Unless you really dislike Black people, the video shared by author Melissa DePino of two African descendants being arrested by Philadelphia police officers for simply sitting in a Starbucks in advance of a business meeting should be uncomfortable to watch.
But perhaps you don’t like Black people, but feel uncomfortable when presented with visual evidence that the post-racial-America phantom that was somehow activated on November 4, 2008 never actually walked among us after all.
Or who knows — you may be one of those “wait-the-facts-surrounding-the-arrests-are-not-yet-in” people.
I guess your position on the incident doesn’t really matter when you consider these probabilities: when you call the police to address some matter concerning an African descendant, there’s a relatively high likelihood that the subsequent encounter will end in the Black person getting arrested (5.6x more likely than Whites), physically assaulted (3.6x) or even killed (3.5x).
86-year old Black man who had early signs of dementia? Tased by police. He eventually died.
So, when you decide to call the police because you see Black people sitting in a tree talking to birds, or chilling on a park bench while wearing hoodies and enjoying a moment of spring like everyone else, ask yourself how far are you willing to take the outcome.
Do you want to see them dead?
Or simply hauled away to the nearest jail so that your perfectly-monochromed life can feel comfortable again?
Mind you — the outcome you want is never certain …
song currently stuck in my head: “the wad” – vels trio