Monday, April 2, 2012

S. Anthony says... (10 minutes ago...)

A tall skinny young black kid in a hoodie who was in line next to me at the store looked at me and asked "Are you ok sir?" I was wondering why he asked me, a stranger, that question out of the blue. I then remembered that I have a face that very quickly and accurately lets people know what I'm feeling if I'm not careful. It's an asset professionally, but not so much in situations like this. I told him that I was having back problems (partially true) and thanked him for asking. I didn't tell him the real reason.

The real reason would have started an uncomfortable conversation. Especially given the surroundings and our lack of any relationship. Quite frankly, I wasn't completely aware of the reason for the apparently anguished look on my face. It took merely a few seconds of reflection to understand. I was thinking, this young man saw another human being upset and decided to try to comfort him. The next thought was... but if he was walking home, in Sanford Florida, he could easily be dead at the hands of an idiot. His memory could be assassinated by a world wide media empire and an army of bigoted bloggers.  Why? Because of his melanin count and his "false" belief that he had the right to use public streets. We both left the store at the same time and as we parted I though of my nephews who are approximately is age. I thought about how much better the world is now compared to when I was his age or my parents were his age...

...and I also thought, we can do better. Right?

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