I was around six years old and I wanted candy from the corner store. It was at the intersection of a major road and I wasn’t supposed to go by myself, but I did. I hopped on my teal blue Huffy and went to the store. But before I made it inside a white male police officer asked me what I was doing at the store by myself. I thought he would tattle on me to my mom. I panicked and hopped back on my bicycle and booked it for him. The cop followed me in his car and after I ran in the house, he knocked at the door and spoke with my mom or grandma, telling them to teach me I shouldn’t run from cops.
I was 14 and my friend Leah and I had snuck out my bedroom window that night. We were playing on a hill near the grocery store, pushing a shopping cart up the hill and then riding in it back down. A cop saw us, stopped us, detained us. He threatened to have us arrested for theft, but really he just called my mom and left our punishment up to her.
I was 17, out past legal curfew, and driving my grandma’s car without her permission or knowledge. Some friends were fucked up from partying and needed a sober ride home, so I had gone to pick them up. I managed to back into a cop car in the left turn lane after my light turned red and I was too far into the intersection. He pulled me over, scolded me, and followed me to go drop off my friends. I didn’t get so much as a ticket.
I lived to adulthood a hundred times over, not because my parents were over protective, not because I toed the line and followed the rules, but because I’m white. Of course those were all experiences I should have survived, but that’s not why I survived. I survived because I’m white.