Thanks Claude Allen; Thanks a Lot

Open letter to the people of the city of Gaithersburg, Maryland (my city of residence), the Gaithersburg Police Department, the Montgomery County Police Department, Target Stores, Hects, and people who hold stereotypes against black people everywhere.

Hi, I am not Claude Allen. Sure, we shop at (and in his case allegedly commit fraud against) the same Target store in Gaithersburg. We are both what you call "light skinned, articulate Negroes," and we both live in affluent communities and shop with credit cards, but I am not Claude Allen.

On Claude Allen

Montgomery County Police Press Release

We are vastly different: I am not a republican. I am not conservative. I believe we have a responsibility to teach our kids how to not make themselves pregnant. I have no problem with what you call "the queers" or "the radical feminists." I've never been a member of the Bush II White House. I've never served as W's chief domestic policy advisor nor have I worked as an aide to Jesse Helms. I'm just a regular workin' guy.

I'm pretty happy, personally, that you didn't get seated on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals though. But brothaman, I am pretty surprised you had to give it all up and embarrass the hell out of all of us coloreds all at the same time with some (allegations of) petty shit like retail fraud. Dude, what were you thinking?

Dang! Now, when I shop at our Target, I have to feel the presence of security and hear the whirring of pivoting cameras because of you - since we basically fit the same profile. I don't like being followed around when I shop, it makes me feel uneasy and unequal and kind of second class. But, thanks to your little situation, I fear my upper-middle class cred is shredded. My bootstraps are all in knots (over these allegations, of course).

So to everyone everywhere, hi, I'm not Claude Allen. It's just me, Ty. Please trust me not to steal or try to defraud you. I'm just shoppin', man! I'm guessing that Claude either cannot, by order, go back to that Target or have been advised to not go there, so I hope that when I show up to buy some underwear or floss nobody mistakes us. It would pain me horribly to be confused with someone accused of committing a crime.