My name is Roy H. Howard, Jr., and I am a U.S. veteran, composer/musician, relationship instructor, president/CEO of Relationship Diversity Program (crises prevention), and author of my new and exciting workbook: Relationships- It Begins and Ends with You. (Although there are numerous criminal concerns in our country that need to be addressed such as black on black crime as well as white on white and everything else in between, this letter is derived from the outcry of our minority communities against police brutality.)
Our communities across the nation are reaching out for solutions—too much blood has been spilled, and too many lives have been taken and marginalized due to unnecessary violence in our domain. I am well aware that there are many untold stories that shine brightly on the “Serve and Protect” motto; however, I am not blind to the disproportion of the ethnic make-up of law enforcement in contrast to the communities and neighborhoods it strategically targets and patrols. From 2014 to present, there has been an alarming number of incidents of profiling, harassment, incarceration, and unexplained injuries resulting in deaths while in police custody. As the technology of social media has evolved, it has blatantly portrayed evidence that in too many cases, “Serve and Protect” is replaced with “Shoot and Kill.” The time for talk has passed and the time for resolution is now.
Please find the attached copyrighted poem: “I AM NOT A THREAT, AMERICA,” similar to the poem/stories featured in Relationships—It Begins and Ends with You workbook. My goal is to get my book and program in front of the right people to not only further dialog but to provide a constructive method to help heal our communities. I aim to launch (RDP) Relationship Diversity Program/workbook into the independent and private school districts, criminal and juvenile facilities, law enforcement facilities, drug and alcohol programs, religious organizations, communities and work environments to encourage conscious awareness giving individuals a selection of tools to collectively create a better society.
Thank you for your time and consideration. Please visit my website at http://www.relationshipb4u.com. You may contact me at (512) 740-2516 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roy H. Howard, Jr.
CEO/President of Relationship Diversity Program
I AM NOT A THREAT, AMERICA
I am not a threat, America, just because I am black
Your prejudgment—you then assume I am a thug smoking or selling crack
I am not a threat just because I wear baggy clothes,
Locks in my hair, earrings in my ears and nose
I am not a threat, America, because of my swagger or my style
Bling that I wear—you will see the gold and silver when I smile
I am not a threat: I am human, first, like you
Please address me with respect, especially my race and skin color too
I am not a threat, America, just because I am walking down the street
You are watching me from your patrol car seeing the friends that I will meet
I am not a threat, America, just because I am not in school every day
I feel and fear you are the predator, and I am your target and prey
I am not a threat, America, just because I love to pimp my ride
I am very artistic and also stylish—this is my freedom and my pride
I am not a threat just because I wear colors similar to a gang
I am just particular about my clothes—this is my own thang
I am not a threat, America: I am complying to your commands
I am a law abiding citizen and should have Constitutional rights in this land
In church, I raise my hands to God in praise to my Maker who saves
In the streets, I raise my hands to cops: those who may send me to my grave
I am not a threat, America: remember our ancestors helped build this great country too
You destroyed our history with your hate and with your injustice, gained much revenue
You separated our families in slavery as you sold them on the auction block
Willie Lynch, Jim Crow concepts, and laws—black people were seen and treated like livestock
I am not a threat, America, yet I ponder to question my birth
Afro-Americans still wondering today, “Are we blessed or have we been cursed?”
We are legal citizens in this country, majority obey the law day and night
America’s system is so unfair with double standards, but black people will continue to fight
I AM NOT THE THREAT, AMERICA! ARE YOU?
“Prejudice and hate reside in the mind and heart of a person; it reveals itself outwardly or inwardly with visible and invisible actions—so do truth, love, and understanding.”
By Roy H. Howard, Jr., Relationship Diversity Program