As I was watching the incident of the police arresting two black men at Starbucks, who were simply waiting on a friend, I felt a sense of anger. Sitting in a coffee place while waiting on a friend, before ordering, or simply wasting away a few hours using their wifi, is about the most coffee place thing to do, besides actually drinking coffee.

Thus, looking at the incident was incredibly insulting. I felt anger. I was shocked and saddened, but I didn't feel infuriated. I didn't feel a sense of hopelessness. There wasn't any knots in my belly as I thought to myself, "That could easily be me.”

The reality is, as a black male living outside of America, I’ll almost never experience such indignities. While living in Kenya, sometimes in Muscat, Oman, visiting Dubai or even London for a spell, I regularly go to coffee places. If I'm expecting to meet someone, it's normal to sit and wait for them to come because after all, you don't know who's paying.

What's a normal thing for people all over the world, can have dire consequences for black men in America. Sadly, the humiliating experience of these men having to be locked up and kept in jail, has been glossed over because the idea exists that all black men have this form of experience, so it's not supposed to be a big deal.

Yet, as I view the situation from afar, I think about the peace of mind, in knowing I can generally go about my day-to-day life without such incidents ever happening. Granted, no place in the world is perfect, but I can certainly walk down the street, drive a car, wear a hoodie and go into a coffee place without the mental pressure of knowing, someone may call the police because I look "dangerous."

As a black man living abroad, I don't have the same type of mental anxiety and pressure when seeing police officers. When the police do stop people, it’s generally routine and certainly not targeting any specific person because they have the power to do so. When you are stopped, there's no intimidation factor, and 999 times out of 1000, it's very cordial; they're doing their job and you go about your business. What makes the interaction with police in America equally depressing is that as law abiding citizens, we may find ourselves in situations in which we require the assistance of the police, yet, imagine the mental impact of knowing, they may arrive and assume you’re the culprit, simply because you’re black?

In fact, I can’t think of a situation in the so-called developed world in which any group of citizens are regularly stopped and harassed in their society for seemingly normal events. Maybe in parts of Europe, migrants and illegals do not receive the greatest treatment and, in some cases, are abused. However, there is no comparison between their status in Europe in contrast to black people in America. The United States is their home. This is unquestioned and, yet, they're treated as second class citizens on a daily basis.

When looking at how this possibly impacts the mental health of black men living in America, studies have shown it’s detrimental. The idea that a normal, everyday human being, going about his business can suddenly find himself under arrest, beaten up or, at worst, killed by the police for the slightest misunderstanding is crazy. Unless you’re a well-known public figure and the authorities can verify your status, this is the reality of 99.99 percent of all black males in America on an everyday basis, and it’s largely inescapable.

One aspect of living outside of the United States is knowing I, along with the overwhelming majority of people I know, can go for years of my life with zero negative interactions with law enforcement. Literally, the idea of negative interactions with police in most parts of the developed world is nonexistent, and this is normal.

As a black American living abroad, the relationship between black people and America resembles an abusive marriage in which the spouse only stays because they feel as if they have no other options. To this, there are no easy answers. Everyone cannot simply get up and go. A lot of people do not have the qualifications nor the desire to leave America, and I understand. However, I honestly feel some of us need to explore the world to lay the groundwork for future generations who may consider opportunities in other locations.

Living outside of America is certainly not perfect — far from it. One has to deal with a whole other set of issues, and racism does not simply disappear. However, the compounding pressure of being mistreated in your own nation, is not there. The notion of having nowhere else to go does not exist. It creates a level of mental freedom in which you really can go about your business and not have to worry about such elements rendering you defenseless and truly at their mercy.

Finally, no place is perfect and every location has issues. Yet, at some point in time, we have to start exploring the possibilities, and I feel it's something we owe to our collective people back home. As the saying goes, America is my country and I love my nation but I honestly think it’s about time we started seeing other people.