I have been in a really strange frame of mind where the tiniest things provoke me into an internal rant. I was in the mall with the boys Saturday so Cam could pick out a few things for his birthday. There was a group in front of us with t-shirts that read "all lives matter" more specifically there was a group of black people and it really sent me over. Isn't it clear white lives have always mattered? Isn't that the point? In my mind the response to the black lives matter statement highlights just how oppressive white America still is. Why does a t-shirt or a slogan on social media incite "NO! ALL LIVES MATTER!!!" with such venom? Why is the shirt such an affront? The rallying cry has to be "we shall overcome" or some other take it on the chin refrain to make sure not to ruffle anyone's feathers. I wanted to scream at the women to just take the shirt off because the moment they replaced black with all the t-shirt lost the entire point.

Then I had not one but two co-workers involved in traffic violations. One was stopped for an expired tag. It's been expired for more than two years because she has tint on her windows too dark to pass inspection. The police officer let her go with a warning despite the fact that she has been stopped twice before. The other girl transferred from Florida and has expired Florida tags. She has not updated her license either even though she has been here for over a year. She hit a cyclist and in the course of the incident the police officer not only just gave her a warning about the tags and the fact that she didn't have her license but gave her his card with a wink and call me. This is despite the fact she was making a left turn and didn't yield and the cyclist had the green light. Last month my mom ran into a DMV checkpoint which they do on her side of town all the time not just when you expect like at night or the weekend. Mom leaves her place at 10:30am on a Tuesday and there's a license check point set up. Her tag had been expired for a couple of weeks because we have to pay the property taxes at the same time we pay for the registration and inspection and she didn't have all the money yet. Do you think she received a warning? Nope. so on top of the taxes, registration, and inspection fees now she has a $50 fine to pay for and since she has a court date where she has to show proof she has taken care of everything. I am sure she will incur court costs as well.

All of this just reminded me of my boss when I worked at Lowes. He was this good ole boy from Wilkesboro, NC. and he would tell these stories before our weekly team meeting. One of them he talks about a recent traffic stop where he was going 80 in a 35, his license was suspended due to unpaid speeding tickets, and he didn't have his seat belt on. The police officer walks up to his window and he barks "what did you pull me over for" with real attitude. He bragged about how the officer let him go with a warning. Then he said "only a reserved few can talk to a NC state trooper like that and live to tell the tale!" My mom going 60 in a 55 on her way to church last year was pulled over. My mom's husband said he was so shocked to see the blue lights with the other cars passing them so fast he blurted "what is this about" when my mom rolled the window down. The policemen scowled asked for my mom's license and registration and when her husband went to get the registration out of the glove compartment the police officer ordered him to place his hands on the dash. Mom said she really thought the officer might shoot them while they both rushed to explain the registration was in there. Thirty minutes later my mom was given a ticket for not wearing her seat belt.

There are so many stories. So many times co-workers tell stories I know would turn out completely different if it were me or my family. I don't know why it has become so difficult to hear them without getting angry. Why the excuses or qualifications that quickly come out on social media when yet another black person is killed makes me want to cry. Why now? I really don't know but I swear I wanted to rip those "all lives matter" shirts off those women and burn them.
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