still growing tension among minorities and other sympathizers in American inner cities.  Most Blacks in America still had a bad taste in their mouths for white officials. Overall, the media highlighted programs and dialogues initiated by the bourgeoisie Negroes.  They were made up of a collection of ministers, masons, public officials, political leaders and professionals who acted as the delivery boys to the Blacks in the urban cities.  The bulk of the action for change would come from those who did not have a hidden agenda – the victims, the grassroots, and the day-to-day citizens in Black America.
     Citizens of the Black community would have to wait until the mid 1990s before they would see a significant number of Black officers working in their community.  These were true law enforcement officers, not just officers working under the premise that “White fokes have allowed us to work here at dis police department and wees should just shut up and bees grateful.”

     But, still not enough progress was being made.  Events like the 1995 O. J. Simpson trial, which exposed the racist detective Marc Fuhrman, would again find its way into the present day lives of Black people in America.  During that period of time, social and political awareness among Blacks was on the rise.  The grassroots community groups had begun to form as a product of the social, political, and economic injustice that Blacks in America faced.  The members of these groups were ordinary citizens from both the inner city and suburban side of the city who felt that the state and local officials were not interested in changing or addressing serious issues facing the people of the Black community.  Talking and listening is just a small part of how change can occur. 

The main ingredient is education, knowledge, and action!!!!


Published by BOLDMINDS LLC

Shafiq R. Fulcher Abdussabur is an author, public speaker, racial profiling consultant, entrepreneur, and retired law enforcement Sergeant. His unique views and approach to urban violence prevention, racial profiling prevention and community based policing have been featured in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, NPR-Where We Live, New Haven Independent, NPR-All Things Considered, WYBC-Electric Drum, New Haven Advocate, Russian Radio, BBC, PBS, New York Daily News, New Haven Register, Hartford Courant, and Al Jazeera America. His repertoire continues to grow consistently. He has appeared as a guest host on WNPR's “Where We Live.” He is also a contributing writer for the Huffington Post.

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