Racialized Trauma and DWB (Driving While Black) [A Twitter Thread]

The Following is a series of tweets I sent out a  yesterday morning.

The wife & I had a great date night a few nights ago. On the way home, really late at night, police lights came on behind us. [Thread]

We were scared 4 a sec, then we realized they were pulling the car over that was behind us. All was good, then I had a severe panick attack.

I’ve never had one before, and so I’m assuming that’s what it was. I couldn’t stop sobbing, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t stop shaking.

My wife had to drive. It lasted for about 30 min. I had no idea what was going on. One sec. I was relieved. Then, my life flashed B4 my eyes

I though abt what would happen if I got pulled over. My wife, my kids, and the fact that if I was killed, many Christians would justify it.

The more I thought about these things, the more traumatic it all became, and the more traumatic the more I realized my trauma itself could

Be the very thing that gets me killed. Had I started shaking and crying before a cop. I would be perceived as threatening & suspicious.

All this went through my mind in a matter of seconds and I just lost it. I hate what this past year has done to me. I hate it all…

I hate what the indifference of my brothers and sisters has done to me psychologically & emotionally. I hate the effects of media…

Seeing all the police shootings (modern day lynchings) on tv and how it has triggered deep psychological trauma in me…

I hate the fact that crying has become as common for me as brushing my teeth, and I hate the power flashing lights now have over me.

I hate the fact that me even confessing these things will be considered “divisive” by many and me just being overly emotional by others.

Finally, now that I realize how easily my trauma is triggered & risk it is; I hate the fact that now I have to consider no longer driving.

One more; I hate the fact that I have counseled many others who struggle with racialized trauma, as a victim myself with children who may…

Live in a world & navigate thru a racially indifferent Christian culture w/ same struggles. I hate the fact I can’t protect my kids from it.

I hate the fact that all I can do is prepare them 4 a reality that I beg God will not be theirs, but w/ all likelihood most likely will be.

… and don’t think for a second that I am confessing weakness. These struggles don’t make me weak, it makes me strong. By God’s grace I’ve

Endured racism and police abuse of power for 23 of my 32 years on this earth. I have endured racism from friends, Christians, Seminary profs

From pastors at various points in my life, to police, teachers, media, trolls, wife’s family, and many other sources and to this day…

I have not allowed all these experiences to rob me of my love for white people, and specifically those individuals. I am still thankful for

Police even though they terrify me, and I have seldom had a good experience with them. I am still a Christian and still a seminarian.

I still engage in racial reconciliation despite the racist death threats. My trauma isn’t weakness, it is the fruit of persevering strength.

I will not train my kids 2 be weak or prepare them to walk thru racialized trauma as if it’s a weakness. I’m discipling my kids to be strong.

About Kyle James Howard

My name is Kyle, I am married to my “high-school sweetheart” and we have 3 children. I have a 7 year-old daughter (Hadassah), a 2 year-old son (Jonah), and 1 year old (Kesed). I am 32 years old and I am currently a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I have an Associates degree in Biblical & Theological Studies, A B.S. in Biblical Counseling, and I am finishing up an Advanced M. Div in Historical Theology. Click on the "About Me" link at the top of my home page to read my full testimony.

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