Existing While Black=Crime
Like many African-Americans, it happened to me as well.
Around 1992, I did what I usually did on the weekends or during the weekdays during the summer.
I took my basketball and either played hoops in my front yard with a lot of friends or went around the corner to my friends J. Bell, Rodney and John’s house to play basketball.
My house usually had it going on when it came to basketball.
But on this day, J. Bell’s house was where the game went down.
As soon as the game got good and we started having real fun, J. Bell’s neighbor from across the street called the police on us.
When the cops pulled up on J. Bell’s street, the neighbor told the cops that she liked to read books in her garage and she wanted the neighborhood quiet when she read outside.
As children, J. Bell and I were in middle school at the time, we were making too much noise having fun playing basketball.
Being the hothead that I was at the time, I told the neighbor how I felt about her demands and told the cops too.
Rodney and John, J. Bell’s older brothers, being older and wiser calmed the situation down, but not before cops put J. Bell in the back of the police car.
I always felt bad for J. Bell for getting put in the back of the police car because it was my fault.
I had been the one popping off at the neighbor and the cop.
J. Bell could have gotten hurt or worse because of my action.
His mother stayed mad at me for the longest for that ordeal and rightfully so.
But was it entirely my fault?
Should the officer have even been there for something as miniscule as children making noise as they played outside?
The answer depends on the color of someone’s skin.
For African-Americans, playing basketball in a friend’s yard can become a life and death situation because for some non-African-Americans, just being an African-American is a crime.
The first story of its kind in 2018 to get nationwide exposure was the African-American men who got arrested in Starbucks for waiting on a colleague without purchasing a beverage or food.
Next, a White Yale student called the cops on an African-American classmate because she had fallen asleep in the common area of her residence while writing a paper.
Then, a White lady in Oakland called the cops on a group of African-Americans for barbecuing in a public park with charcoal.
After that, a White lady called the cops on an African-American father for pushing his baby in a stroller on a jogging and biking trail.
Then in New York, a racist attorney obviously did not think African-Americans should be the only people who got harassed just for being a minority so he called the authorities because the employees of a restaurant were speaking Spanish to customers instead of English.
Finally, a White lady called the cops when a Black real estate agent came to inspect a home he had been hired by the homeowner to inspect.
Here is a newsflash to White bigots, being a minority is not a crime.
Newsflash to bigots, it is not a crime to barbecue, walk your baby, and wait for meetings in Starbucks or to speak Spanish because America does not even have an official language.
And the biggest newsflash, America is not just your country.
It is all of our country.
You are not taking your country back because it was never just your country.
And despite what President Donald Trump said, he is not making America great again.
President Trump is making America hate again.
Furthermore, Trump’s ignorance and the ignorance of bigots throughout the country are putting the lives of innocent people in danger when they call the cops for stupid reasons.
First of all, the cops could be spending their time stopping actual crime.
But instead, they have to worry about barbecues and babies in strollers.
Shout out to the cops who stood up for the African-American real estate agent enduring harassment from a White neighbor as he inspected the house.
The officer told the neighbor that if she harassed the agent again, he would take her to jail and not the African-American real estate agent.
When the neighbor then said the agent needed to hurry up and get out of the neighborhood, the officer chastised the neighbor again, telling her the agent could stay in the neighborhood all day if he wanted to do.
That officer handled the volatile situation in the perfect way.
But how many times has America seen officers not handle the situation properly and innocent, unarmed African-Americans are left dead?
Many African-Americans fear the police because they have seen so many unarmed African-Americans killed by overzealous and bigoted police officers.
So when the police are called on African-Americans, it sometimes can become a life and death situation.
African-Americans should not potentially lose their lives for doing their jobs, barbecuing or walking their babies in a stroller.
Those are not crimes for White Americans, so why should the same actions be “criminal” for African-Americans?
The lady in Oakland said she called the police on the African-Americans barbecuing in the public park because charcoal was a danger to children, and she did not feel safe.
I guess I handle my safety differently because when I do not feel safe, I do not harass the people who make me feel unsafe. I just get the heck away from them just in case my safety is really in jeopardy.
I do not linger around and interact with people that make me feel unsafe.
So, I call nonsense on her reasoning for harassing innocent people before calling the cops on them.
And to the bigots that think African-Americans constantly play the race card, sometimes you have to play the cards you are dealt.
Furthermore, the proof is in the pudding.
Video recordings show that African-Americans are not making up these allegations out of thin air.
These same scary situations have happened to many African-Americans for decades, if not centuries.
What makes it offensive; African-Americans’ lives are in danger when bigots call the authorities on us just for breathing the same air that they breathe.