[Marxism] There’s a Black Man in the Children’s Area’ and Other Baseless Accusations
giobon at comcast.net
Fri Oct 26 10:37:37 MDT 2018
‘There’s a Black Man in the Children’s Area’ and Other Baseless Accusations
Readers share stories of themselves or friends and relatives deemed suspicious for simply walking around in their own skin.
By Rachel L. Harris and Lisa Tarchak, October 24, 2018
In “To the Next ‘BBQ Becky’: Don’t Call 911. Call 1-844-WYT-FEAR <https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/22/opinion/calling-police-racism-wyt-fear.html?module=inline>,” Niecy Nash, the actress and comedian, uses a satirical infomercial to call attention to society’s “fear of the other,” specifically when white people call the police on black people who are just going about their business.
Readers responded with stories of when they or someone they knew had been unfairly targeted. Some challenged their accusers, others laughed them off. The exhaustion of constantly being watched was weighing on one reader, Kim <https://nyti.ms/2Rb4aUT#permid=29108133>, who wrote that while she laughed at the video, “the truth is, this stuff is not funny.”
The infomercial may be fake, but our hotline is real and open to calls. Tell us your story by leaving a message at 1-844-WYT-FEAR or by emailing a video message to 844WYTFEAR at nytimes.com <mailto:844WYTFEAR at nytimes.com>.
‘There’s a black man in the children’s area.’
I am a librarian and a white woman. A few years ago, I was working at the reference desk at a library in a suburb of Salt Lake City when an older white woman came to me and whispered, “There’s a black man in the children’s area.” I looked at her with concern and replied, “What exactly would you like me to do with that information, ma’am?” “Well,” she sniffed, “I just thought you should know.” I replied, “I do know. That is Mr. —, he is our neighbor and brings his children to story time every week.”
I confess that I laughed and added, “I’ll be sure to inform him of your concern.” She blanched, scowled at me and scurried away. I smiled and waved, thinking, “This is the 21st century and this is a public building, you miserable old biddy.” — MS, Orlando <https://nyti.ms/2R77u35#permid=29108696>
‘How can I rob this place in a blizzard, wearing socks?’
I went to a famous medical school that I prefer not to name. I was studying in a conference room at midnight during a blizzard, wearing a baseball cap backward, a T-shirt and socks. Police officers approached me with reports that I was robbing the medical school and were in the process of handcuffing me when I said, "How can I rob this place in a blizzard, wearing socks?"
They asked for proof that I was a medical student (a bunch of medical books wasn't enough). The problem was, we didn’t have student IDs. This was the fifth time I was harassed by police within six months. Soon after, the school issued IDs so that kids of color could prove that we belonged.
Twenty years have gone by and I'm routinely confused for the janitor, despite the fact that I am the medical director and chairman for 100-plus doctors. But at least nobody calls the police anymore. — JRMW, Minneapolis <https://nyti.ms/2R2DzsS#permid=29110080>
‘You should have seen her face when I said they were with me.’
I’m white, but I’ll never forget the time my son and his black friend — they were both about 8 or 9 at the time — went to an art store in Noe Valley, San Francisco, to get some markers. They came home empty-handed and told the same story: A salesperson in the store followed my son’s friend around and then told him to get out.
I brought them back to the store and sent them in first. Then I casually walked in, not acknowledging them, and pretended to shop. Immediately, the salesperson started following my son’s friend. You should have seen her face when I said they were with me.
The horror of this racism is that it starts when children are so young. It’s insidious and thoroughly rooted in our society. The amount of hurt it causes is incalculable and it has to stop. — Bonnie Weinstein, San Francisco <https://nyti.ms/2Rd2Q3V#permid=29108611>
‘There was a big difference between my white son walking to the store and her black son walking the same route.’
I’m an older white woman who shares a home with a black woman and her two sons. One evening, her oldest son, who is 18, wanted to walk up to the convenience store at the front of our neighborhood. She would not let him. She insisted that she drive him there. I gave her a bit of a hard time about babying her 18-year-old, telling her that my son used to make that walk all the time when he was younger and that it was perfectly safe.
