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Tue Apr 17, 2018, 02:40 AM

Toure: Black Coffee and White Fear Make a Toxic Mix


Black Coffee and White Fear Make a Toxic Mix

Itís no mystery to me what happened in that Philadelphia Starbucks last week. