As Blacks, we know us. We get us. We are not scared of us because we do not see each other’s Black bodies as weapons. Our Black skin does not evoke fear. Though, for law enforcement, our blackness disproportionately warrants an excuse to “shoot to kill,” and it is due to this normality that the Black community collectively fears a blue uniform and gold badge. But is it right to fear each other, color for color?
Bates first became motivated to write as a coping mechanism to deal with a traumatic experience he had as a child at age 10. It was an unfortunate moment where he became the witness, nearly, losing his father. The encounter traumatized him to the point of muteness, but that moment, also, triggered an inner force, he had no idea he possessed — a love for the creative arts.