My White Privilege

Caleb Sims

An event that is important to my life happened 2 years ago in November of 2020. It was at this time I was an undiagnosed schizophrenic. I had been off of my medication for a week or two and was starting to have hallucinations. Along with the hallucinations I was going through a true psychotic break. It was at this time that I grabbed a cop’s gun and tried to take it away from him. I wanted them to shoot me. I feel the only reason I am alive is because of my white privilege. If I were a black man, I believe that the police would have shot me.

In November of 2020 I was in Texas living with my cousin and his fiancee. I had just left rehab a few months prior and his was the only place I could go to. I moved to Texas and enjoyed it for the first few months. I was still collecting stimulus checks so I just stayed in the house, smoked weed, and played video games. I ended up getting a job at a gas station a five minute walk away. It was around this time that I stopped taking my Lithium. I felt fine for the first few days but eventually it crippled my mind.

I met a friend named Cincere while working at the gas station and would smoke weed with him after work. My schizophrenia picked up around one of the times I was hanging out with him and I thought he was a cop. He clearly would throw up gang signs to some people but I was still not convinced. After a week or two I thought he was planning on robbing the store and setting me up for it. I thought I was going to go to prison so I cut my tattoo off of my face, swallowed a bottle of Lithium and asked my cousin for his gun.

My cousin would not give me his gun and asked me what my problem was. It was at this time that all the Lithium I took kicked in. I thought If I stood still my cousin could not see me and that aliens were coming to get us. He put me in the car after calling his dad and drove me to the hospital. I was in despair, I wanted to die. I thought that the KKK had come and murdered my whole family and replaced them with look alikes and that I was truly alone in the world. At the hospital I saw a cop standing inside the waiting area. I charged him and reached for his gun at his hip. I grabbed the grip but could not get the gun out. I turned around and ran outside the hospital with him chasing after me. Once outside I yelled “It’s grand theft auto bitches!” and tried to take a car a man was sitting in.

The cops caught up to me and took me to the ground and handcuffed me. I then yelled “My name is Jesus Christ and I’m here to be executed by the state!”. The cop called for backup and more came. The police officers put me in the back of a suv. I proceeded to throw up a lot of Lithium and bile. One of the officers opened up the back door and put his hand over my back and prayed for me. They took me to the emergency side of the hospital where they gave me a catheter to drain out the Lithium. I stayed in the hospital for about a week and was then moved to a mental health hospital.

I believe that the only reason I am alive is because I am white. Police brutality is a huge problem in America, especially against black and brown men. If a black man had charged the police officer and grabbed the gun he would have been shot, there is no doubt in my mind. My brothers and sisters are biracial. They will not get the same opportunities with the police as I have had regarding their mistakes. One wrong move could be the end of their life whereas I have been given many chances.

People like Tamir Rice and Porter Burks did not get a second chance by the police officers. They were shot without any regard for themselves as a person. According to mappingpoliceviolence.org (mappingpoliceviolence.org “Black people are 2.9 times more likely to be killed by police than white people in the U.S.”). Seeing a statistic that shows the disparity between race in police-caused killings, is an indicator that there is still an underlying problem with race in America. In fact it has been found that police killings of African Americans does not matter whether or not the suspect put the officers in danger (Fagan, Campbell “even when there are no other obvious circumstances during the encounter that would make the use of deadly force reasonable”).

These statistics support my claim that my life was spared due to my race. I even tattooed my face to get rid of my white privilege. Instead I was looked at as a kid who made a bad choice. It never came into contact with my character as race does for African Americans. My brothers and sisters live a harder life than me because they have to grow up faster in a world that endangers them based on color.

“Mapping Police Violence.” Mapping Police Violence, https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/.

Jeffrey A. Fagan & Alexis D. Campbell, Race and Reasonableness in Police Killings, 100 B.U. L. Rev. 951 (2020).