By Linda J UK May 2020
So, this is not meant to be funny, but I am trying to convey something painful and this is how I do it.
I got stopped by the police on Friday as I was ‘hot footing’ to Derby town to the bank by car… and had a short time frame to get there and back to continue work. Because of the queues, I was anxious to get there and back as quick as I could . I didn’t realize I was speeding but apparently I was doing 40 in a 30 miles zone… eek…!!!
I saw the lights flash to tell me to pull over – it was double yellow lines and I thought better than to defy the instruction (although where they had told me to park, was also breaking the law). “Not a good moment to challenge Linda” I thought. For my part, I was somewhat embarrassed – was it my wheels … I have had a slow puncture for months and my car has seen better days…God only knows. I also know I was rushing, but I hadn’t checked the speed.
The rubber necks were out… black woman, two white male coppers … what is going down…??(they must have been thinking). I had my prettiest blue dress on and I flashed the most beautiful smile….. but deep down I was thinking of Floyd and the current riots in America and how it feels to be black and stopped by the police and a lone female to boot…in this hour.
I wasn’t frightened ….. I’m a bit ‘cocky’ like that. I don’t really fear anyone – something just kicks in…. Just ask my dad… !!! I was however bracing for what they would come with and what would my answer and attitude be?
Thank God it was broad day light. One was on his phone in the car and the other questioning me. They went through the rudiments and I explained my situation ie that I was a key worker, in a hurry, to get back to my desk/post.
I started to weigh things. I had seen the pictures of Floyd and didn’t really want to go there, because of the pain of the hurting – too much ..sometimes.. too many cases. I know that there was injustice. I could barely look at the pictures for the pain it drew from me. We need to stand . But as children of God we fight by a different set of rules.
Floyd’s face and situation flashed again, as I stood there outside the gate and I thought of the many others. I had just had a good prayer evening with my young daughter and this then (I could see) was the inevitable counter attack – trying to introduce a spirit of defeat and fear. I wasn’t having it… !! I was ready to take my place in history, if at all necessary.
The officer was respectful and said he would let me off on this occasion… he understood the impact that Corona had on all of us and let me go on my way.
In contrast, the whole manner and way the officer had carried out his role with Floyd was arrogant and full of pride. He had his hands in his pockets and his knee on a man’s neck. He refused to hear that poor man’s cries.
I’ve seen injustice like this before and the cries of my people – I have had the knee of others on my own neck, behind my back, trying to crush and squeeze the very life out of me. But I always get up – as Floyd did in the spirit and as will many others similarly oppressed.
I haven’t lost my life, but there have been times along the way, that I have lost my livelihood to the cunning of persons, institutions and systems that seek to silence and oppress and oppress black people in particular – sometimes they use even our own against us and our children.
I just wanted to say..
I will pray.
Writing as a leader, a sister, a mother and of dual heritage child ie not on either black or white side, but on the side of righteousness, justice and peace.