A Fellow of a Human Being
It was a typical visit to the drugstore. Well, a typical post-covid visit is more like it. And as my thirteen-year-old son and I were walking back out to the parking lot, an unmarked police SUV was flashing blue lights and two undercover police officers were handcuffing a man.
The experience was so up close and personal and was something I had never witnessed before. I had to stop and take notice. I wasn’t being nosy or trying to figure out what the person had done. And I wasn’t stopping in hopes to see any action of any kind. I stopped because both police officers were white. And the man being handcuffed was black.
As we emerged from the store and got the initial glimpse of what was happening, I had an instinctual burning desire to be sure nothing happened to the man now in custody. I didn’t care in the slightest what he had allegedly done. To this day I have no idea. I didn’t search the news, the web, or any papers. It simply didn’t matter to me. What did matter to me was that this fellow of a human being was treated with respect.
And he was.
One of the police officers kindly helped him light his last cigarette. I was satisfied with the kind gesture. But I kept watching to be sure the respect continued.
Whoever this person was, he is a fellow human being, with a set of lungs in his body just like me. At one point, he and his girlfriend were getting annoyed that a few of us were standing by. But I flashed a peace sign.
One woman walking by asked me what happened. And all I could say was, “I don’t know. I’m just making sure he is treated with respect.” And then another woman stopped and asked what did he do? And again, I said, “I don’t care about that. I’m just standing here in case he is not treated with respect and may need help.” I said these reply’s loud enough for the police officers to hear. And to my pleasant surprise, nothing happened.
It felt good to stand by a fellow human being—whether he wanted me there or not. I am an ally. And it felt good to be a citizen willing to go to bat for a stranger. Regardless. And it felt really good to share the experience and continue the conversation about racism with my white thirteen-year-old son.
Author, Radio Show Host, Spiritual Coach - Nicole Perry
As the creator and radio show host for Powerful Women Revealed, my mission is to support women entrepreneurs and women in business who are just like me; They have powerful missions, a deep burning desire to support their community, and they want to use their voice to make a difference.
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