Being black is hella rewarding, but it can also be exhausting. After a series of racially motivated events at Starbucks, Waffle House and a Pennsylvania golf course, Twitter user Black Aziz aNANsi created the #livingwhileblack hashtag for people to share their stories of racial discrimination.
Black people – Have you ever had the cops called on you for some innocuous reason? Let's talk about it. Caption your response with the hashtag #LivingWhileBlack .
— ✊????Black Aziz aNANsi✊???? (@Freeyourmindkid) April 21, 2018
The hashtag quickly caught on, and people throughout the Twitterverse shared disheartening and relatable stories of being punished for being black in a public space.
Here are some of the harrowing tales that further prove how we can be denigrated for simply existing:
1. You can become a target in Target:
At a target one night, playing the demos. Manager called state police on me. They surrounded me and made me show my ID. Turns out they were looking for an escaped con who "looked like me."
— Ian ???? (@CribbinsMH) April 24, 2018
2. Canada isn't immune to anti-blackness:
I know a lot of the #LivingWhileBlack tweets are mainly American experiences. As a Canadian, mine mostly happened in Canada because we also have racism and colorism here. It’s everywhere! Don’t let the kind Canadian stereotype fool you.
— MaggIvy *April’s Fool* ???? (@MaggIvy) April 24, 2018
3. Those calling 911 can be crazier than their perceived perpetrator:
While parked I saw this dude running towards me screaming in the phone that a black man w/ a knife was after him. The black man he was talking about was walking in the opposite direction 2 get away from him. Had 2 call the police 2 report that he was lying #LivingWhileBlack
— NOT Maxine 😉 (@ByMaxxAlexis) April 24, 2018
4. Black person + small Dog + nice neighborhood = dog walker:
I was out walking my dog ( a yorkie) in my upper middle class community. I have on t-shirt, sweatpants, sneakers. Just strolling. A fellow neighbor stops and asks what are my dog walking rates. I say " I normally dont charge myself to walk my dog on my street"
— Kristyn T. Fisher (@Kierstyn_Epic) April 24, 2018
5. "Ain't that about a b*tch?" — Beyonce
My best friend (BW) newly moved to an upscale community with her white husband. After a week of walking their twins daily, 3 white women walk up and ask, how long has she nannied, and when do they get to meet the wife of the hot guy that just moved in? ????????????
— Kristyn T. Fisher (@Kierstyn_Epic) April 24, 2018
6. A sobriety test can be taken….for root beer and cream soda:
My friends and I went fishing at a park we brought sandwiches and IBC root beer and cream soda someone called the cops on us saying we were underage drinking. the cops still gave us all sobriety test even after they saw it was soda and not beer. #LivingWhileBlack
— Doogy69 (@MyDoog69) April 24, 2018
7. It doesn't matter if you're trying to save a person's life:
Im a Black Firefighter called to a carbon monoxide emergency. While checking other apartments for the poisonous gas I was refused entry. The woman asked me for ID. I had full FF gear on helmet & air cylinder. She then said let me see if fire trucks are outside. #LivingWhileBlack
— Jon Logan (@nagoLnoJ) April 24, 2018
8. Maybe it's a fold-away bike that pedals itself?:
I once got pulled over by the cops bc they were looking for a black man who robbed a store but he was on a bike…..and I was in a car….which I wasn’t driving and had just got off work….with 3 white ppl in the car…I can’t even ride a bike!!! #LivingWhileBlack
— IceKareemy (@IceKareemy) April 24, 2018
9. Black kids can't be kids; they're mini-adults:
Playing basketball at the school court on a Sunday evening. Undercovers pulled up and said we were breaking in. Guns drawn, said "I'll blow your brains out." Went to school the next day as normal. I was 14.#LivingWhileBlack
— Allen K. (@AllenK_81) April 24, 2018
10. Did they want her firstborn and a blood oath too?:
I went to deposit a check, the teller ask for my ID, and 2 additional forms of identification, I told her I had never heard of that policy, and before I could say anything else the armed bank security cards had their guns pointed at me asking me to leave. #LivingWhileBlack
— Ashantaé ???????? (@anseaborne) April 24, 2018
11. Did they need this copy during hiring or nah?:
One day, I asked my Boss for a raise.
Boss: Ok. Bring me a copy of your degree. (To verify that I graduated college)
Later found out that a (not black) co worker had asked for a raise & the answer was.. Oh… Sure, it will reflect on your next paycheck. #LivingWhileBlack
— Sammie (@DrPeligrosa) April 24, 2018
12. Drugs…at a daycare, though?:
My ex wife & I dropped our son off at his grandmother's daycare one morning, walked half a block and were surrounded by cops. They claimed somebody called & said we just bought drugs. Total humiliation in front of neighbors and daycare clients for nothing. #LivingWhileBlack
— Black Fathers Inc. (@blackfathersinc) April 24, 2018
13. No words:
When you go to the hospital for a cancerous cyst on your kidney get released and they make you walk out and the white valet dude ignores you while holding full conversations and fetching white people's cars who came out much after you did.#livingwhileblack
— Tea_n_the_shade (@teantheshade) April 23, 2018
14. We can't call the police without being policed:
The cop "searched" me while his partner went into 7/11 so she didn't have to see. Then he asked me if I really thought the cabbie should go to jail for what he did. I told him I didn't want it to happen again & he asked if the cabbie deserved jail though. #LivingWhileBlack
— Edgar Allan Hoe (@ladyblovebytes) April 21, 2018
15. Or be the police, for that matter:
I'm a black cop. On the scene of a shooting one night. Using a flashlight to look for bullet casings between houses to collect as evidence. Dispatch gets a call of a suspicious looking black male in "police clothes" using a flashlight to "look into ppls houses" #LivingWhileBlack
— BlazinBajan (@BlazinBajan) April 22, 2018
This is a shame.