Being Black In America


This package has been sitting outside my house for days now. Why? Because we are black. And yes, I’ll explain.
UPS mistakenly delivered this package to the wrong house. The address on the package is for a house just a block over, so we are waiting for UPS to pick up the package and deliver it to the right house.
“But Sean, why wouldn’t you be a decent person and just take the package to your neighbor? Or better yet, you have teenage sons. Send one of them. That’s the perk of having teenagers — free menial labor.”
The answer is because we’re black. And it’s extremely unsafe to send our boys to the home of any family that we don’t know in this predominantly white neighborhood.
Why? Because there is a realistic chance that one of my neighbors will see my boy as a threat and call the police or even pull a gun on him.
And if you think I’m being ridiculous or paranoid, Google “Brennan Walker,” a 14 yo black boy who earlier this month, missed the bus and tried to walk to school. He got lost and approached a house to ask for directions. The owners of this home were convinced that this 14 yo BOY had come to kill them (in broad daylight), causing the husband to pull out his gun and open fire on the fleeing BOY.
THAT is why this fucking package will be sitting on my porch until UPS retrieves it. Because I can’t trust that my white neighbors won’t see me, a Harvard-educated lawyer (or my 14 yo honor student son) as a roaming homicidal maniac.
THIS is what it’s like to be black in “post-racial” America.

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