Considering all the criticism about saggy pants, it's hilariously ironic that a Black kid would get arrested for buying a belt. #CantWin
— Dwayne Rodgers (@DiggsWayne) October 25, 2013
I’ll admit it. I laughed! And it was far more than a chuckle! However, I hate the fact that these “_____ while black” moments capture the national attention for a brief moment, only to be forgotten again as if the problem has been rectified. You will still be harassed as a black person if you are driving an expensive vehicle. You will still be harassed as a black person walking through an expensive neighborhood.
And now we’ve come to department stores. However, it is all the same. It is about America demanding black people stay where America is comfortable with them—any place that is substandard. Our clothes should not be as luxurious; our cars should not be as expensive; our homes should not be as pleasant; our jobs should not be as prestigious. And if they are? We will be abused for it—because it is suspicious. To be black and have something of quality is not considered normal. It is not considered right. It is America’s legal way of enforcing segregation, of reinforcing its not-so-secret caste system.
When I’d first heard briefly about the incidents at Barneys, having only headlines and photos to go by, I will admit that my first thoughts were not positive. I’d assumed Christian was the spoiled son of a rich mogul. I’d assumed Phillips was a ditzy mistress. Honestly, I would have assumed the same had the victims been white. (Note: had they been white, they would not have been victimized.) But America? America assumed they were thieves. To engage in a completely legal transaction and be considered a criminal for it is par for the course for African Americans.
We are guilty until proven innocent.