Standing While Black

Former tennis pro James Blake was standing outside of the New York hotel he was staying in when he was ambushed by a plain-clothes police officer and tackled to the ground.

Why? Because he “fit the description” of a fraud suspect.

I could possibly understand if Blake fled the scene. I could maybe understand if the officer was in uniform and approached Blake like an officer of the law should. None of that was the case; instead, a thug with a badge attacked a man whose only crime was standing while black, robbing him of his dignity and perpetuating the stereotype that black men are criminals.

There’s no excuse for a cop, in or out of uniform, to tackle someone who isn’t fleeing the scene.

It’s a sad day for every person of color when they realize that it doesn’t matter how clean their record is or how many degrees they have; the reality is that we could easily “fit the description” just for existing.

We can pretend like this bias doesn’t exist, but that would be the easy way out. We need to continue to talk about these things and demand change; otherwise, they will continue to happen.