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  • Writer's pictureJamaal Peeples

Being me...

(Editors Note: This post is going to make some of you all uncomfortable. Well, as the kids say...IDGAF.)

I've been allergic to dairy my whole life. When I was a kid, my Mom used to have her best friend make my birthday cakes because her friend knew how to make cakes that I could eat. I don't know what a cheeseburger tastes like. I'll probably never know what it's like to chili cheese fries on a hot summer day at a baseball game. I mean it really does kinda suck. Shit, I'm missing a whole food group. And I'm used to it enough now that when people say, "Omg, that's so horrible that you live like that." I just shrug my shoulders and say, "I've been dealing with this my whole life."

My kids like to eat ice cream. A lot. And a lot of ice cream. In some of my other posts, you know that sometimes I'm a bad Dad and I let them eat ice cream for dinner. And sometimes, when I'm buying it for them, it makes me feel some type of way that I can't eat ice cream. Then I buy it, and forget about it. Until the next time I'm reminded about how much is missing from my life because I can't eat ice cream.

And that pretty sums up my experience as a Black man in America. How so? Well, keep reading.

Full confession, I was going to write about this when George Floyd was killed. But I really couldn't put into words how I felt. Angry? Yeah I was angry. Did I want shit to change? Absolutely. Scared? Yes ma'am/ sir. Hear me, EVERY TIME, I have had a police encounter, whether I was the offender or not, I've had to game plan on how not to get shot. But then Jacob Blake got shot, and I can't keep this shit in anymore. Spoiler alert, EVERY BLACK MAN THAT HAS EVER BEEN STOPPED BY THE POLICE HAS HAD TO DO THAT! Those are all shitty feelings to have.

But most of all, I feel despair.

I feel despair because every time another video comes out with another Black man being shot in questionable circumstances, yeah my heart goes out to the person that was shot. But I also think about my life. And my kids' lives. And how much, in the whole scheme morals and outrage, that it doesn't mean shit to anyone. Not a God damn thing.

How do I know it won't mean a damn thing? Look at George Floyd. How many people you know (and if that person was you, just don't say shit) thought, "He was a criminal, so that it's okay that he was shot?" Or say, "Well if he would have followed simple commands, he wouldn't have been shot." And then you would proceed to dredge up every single bad thing that person has done in life to justify what happened in that incident. I'm sure that as more information comes out about Jacob Blake, then a lot of you will say the same shit. And then you'll feel just fine with him being shot seven times in the fucking back.

Hear me, I've been arrested for dumb shit when I was younger in the past more times that I care to talk about. And I wonder that if I died in questionable circumstances, how many of you would say, "Well he wasn't shit anyway." "He should have done..." or anything like that. Yeah, there will be a few marches. Some folks might riot. (Let me put a pen here. If I die in questionable police circumstances, I want you all to burn this fucker down. I'm making my wishes known now. Sorry not sorry.) But, my kids will still be without their Daddy. Just like George Floyd's kids are without their Daddy. And Jacob Blake (thank God he's alive) will never be able to walk down the aisle of his daughters wedding using the legs God gave him. And some of you will still say, "He should have done...". Yeah whatever. Stop being a coward. Just go ahead and say what you really mean. Say, "That nigger got what he deserved."

And that's only if I get shot by the police. If I get shot by some random nigga, then you'll never hear about it. I'll just be another nigga dead. Shit, if it happens in Cedar Rapids, then chances are, unless Jesus calls the tip line, my murder will be unsolved. They ain't solving shit here. I hope the First 48 never comes here. It will definitely be the First 48...months. I'll be on KCRG for a minute. They'll be a candlelight vigil or two. But after a couple of days, you all are trying to see who the Hawkeyes play next. I'm still dead, and my killer is still on the loose.

I feel despair for my girls. My girls are Brown. How many times do little Brown girls go missing and there is no public outrage? And no one looking. Little white girl goes missing, the whole world stops. Or, if they're raped. Then how many of you all will say, "Well maybe if she didn't wear...". Little Brown girls are oversexualized. I said it. Fight me bro'. And if they get assaulted by a White boy at a college frat party, then he's probably going to get probation. Fuck I'm pissed already. They know they're Brown. They are trying to work through their own issues with everything that is going on now. And we talk. And it ain't easy. Because I don't have any good answers to tell them.

So it's a shitty feeling. But I live life in spite of the bullshit. I work hard. Raise my kids. Own my home. All that American Dream bullshit. And normally, I can function without thinking about how my life is worth fifty cents to my White male counterpart's dollar. Just like I live life knowing that I'll never have ice cream or cheeseburgers. There's a lot more to life than cheese. And there's is a lot more to life than being Black in America.

But damn.

Sometimes I wish I knew how the other side felt.

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What is up? Yeah, yeah, yeah I know it's been almost a year since I've written a blog post. I wish I had a really cool reason like I was out seeing the Great Pyramids in Eygpt or something like that,


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