Tag Archives: racial profiling

Black People Don’t Tip (2014)

tipforsite

Picture this:

You and some friends or family go out to eat for dinner. After waiting for a table for however long, your party is called for the next available one. You are finally seated. Your throat is parched and you and the people you’re with are all ready to put those drink orders in. You look around at the waiters and the waitresses scurrying about, wondering which one will be taking care of you for the evening.

Five minutes pass, you start to look at your watch. You have somewhere to be after dinner, but you’re certain this meal won’t interfere with your plans. Ten minutes go by, still no waitress or waiter and the people that came in after you already have drinks and are about to place their food orders.

More time passes without any service. “Did they forget about us?” you wonder, even amidst the here and again eye contact some of the wait staff makes with you and your party. And amidst the laughter and jovial atmosphere of the restaurant, a half-enthused waitress with a fake smile dishes out the fakest greeting to your table. She takes your drink orders and goes into the back.

Several minutes later, you get your drinks and as you ask questions about the menu, her artificial smiles starts to fade and her she-can-take-you-or-leave-you attitude sets in. You’re ready to tell her a thing or two (if you know what I mean), but you don’t want to get ghetto and loud in the restaurant. You look over to your right, and the family that came in 2 parties after you is finishing their meal.

“If this food don’t come in the next few minutes, I’m going to miss out on my plans,” you think to yourself. You look around and see the other waiters and waitresses engaging in conversation with customers at other tables, looking lively and happy to serve. Your waitress is one of them. You look up and your food is (finally) at your table.

You eat in a hurry, trying to stay on your schedule for the night. You notice your mashed potatoes are a little cold. The manager is going up to each table, asking customers about their food and their experience. You wonder if you’ll literally be able to voice your complaint about your cold food, because your mouth is so dry. After all, your waitress never gave you a refill on your drink.

The manager walks by, skips your table, and asks the next table about their dining experience. You hear glasses clanging from the refills of other tables and as you look down at the ice melting in your empty cup, and as you begin to realize that the establishment has not deemed you a priority, the check is dropped onto the table.

Now you tell me, what’s that tip supposed to look like?

Often, black people are assumed to be non-tippers and are treated accordingly before they even get to the table…heck, before they arrive at the restaurant — which often translates to no treatment at all.

Numbers don’t lie, but they don’t tell the whole story.

(2014; from the TBTB archives)

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17 Honest Thoughts of a Black Woman after Watching that Walter Scott Video

Walter Scott 2 EDIT

(Inspired by Darnell Moore’s 17 Honest Thoughts of a Black Man after Watching that Walter Scott Video)

1.   I am extremely thankful for this video, because had this not been recorded, who knows if the truth (the fact that Walter Scott was another fallen soldier in the war on black men) would have had half a chance of being heard.

2.   I also regret that this video has surfaced, because it’s another grim reminder of my reality – more times than not, it seems that a penny with a whole in it may even be worth more than my brown skin. Our brown skin.

3.   The video makes me a little uneasy, because they contain the last few seconds of Mr. Scott’s life. He didn’t leave his house that day knowing a police officer was going to gun him down from behind and try to frame him for his own murder (the cop alleged he fired shots at Scott because he took his Taser, while the video actually shows the officer planting an object next to his dead body…presumably, the Taser). He didn’t say ‘hey, if I’m gunned down like an animal today over a traffic stop while running away from the officer, please share/ do not share the video of my brutal death.’ We don’t know if Scott would have wanted his last breaths posted all over the likes of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. And we’ll never know.

4.   Should I be thinking more about number 3? Do I need to ask my father, nephew, significant other, cousins and friends about it? The question would be something like “In the chance that a police officer decides to treat your black body as a target on the gun range, do you want the video evidence to go viral?” Should this very question be incorporated into every black man’s will and testament?

5.   As a woman, I feel the sudden urge to hug and embrace every single black man I know. Because I want them to know that I love them. And that there is no one else like them on this planet.

6.   His family. I’m thinking about his family. His mother, his father, his brother, his 4 children and more. No verdict or civil suit or amount of money will right this wrong or bring back this man. This is a hurt and a loss beyond my comprehension. I will be praying for them before I go to sleep tonight.

