(If you’re reading this post via my Feedburner email, and cannot read the tweets below, you should click here).
I recently had an “up close and very personal” encounter with racism. It was pretty shocking, but then again, when I think about my pre-college days, I ran into it episodically and got used to it. You try to ignore it as best you can, knowing that if you let it de-motivate you, then you’re the one who has lost the most.
People will believe what they will believe. I’m grateful, though, that I have amazing relationships with so many white people, who accept me for the person that I am, regardless of color.
But, I know others have also encountered tough situations. A friend of mine is African-American. He has degrees from Yale and Harvard Business School. While walking home alone one night, some police officers came up to him, asked him a bunch of questions, and frisked him. My friend was really angry. But, he says, incidents like that happen quite often.
I’m thinking of him these days. That is because there’s an interesting online conversation happening on Twitter. #CrimingWhileWhite and #AliveWhileBlack are two threads that are incredibly revealing and shocking. The former includes tweets from whites, sharing crimes they’ve done or observed–and, police officers largely letting them go. The latter includes tweets from African-Americans, chronicling bias.
Driving 72 in a 35, no ID on me, not wearing shoes, pulled over, car battery died. No ticket, cop jumped my car for me #CrimingWhileWhite
— Goojie (@Gooj) December 4, 2014
At 16, I got in a wreck, gave a fake number & left. Cops found me, told me it was a felony & “don’t do it again” #CrimingWhileWhite — Clay Aiken (@clayaiken) December 4, 2014
Cop: who’s car is this? Me: My Mom Cop: Where is mom? Me: On a cruise. Cop: *snort* Mom can afford a Benz AND cruise huh? #AliveWhileBlack — Mejean Cline (@RealMotha4Ya) December 6, 2014
Father gave me car keys to get $. Stopped in parking lot. Accused of trying to rob people. 10 yrs old #alivewhileblack
— Gary A McAbee (@McAbeeGary) December 6, 2014
Unfortunately, racism is alive and well these days in certain pockets. Sometimes, it is a bit nuanced. Sometimes, it is up front and clear. Regarding the latter, I’ll end this post with a quote from a recent article (click here). You would think what happened below occurred during the civil rights movement during the 1960s.
Nope. It happened last week:
The people started yelling, “Get a job! Get off welfare!” One of the most disheartening sights, Rhea said, was seeing a young boy, about the age of 8, hold up a sign that said, “Go home, (N-word).”
“It wasn’t a shock because I know how these small counties in Missouri are,” Rhea said. “I expected it, but it wasn’t until you actually see it. Wow, it was amazing.”
While their bus was stopped and empty, someone shot at a window and shattered the glass. Some townsfolk left out 40-ounce beer cans, chicken wings and watermelon. Rhea said one woman was supportive and told them, “Good job!” But a man next to her said, “Yea, they are good (N-word).”