Being black is a red alert in this country no matter what you’re doing
Clifford Harris Jr., better known by his name professional name T.I., is an American rapper who has achieved fame since the late-90s, releasing many popular singles and features in the world of music.
I bring this up because a man as famous as him should be recognized, especially in the vicinity of his own home. But that wasn’t the case as on Wednesday, May 16, he was arrested by police, called by a security guard, while trying to enter the gated community where he lives.
According to reports, Harris had forgotten his keys and ended up getting into an argument with the guard who would not let him inside. In response, Harris called his friend to help him, but both were arrested shortly thereafter. T.I. was charged with public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, and simple assault, while his friend was hit with an outstanding warrant.
The incident has prompted an upsurge in the hashtag #GoingHomeWhileBlack, which seeks to raise awareness for minorities being reported to the authorities while trying to get into their own home. It ties in with other social movements like “driving while black” and “Black Lives Matter,” but even then that is not enough. As The Washington Post’s Stacey Patton and Anthony Paul Farley pointed out, numerous calls have been made to law enforcement over nonsensical stuff:
“Here are the things that black people can’t do in the United States in 2018 without a white bystander calling the police on them: sit in a Starbucks coffee shop; eat at a Waffle House; work out at a gym; move into a new apartment at night; golf with friends; fly on a plane; barbecue at a park; shop for a prom outfit; buy a money order to pay the rent; check out of an Airbnb; or take a nap while studying at their Ivy League college campus.”
Related: Breitbart: it’s ‘So Offensive’ that Black Reporter Said How Trump Uses ‘Cultural Issues’ (Racism)
Fighting racial injustice means doing several things, including enforcing penalties against citizens making misleading police calls, instructing law enforcement to investigate situations with more clarity, and of course promoting incidents like this one so that the country as a whole becomes more cautious.
T.I. has been released from jail after posting a $2,250 bond, but the fact is he should never have been there in the first place. For the many innocent black men and women in this country that can’t even afford bail, this applies tenfold.
Image by Carla from Atlanta, Georgia/Wikimedia Commons