What 4/20 Means if You’re “Black

To all my black folks out there, I urge you to consider my message on this most devious occasion, 420, 2018.  

More than likely, you’ve probably been invited by a few of your hipster friends to attend some live music venue, reefer-themed shindig, edibles tasting event, or “right to possess Canibus” convention.   And, while you’re at Todd’s house for his Ganja Gathering and getting completely lost in the synergy of the holiday–and in the THC’s glowing fuzziness for that matter–there’s one vital thing you need to remember.

You, as someone who is classified as black, do not have the luxury of “getting lost in the moment.” I don’t care how welcomed and comfortable your buddies are making you feel.  I don’t care if you don’t want to appear “too uptight” because of the level of awareness you have to maintain while being black in America.  I don’t care how many beers or blunts in you are.  I don’t care how many fly women there are around who you’re trying to spit at.  

You don’t the option of not being on full alert.

Now, I’m not saying you can’t experience a social event without intentionally emotionally conditioning your state-of-being to a level of constant terror.  But, before you walk out the door tonight–especially tonight, remember that the standards held to those classified as white will not be the same one held to you.

Because before walking out the door, to be blunt, so to speak, you have to consider things others don’t have to worry about–things like the fact that marijuana, as it stands, is still largely illegal in America.   Just because you see a bunch of people doing it and because it’s become more mainstream, doesn’t mean you can’t get arrested for it. 

Also, on the heels of that fact, you have to remember, marijuana has historically been used to target black men and women, for the intent of disproportionately incarnating us, and convicting us at higher rates than any other demographic–for longer sentences of no violent offenses (There are black men literally doing decades locked up over weed.)  

So, basically, if the cops get called for whatever reason while you’re at Todd’s house (your white friend) and it was found you’d both been blazing up, you will, more than likely, get at a harsher treatment by the authorities and a harsher sentence than your friend, if we’re basing this scenario on the data.

On a side note, I’ve actually seen this scenario take place a couple times with people I know.  So, take me seriously on it.  

The cops, who already know what people will collectively be partaking in today and tonight, will be out in full force AND THE MORNING AFTER (the THC will still be in your blood).  Cops can literally make up reasons to pull you over, and they can make up reasons as to why they think you’re high.  

Cops can even test you with a mouth swab device on sight if they even “think” you’ve been impaired by weed. 

And, on a more serious note,  we’ve already seen thus far this year, cops have no problem blasting you away if they even remotely feel “they fearing for their life.  You, if you are, in fact, exhibiting signs of marijuana intoxication or if the smell of it is in your clothes, now, you’ve given them the right to claim that you “could have been capable of dangerous behavior” or “looked like you were about to have a violent episode.” That’s after they unconstitutionally murder you with impunity, by the way.   

I, myself, don’t indulge in anything marijuana-related, and, therefore, I definitely won’t be attending any 4/20-themed events tonight.  I don’t even want to be out with that type of crowd, to even give the police a reason to associate me with them breaking the law.  Because, I will be the one blamed and punished at the end of the day, even if I’m not smoking pot.    

Plus, with all these mass shootings taking place (which is a byproduct of systematic white supremacy), I’m not really fond of being around large groups of people (20 or more) at this point-in-time in my life, especially while in enclosed places.  

No, I do not live my life huddled in fear at the crib, and I’m not saying you should either.  I’m just saying, exercise caution at all times.  You don’t get to drop your guard, in that regard, while living in America.  

I still go out to parties, I still go to live music venues (there’s a really nice jazz club here in Fort Worth), and I still let loose.  But, I never leave out the door without remembering the what my skin color means to those who wield real power and authority. 

I mentally prepare myself for it, and I don’t engage in behavior that’ll lead to tragic situations. And, I remember the consequences for me doing something are not the same for others. 

I also don’t interact with people (including white people) who are not aware of this dynamic or/and who don’t respect it.  

With Love,

___________________________________________________________

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