7.   And am also thinking about my own family. My parents get profiled by the police a lot and it scares me. I asked a panel of police officers at a police/ community event if my parents should ditch their foreign cars to avoid being stopped. The officers looked at me like I was crazy – but what’s crazy is that this has to be a legit concern of mine.

8.   What scares me more is thinking about the possibility of something like what happened to Walter Scott happening to one of my loved ones.

9.   But what scares me the most is what I’m capable of doing in retaliation, if such an injustice was put upon a loved one of mine.

10.   I am amazed at the comfort level of the officer that killed Scott. From when he shot him, to when he planted the “object” next to his lifeless body, to when his back up came and saw what had happened, to when he checked his pulse and realized Scott was dead – this guy looks as cool as a cucumber. If that’s not evil, I don’t know what is.

11.   I have a nephew and he’s growing up by the day. He’s one of the smartest boys I know. How should his parents explain this incident (and the plethora of known incidents of ‘death of the black male by open season’) to him so that he is cautious, yet empowered? Enlightened but not defeated? Alert but not afraid? How can a child be a child and feel safe, survive and thrive in a world where people he doesn’t even know and haven’t even met have labeled him a threat to them?

12.   I’m sitting here wondering, as a black woman, how can I be more supportive of black men? You are an endangered species and I’m one of your biggest admirers. Tell me how to be a better advocate. Let’s lean on each other and be there for one another.

13.   Those eight gunshots. That drop to the ground. That agonizing pain. Is Scott’s murderer ever going to feel this pain or anything comparable? Is prison or even the death penalty enough punishment for him and other murderous cops?

14.   I have to then remind myself that number 13 isn’t up to me or anyone else at the end of the day. God don’t like ugly and He will handle it the best way He sees fit.

15.   I hope and pray this is being brought up in classrooms, workplaces and dinner tables across the nation and across the world — especially in South Carolina. Everyone – no matter who you are or where you stand in this case, deserves a chance to vent and process this tragedy. Its therapeutic, it’s healthy and it’s needed.

16.   I wonder how this era – the exposure of the war on black men – will be recounted in schools, in textbooks and in other ways, if it’s even remembered at all. Only time will tell.

17.   I wonder how many more days until time stands still again, when we hear about another Walter Scott.

#theBlackertheHistory — “So Far”

So Far

by Corey Jackson

So Far pic

Source: Vanguard Magazine

So far we have come

But yet so far we….

So far we have to go

This place, America

Has put us

In a tough place.

Instead of teaching

Our young men

How to prosper

How to thrive

In success

The parents are

Teaching how to survive

In the streets

The educators are

Preaching how to survive

In the classroom

From grades

And other educators

For a lack

of knowledge of either

Could result

In the preacher presiding

Over their homegoing.

So far we have come

But yet so far we….

So far we have to go

In the same conversation

That we show optimism

That as a black male

You could lead this country

We have to be realistic

That as a black man

You are destined

To face adversity

In nearly every thing

You do.

The climb up

that steep hill

Of justice and equality

Is as difficult

As the hills

Dr. King climbed

In Alabama

The difference is

Those hills of the sixties

Of rock and stone

Are now composed

of Red Clay

For it is much

Harder for those

Who made those hills

To wash off

their Filthy hands

of injustice.

So far we have come

But yet so far we…

So far we have to go

As the list of

Slain black males climb

We must fall

Fall to the realization

That tough roads

Are Ahead

The same groups

That support and

Protect you

Also have people

Who are there

To hate

and destroy you.

Society and

Those who

Interpret society’s laws

Have shown

To be dangerous.

Our people killing

Our people over

Items of monetary value

Our protectors killing

Our people over

Assumptions of actions

of crime and civility.

Young Brown, Young Martin

The martyrs of

America’s Choice

To make a major problem

Into a minor incident.

This generation

And those to come

Must learn how

To live

Not in fear

But intelligence

Be smart, be aware

Be understanding

The circumstance.

Black history

Of America’s past

Is still present today.

So far we have come

But yet so far we…

So far we have to go

CJ

Corey Jackson is an educator and former University of Richmond football player who believes that the fight for racial justice and equality is far from over.