Living while Black (May 16)

DEBBIE NORRELL

We all heard the chant “Make America Great Again.” Throughout the entire presidential campaign that is what 45 said he would do. Many felt it was not a campaign promise but more like a dog whistle to “make America White again.” The more I watch the news it feels like that is what’s happening. If you are Black you can’t sit in Starbucks and wait for someone, you can’t shop for the prom in Nordstrom’s rack, and please don’t even think about renting an Airbnb and not waving to the neighbors when you are leaving.
When the story was told after the Airbnb incident was over the neighbor stuck to her story that the main reason the police were called on the three Black women suspected of stealing luggage in broad daylight was because she was not acknowledged when she waived at them. What really disturbed me was the officers were not aware of what “Airbnb” was. If you are going to serve the public you really need to read more and become familiar with what is happening in this world. It also may be nice to let your neighbors know that your home is under contract with Airbnb so when they see new people coming in and out of your home they won’t call the police.
The latest incident of living while Black that I heard really hit home with me. Did you hear the story about the attorney and her daughter who were vintage thrift shopping in a gentrified neighborhood and were accused of taking a garment? The way the story went, the customer who was Black took four items to the dressing room and did not like any of them. She brought them out of the dressing room and laid them down and proceeded to walk out of the store with her daughter. The storekeeper comes after her and says that she tried on five items, not four. The police were called and the attorney was handcuffed and yes, you guessed it—they had not taken anything. But they were detained, embarrassed and reportedly their driver’s license was held for more than 11 hours. Yet another case of living while Black.
If my calendar didn’t say it was 2018 I would swear we were in the Jim Crow South and that we are trying to be put in “our place” wherever that place is. There have been so many of these incidents over the last month. These calls to law enforcement should be written up as nuisance calls and the stores should be charged for making frivolous reports to the police. I am sure the police have better things to do, like stopping real crime. I also think it would be a good idea for these businesses to start treating all of their customers the same or perhaps our trillions of retail dollars is not wanted.
Here is another book giveaway from my collection: “The Book of Luke” by Luther Campbell. Read all about his life before and after “2 Live Crew.” Email me to win.
(Email Debbie at debbienorrell@aol.com.)
 
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