Today was different, though. Today, my client cried.
He told me about the events of the past week — the ones involving black men just like him. He told me that he’s done being nice. He told me that he’s done always trying to avoid confrontation, always doing his best not to provoke negative feelings in the people around him, always wanting to not be a threat to friends and strangers alike. He told me that right now, he just wants to yell at ignorant white people. He told me that he’s angry and scared — recognizing that he’s been lucky, but scared that all it will take is one unfortunate encounter, and his name too could become a hashtag. He wondered how close has he come to such an encounter, how close will he come over the course of his life. I hope he never knows.