Being around new people can feel uncomfortable, especially when they’re black and you’re implicity prejudiced. But, it’s important to keep those feelings in check so that you don’t unnecessarily alert law enforcement and get someone hurt or even killed simply for being the wrong color in the wrong place. So here are five calming steps to take before calling the cops on a black person for existing around you!
Meditate for a minute.
Before you think about calling the cops on the group of black teenagers harmlessly standing with their backpacks at the bus stop by your apartment, give meditation a shot! Breathe deeply, center yourself, and relax your mind until the bus arrives to take the innocuous youths away. Even a brief moment of quieting your thoughts can calm your nerves enough for you to put down the phone and realize that your racial discomfort is not worth the potential end of a young life. Remember: in through your nose, out through your mouth! See – now you’re not getting people killed!
Try a Vinyasa flow.
Feeling jumpy about the black guys who have the nerve to be peacefully playing golf on your course? Try settling into a restorative Vinyasa flow! Moving through a sun salutation will focus your breathing and slow your movements, giving you the presence of mind to put your iPhone away and understand that black people exist, they will sometimes be in your general vicinity, and your bigoted annoyance at their mere presence is not a valid reason to summon the authorities. Ohm!
Repeat a mantra.
If the black family eating dinner at the fancy restaurant you’re also eating at is making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, why not try repeating a soothing mantra? Pick something short and sweet, like “Being black is not a criminal act” or “Society has conditioned me to see blackness as an inherent threat”. Within minutes, you’ll feel at ease and able to calmly pocket your cell phone, preventing yourself from calling the historically racially insensitive police on two small children and their parents for no reason other than that they’re black and near you and you feel like they shouldn’t be there. Repeat!
Smoke a quick bowl.
Did a few black women just walk into your store, causing your heart rate to increase? Don’t panic! Just have your coworker cover for you while you take a quick step outside and smoke a quick bowl. Marijuana can have a calming effect on anxious nerves, and will hopefully quell your urge to immediately phone the feds on some women who are not doing a single thing wrong or out of the ordinary except for being black. Hold in your toke for a few seconds, reflecting on the fact that if you were black someone would’ve already called the cops on you for doing so. You’ll be stoned and grateful that your unease didn’t result in the violent apprehension of an innocent person. It’s 4:20 somewhere and hopefully that somewhere isn’t a jail cell that someone is in for no reason!
Examine your biases.
If none of these tips have worked for you, and you still have the desire to call the cops on some black people for barbecuing at your local park and minding their own goddamn business, you might have to resort to examining your own biases. While this won’t be an easy step to take and you’ll have to recognize your unconscious prejudices, you’ll feel serene upon realizing that calling the police on innocent black individuals because of your minor discomfort is at its best racist and at its worst dangerous and potentially fatal to those individuals. Talk about a weight off your shoulders!
Try taking any of these calming steps to avoid calling the cops on a black person who is just kinda, like, around you. You’ll save yourself a headache and you just might save a black person’s life!