I’m Glad He Didn’t Shoot Me

Everyone should make it home every night – Black Men and Police Officers


After my freshman year of college, I returned home to the DC area for summer break. I got a summer job, made some new friends and I met a “Fine” young lady.  We struck up an instant friendship. She was my “Southern Girl” (look up Maze if you don’t know). We hung out together all the time. One night we were out we decided to stop in the park. I’m thinking it was Rock Creek Park (remember the song). We knew we weren’t supposed to be in the park after dark, but did it anyway. We were young and dumb; a combination I’m sure you can identify with.

So we stopped, talked, laughed and played. Suddenly, a bright light illuminated the entire car. Startled and scared, I drove off for a quick second. I looked back and saw it was the police. I stopped.

The policeman, a white officer, followed immediately in his car. I mean he was on me like white on rice, if you know what I mean. He came to the driver’s side of the car. I could see he was scared by the way he approached the car with his hand on his weapon. I rolled my window down and put my hands on the dashboard and was completely still. I told my girl to do the same. He asked for my license, registration and her ID. Then he asked what we were doing. We said; “nothing, just talking”. He asked if we had any drugs or alcohol on us. I quickly said; “no, we didn’t have any drugs or alcohol” in the best respectful voice I could find even though I was shaking on the inside.

He looked at me puzzled, went back to his car and I guess called it in and checked on my license. He came back to the car and proceeded to give me a good talking to or should I say lecture. Then, he simply said, “Son, take her home and then, you get your butt home”. I said, “yes sir” and did exactly that.

I was thinking if it happened today that would probably not be the outcome. The outcome could very well have ended up with me being shot and killed. Now, I would have had some wrong in it, the officer would have had some wrong and people would be debating it for a couple of weeks. There would probably even be some protesting for a few weeks.

But, I’m so glad he didn’t shoot me. If he had shot, I never would have graduated from college. If he had shot, I never would have been commissioned an officer in the US Army. If he had shot, I never would have married. If he had shot, I wouldn’t have two great sons. If he had shot, I never would have been able to hold my parents and brothers and sisters up when my baby brother, Reginald was shot and killed for no apparent reason. That still hurts our souls to this day and it was 26 years ago.  If he had shot, I wouldn’t have two beautiful granddaughters. If he had shot, I never would have made Colonel and retired. If he had shot, I never would have seen my parents reach 80 years old. If he had shot, I never would have lived.

The moral of the story – Everyone should make it home every night; Black Men and Police Officers. 

God Bless the families of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, the Orlando victims, the Dallas and Baton Rouge Police Departments and the victims and families of violence throughout this country and the world.

Let’s get this thing right! I’m in, are you?


Thanks for following this series. Please like, share and continue to come back to my site. The support is fuel. For more solutions to the problems we face in our communities, read Steps to the Promised Land.

Starting change is the hardest part. Changing is easy!

VIOLENCE is our Addiction!

The Hurt is the same. The Blood is the same. So, when do we realize we are the same?

This is the first installment of a 3-part series focused on providing solutions to violence and racism in America. It will run every three days this week. Please come back on join me for the entire series.

Part I


The last three weeks were mind numbing. It started with Orlando, next Baton Rouge, and then St Paul, and Dallas. All total, 60 deaths. That is not even counting Chicago over the 4th of July weekend and the countless other victims of violence, be it domestic or gang or simply, insane; that didn’t make national news. I’ve wrestled with this for long time and I’ve come to the hard conclusion that we are “ADDICTED” to violence! In America, we kill! We kill what we don’t like, we kill what is different, we kill what we don’t agree with, we kill for money, we kill for power, we kill for reputation, we kill what we don’t understand and we kill what we fear. We just kill.

We ask the same question after each incident, why? We try to understand, we want to place each in a category: domestic, gang related, hate, police brutality, terrorism, etc. But, the end result of each is loss of life. Something no other human should have the power to take unless in war (which should be the last resort at all times).

Addiction is a brain disease that is characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences. It is a condition that results when a person engages in an activity which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life and health. Those addicted may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.

For America, this is not a new addiction. This addiction was always woven into the fabric of America, even if we don’t want to admit it. It masked itself in several other issues like racism or drugs or family issues, even business, workers’ rights and political initiatives. But, the bottom line is, violence was always riding shotgun in America’s journey. It’s just that with modern technology, it is in our faces immediately, unfiltered and without the ability for us to categories it as “them” over there; that group, those people. Technology is finally making us “Really” look at ourselves in the mirror.

And what do we see? We see that violence is our go to move. It is what we entertain ourselves with and it, along with other barriers is how we keep some kind of distorted order. We now see ourselves in living color daily on breaking news and on cell phone video. Who would have thought something made for talking would force us to see ourselves, finally.  A picture “IS” worth a thousand words. Hopefully, it will force us to seek recovery. It is far past the time we did just that.

So what do we do now?

I can tell you this; we are not going to change this with a heavy hand. Our old way of thinking and acting suggests violence can beat violence. Remember the war on drugs? Did it solve our drug problem? We can’t arrest our way out of it. We can’t jail our way out of it. We can’t deport our way out of it. We can’t build a wall our way out of it. There is only one answer: We have to “Change”! We have to “Love”, “Respect”, “Understand” and be “Just” to find our way out of it.

So what is the first step one must take when an addiction arises and you want recovery? The first step is admitting to oneself that you have a problem. No other person or group or nation can do that for us. America has to admit to itself that we have a violence addiction. Can we do that? How do we do that? How can a nation admit that? With Courage! With Leadership!

Start at our churches. Next are our community and civic organizations. Next are our schools; elementary through college and university. Next are our local governments. Next are media outlets, that includes radio, TV, music and the movie industry. Last, is the Big Boss – our National Government, which should be first.  But, as always, politics will get in the way. It may take another 20 years and countless more deaths before it balks and talks and lobbies and finances and filibusters its way to a solution.

So, the people will have to move first. And, we have to move now in order to save lives and our country. We must demand in this election season that both major parties add significant policies that address our violence addiction. If they don’t, throw them out from the local to the national level. This is the most important and immediate “POWER” step we can take over the next four months. We need an “INTERVENTION”!

Let’s implement a non-violence day once a month in each of these organizations. Talk about it openly, if only for one hour. We need this for the next 12 months at a minimum. That’s one sermon or bible study monthly on non-violence. That’s one meeting monthly to talk about non-violence. That’s one conference call monthly to talk about non-violence. That’s one webinar monthly to talk about non-violence. That’s one radio program monthly to talk about non-violence. Aren’t our lives and our country worth that? That won’t make us weak. It will make us stronger.


Check back next Thursday to hear my thoughts on racism in America. For more solutions to the problems we face in our communities, read Steps to the Promised Land.