A week or two later there was an incident, not all that far from us, where a young black man was killed by a fearful white man with a gun. The boy was simply taking a shortcut through a neighborhood and ended up dead. As my friend and I watched the news, I apologized to her for giving her a hard time. I had forgotten that there was a big difference between my white son walking to the store and her black son walking the same route. — Patty O, Deltona <https://nyti.ms/2R9fzoe#permid=29108625>
‘They played football and are black. I am white and petite.’
Once in high school my future husband and his friends gave me a ride home from school. I was happy because I didn’t have a car and I hated taking the bus. My husband and his friends were all big boys. They played football and are black. I am white and petite. We were pulled over by the police. He asked me to get out of the car and so I did. Then he asked me if I was safe and if I had gone willingly. I was only 17 and it was a huge eye opener for me. My parents didn't raise me with any racist or bigoted ideas. I was more shocked than the other people in the car. We’ve been together for 27 years now and thankfully most people are kind and accept us. There have been other incidents, but this one sticks with me the most. — DLaMar, rural Southern California <https://nyti.ms/2R5lmLe#permid=29111617>
‘She was sure she belonged.’
In 2002, I was with a group of students serving internships in Washington. Our internship program had arranged a visit to the Library of Congress so that we could get researcher cards and take a tour. A couple of days later, during our seminar, our professor asked about the visit. One student, the only black student in our group, told us how a staff person at the Library of Congress had asked her if she “belonged with our tour.” And when she said yes, was further questioned on whether “she was sure she belonged.” We were all mortified and outraged. I wish we’d known in the moment that had happened to her. I do know the professor complained to the Library of Congress, but I don’t know that anything else was done. I was shocked that happened in 2002. Shocked that it’s still going on in 2018. I guess I shouldn’t be. — AJ, California <https://nyti.ms/2R6ScLN#permid=29108171>
‘I had to give my 6-year-old brown son “the talk.”’
Twenty-five years ago, while attending my husband's family reunion in Bergen County, New Jersey — a very affluent neighborhood — my son, being the only brown boy among his blond, brunette and redhead white cousins, was playing and throwing golf balls he found into a pond. A police officer sitting in his patrol car followed him around shouting through his bullhorn to drop the golf balls that were laying around. My son was frightened until a very thoughtful white woman escorted my son to his aunt’s house and informed me of what had occurred. It was that evening I had to first give my 6-year-old brown son “the talk.” I feared for his life then, as I still do today. — cinnamon roots, Brooklyn <https://nyti.ms/2R9dLeW#permid=29110310>
‘She said that it just didn’t look right.’
Sadly, this happens here in Canada too. A woman once called the police to report that she had seen a black man driving a car with two white children in it. When she was asked if the children were in distress or anything of that nature, she said no. When asked what made her call, she said that it just didn’t look right. She was informed by the police officer that if the car was a certain make and model, it was probably the officer’s husband with his two children. My wife, the officer, is white, and I am black. — Desden, Toronto <https://nyti.ms/2An7OFw#permid=29112006>
‘There were always looks and snide comments.’
For the last 18 years I’ve mentored three different young men of color through a large national organization. I’ve done it in two of America’s largest cities. I can’t count the number of times there’s been grief from my fellow white people when they’d see us together, at restaurants, stores, movie theaters, sporting events. There were always looks and snide comments. Don’t get me started on the rare occasion when one of the young men would wander away from me in a store. They’d be followed by security, management, you name it. Sadly, it was usually in predominantly white neighborhoods.
You know where I never, ever had an issue? In neighborhoods where the people were predominantly nonwhite. So, I’m not surprised at all by these incidents. I am, however, saddened, as I truly thought they were on the decline. — Martin B, New York <https://nyti.ms/2AmllNE#permid=29110637>
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