STORYTIME: Sometimes I like to drive ride share to make a little bit of extra cash. I have overall enjoyed my experience meeting and talking with different people... until today.
TODAY, in the year of our LORD 2019- I am driving my normal drive listening to my normal playlist (which I get 5 stars from all the time)... pick a few ppl up... drop a few ppl off.
I get a request to pick up a woman from a neighborhood not far from campus to run up the street... I drive down her street to her house ( last one before the dead end). Since there’s only one way out I turn around and text her that I have arrived... she takes a minute to come out and in the meantime her white male neighbor pulls up to his home
He begins helping a woman In a wheelchair get into the car. He’s looking at me intensely the whole time. He walks around to the back of his car to put the wheelchair in and comes to the driver side looks at me with a very rude and mean glare and flexes his muscles and pointed at me in a threatening manner as if to say you better not do anything because I’m watching you.
Mind you, I’m just sitting in my car listening to Faith Hill, in broad daylight waiting for my pick up.The man then goes on to take a picture of my license plate. And shakes his fist and his head at me.
Finally, my pick up comes out in the man looks at her as if to realize “oh this is your ride?” She gets in the car and I ask her “what’s up with her neighbor” and she says “I’m so sorry he does that all the time whenever I get picked up he did that to my last driver (of color)”. She says he used to be in charge of our neighborhood watch and he always says it’s better to be safe than sorry even though I tell him all the time that I get picked up for rides. We continue the rest of the ride in silence.
Unfortunately I can’t say that this is a surprise however it does sadden me that this is something Black and Brown folks everyday of our lives. The fact that this man felt threatened by my very existence is ridiculous to me. I wasn’t doing anything wrong I was sitting in my car I was listening to FAITH HILL in my car in broad daylight. Doing everything that I was supposed to do and I am lucky that my story ended with me being able to drive away... other people in my community are not so lucky.
All of this is on the heels of the #bothamjean verdict. Perhaps you haven’t heard about the white female cop that mistakenly went into the wrong apartment thinking that it was hers and shot and killed him a black man in Dallas. She was arrested and charged guilty, however she’s only required to go to prison for 10 years. That’s CRAZY! She literally murdered someone in their OWN HOME that she walked into and only has to serve 10 years for her crime... that’s not even the amount of years he was alive! The disparity of fairness and equality for people of color is disportionitly swayed!
All I’m asking is for white folks to be held accountable to the same level as Black and Brown folks! For those who say, “make sure you’re careful” -how much more careful do I have to be when I’m not allowed to exist? For those who say “ I’m so sorry this happened to you” - don’t be sorry, take action, be an ally. Hold your race accountable!
All I’m asking is for Christians to stand up for justice... especially for BLACK PEOPLE! So when I post #BlackLivesMatter on my social media it’s because society tells us that it’s STILL evident that black life doesn’t matter. And as a Christian, if you can’t see that you’re part of the problem. YOU ARE FAILING all of us and the Christ we claim to represent.