Hello Loved Ones,
Last night I fell asleep with my family even though I have a list of things to accomplish but I remember saying to myself "Even though this is simple, and daily, it is still rare" and laid down to sleep.
When I woke up this morning and snuck out of my house, since it is a daily ordeal to give my kids enough time with me before being gone all day, I had alot on my mind. So much in fact that I had to go back home to retreive my cellphone due to my absent-mindedness.
When I finally got to work, I knew that I had one hour to burn a CD for my performance, fire two people, fill those two positions, and reschedule two interviews until later today or tomorrow.
With all of those things completed I sent a quick email to my friend, Tennessee and told him that I was in route and hoping that nothing changed.
On my way to the Fulton Treatment Center, which is a place that youth from 14-18 years old are housed due to them not being able to cope with society through various reasons, I get pulled over by a Missouri State Highway Patrol K9 Unit.
I was like wow. Racial profiling at it's finest!!! First thing he says to me is "You have different tags on the front and on the back". I was like "Cool, I thought that you were just trying to mess with me, I am on the way to a meeting". Then he flares up and says "Drop the attitude buddy". I then said "I dont have an attitude, but I am on the way to a very important meeting". We argue passionately for a few minutes, and of course I drop that my uncle worked for MHP for over 25 years, and I was a former Marine so I understand the nature of this type of job. He relaxed a little bit and took his hand off of his pistol. In his mind I saw his say "Ok, he is not a thug". But not until I explained and reiterated the "I thought" part of the comment and then I get out to check myself. "Oh, you are right" is my comment. He said "Go have a seat in the car". It smelled like all dog and I did not have the heart to look the dog in the eye since he would have seen and sensed that I dislike dogs with a passion and slobbered all on my. :)
He comes to the car, takes off his hat and calls in my plates and I tell him "I cant be that ghetto that I did not change both plates on my car when I got them renewed". I then said, "That is the wife's car, and I doubt that she has been driving around like this for over 2 years". The call comes back from dispatch and he says "That is probably what happened". I said "I hope not". Thank you officer. "Thank you Stanley".
When I get back into my car and speed off down the highway, clearly late, I get a text explaining that I was supposed to be there yesterday. In my mind, and on the text, I say, great. Well I am going somewhere in Fulton since I am almost there. I also call my wife and ask her about the plates and she mentions to me that she told me to change it twice and yes, I am that ghetto. Go figure. You can take the brother out of the hood, but.... (you know the rest)
So, I get to the facility and spend 10 minutes trying to work the lock in order to put my stuff in the locker and I am greeted by this wonderful woman and the first thing that she says is "We might have to reschedule". I tell her that I am open. She mentions that they listened to one of my songs and that they loved it. I was happy that they enjoyed it. I ended up going on a tour of the facility and met some of the young men, and talked to the Director and reschedule for Wednesday May 5th, 2011 to come back and perform and create a program. I am sending them an agenda to consider tomorrow.
I see these young men, and then poetry, and their eyes, their curiousity and their souls. On my way out, two more young men, walk past me, in shackles and I barely look at them because I dont want to get them in trouble, and I dont want to alarm the guards. But as I walk out of the door, they both look at me, one Black and one Latino, with fear in their eyes. It was hard to walk away.
As I drove out of Fulton, on the right I see all jails, and facilities and ironically on the left I see two old farms, that are vacant of any cows and steers. I see a whole industry around the housing of our youth, kids, and men. Yes, it is based on their actions, but it is more based on the expectation of masculinity, the glorification of violence and as my wife shared with me earlier in the week, the hidden affects of mass circumcision.
As I drive back to CoMo to inject myself back into my work, my life, and my service to my family, my employer, and my fellow citizens, I can not escape the feeling that I am not the person that I was this morning. That person is dead. I have expanded. I have grown. I have shed layers of nothing. I got rid of multiple prejudices and misconceptions that were hidden, invisible, waiting to be discovered by various circumstances. They are waiting to be discovered by each of us, on our own turn, so that we too can escape the matrix, and live, in reality.
Thanks for listening to me share. How was your day?