Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Harassed While Black is No Joke.

May 22, 2018 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( It is a testament to us as a people that we are able to laugh when we should be crying. We find a way to hide the anger that doesn’t vindicate us as it should…it only makes the matters we face worse. Being harassed while black is actually no joking matter. We’ve seen several instances whereby the police have been called on black people for simply living. The memes have taken over social media and black Twitter has been epic. The white woman that called the police on the black folks trying to have a BBQ has become the poster for unnecessary calls to the police.

Though we are laughing we have been blessed that the last few situations have not ended with black people being shot by the police. The harassment that we encounter, really is, no laughing matter. White people don’t understand the traumatic untrusting relationship black people have with the police. Its easy for them to pick up the phone and call 911 when they don’t suffer any consequences for their racism. I see the memes, and I admit they are funny, but I can’t laugh.

Its time for there to be punishments imposed for calling the police for unnecessary purposes. Giving a fine might curb the behavior, but if they are picked up by the police many white people, primarily women, will think twice. It is nerve wrecking when we have to be concerned that our family members will be harassed simply for living. How can we prepare for that? We have to be mindful of how we answer, where we go, what we wear, and these are conversations we have with our children. How do we prepare them for having the police confront them while drinking coffee? Or having the police confront you while sleeping in your dorm? Having a BBQ or taking a walk with your child is now apprehensive for black people. As all of us are watching the news and social media, and it can have an impact on how we react to living.

How many of us are thinking of limiting activities outside of our home, neighborhood or family because we don’t want to be the person that has to deal with the police when that interaction does not go in our favor. We don’t want to become a hashtag because we’ve been shot. There are just so many risks many of us are not willing to take. The stance isn’t out of fear as much as it is out of a position of self-preservation. I once thought of using Airbnb, but I will stick to hotel lodging if I choose to travel.

There may be others in our community doing the same thing. Its no laughing matter when your humanity is on the table, and all some white people see, regardless of who you are is a criminal. Truth is some just don’t want you in the spaces and places you have every right to be in. Calling the police on black people is not a “trend” it has been going on, but now with social media it is being documented for all too see. Now the behavior can not be denied as we are making it up or pulling the “race card”. The state of this country is no joke, and the reality for what that means for black people is definitely not a laughing matter.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

May connect with this sister over at Facebook and also Twitter

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