I know there has been a lot of hand-wringing this summer over images, usually on social media, of a black person or other minority, not doing anything out of the ordinary and then a white person calls the cops. It’s called #LivingWhileBlack.
We can all cite numerous examples, the little kids, one was selling water the other was cutting grass when a white person called the cops. There was the one about the firefighter who was doing his job when the police were called. And of course, the most infamous tale of two black men minding their business at Starbucks and the cops were called.
There have even been a couple of incidents here in Indianapolis where “bad behavior” was caught on camera. However, with one of those incidents, the alleged “victim” ended up getting arrested just a few days later in downtown for drunk and disorderly conduct and hitting a police car. So we have to take these things with a grain of salt and realize we are only looking at one perspective and should wait until all the facts are in before casting final judgment.
Despite that, I know there are some of you will use these examples to reiterate the calls that patterns of systemic racism are alive and well in America and you’ll want to go shut down an interstate in protest. At least that’s what they did in my hometown of Chicago.
But hear me out for just a minute, the fact that these things are happening, aren’t necessarily all that bad. No, let me take that back, the fact that these things are happening, and people are getting caught on video is a great thing.
I know, you are probably thinking I have “jumped the shark” on this one, but consider this, had any of these incidents happened 15, 20 or heck even five years ago, it’s highly doubtful anyone would have heard about it. Now, with social media, it’s a lot harder for people to get away with racial profiling and other abhorrent behavior without suffering some kind of consequence.
Remember “Permit Patty”, the white woman who went viral for appearing to call the police on an 8-year-old black girl selling water without a permit, well Alison Ettel, her real name, ended up resigning from her job at a California cannabis company.
And even when law enforcement doesn’t do their job, i.e., a woman of Puerto Rican descent who was accosted a park in Chicago this summer by a most racist individual and the park police officer there did nothing, well he ended up under investigation and reassigned to a desk.
And here is an added bonus, even when these guys get together for their “Ku Klux Klan Kookouts,” like what happened recently in Madison, Indiana, social media was there to show all 13 of them debating whether to use white or wheat buns for their hot dogs or hamburgers. (My money is that they chose white bread, in part of it’s “enriched.”)
So the next time you see one of these incidents on TV or social media. Don’t get mad, get glad. Get glad that bad behavior has been caught on camera and people have to live with the consequences of their actions, and maybe other folks may want to engage in similar behavior will think twice.
Photo: Getty Images