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Are you all familiar with the protocol for dealing with black people? Apparently, if you see a black guy, you should call the cops. That was recently the situation in Elsmere, Delaware.
A friend of mine decided to visit his cousin who was apparently not home, he attempted knock on the door and saw a neighbor of his. As I understand it, he greeted the neighbor before leaving. Shortly thereafter one of his neighbors (not sure if it was the same one) called the cops to report a suspicious person.
As far I know, the police didn’t find, stop or harass him. However, the fact that they were called simply because he was knocking on a door, and because he “looked suspicious” is awfully reminiscent of one of the events that triggered the Black lives matter movement. If you recall, that piece of trash, George Zimmerman began following and harassing Trayvon Martin because he “looked suspicious.” Remember that?
So this man, who I won’t identify was profiled because of how he looked, and deemed to “not belong” there. Below is the message he sent me:
As you can see, he greeted a neighbor who moved his bicycle, and then checked to see if his cousin was home. Now I don’t know the rules of this property, but I don’t think he did anything wrong up to this point. If he was able to ride his bike into the complex, then I’m not sure if guests are not allowed on the property, etc. But the neighbor didn’t call the cops because “any” person was there, they called because he looked “suspicious.”
The accused has a Latino last name, and you know that we run the spectrum in terms of external appearance. Latinos can appear White, (like me) Indian, (like my dad) black, (like my uncles) and any variation thereof. My friend happens to be of the darker hue. You don’t think that his being black has anything to do with making him look suspicious? No, that would never happen in a place like Delaware!
Here is the message that his cousin sent him after learning that the cops were called on him:
As you can see, his cousin is telling him not to go back there. These people took a picture of him, in a hoodie, (remember the hoodie with Trayvon) and reported it to the cops. He had done nothing wrong. The part that does raise a little concern is the private property portion. I don’t know all the details about their rules for receiving guests and so on. But if he could get in there with a bike, I can’t imagine it’s some secure compound where outsiders are not allowed? Again I’m not entirely sure of that, and I haven’t spoken to his cousin either.
Really though, if he looked and dressed the way I do, I’m sure the neighbors would have responded differently to him. I’d go so far as to say that they’d ask me who I was looking for, tell me when they’d be back, and invite me in for coffee to keep warm as I wait for him. But this guy, well he’s black, so by default he looks suspicious.
At the end of the day, I’m glad my friend made it out of there safe and sound. We all know how that could have gone if the cops showed up and saw him with his dark skin and hoodie.
Growing Up Bronx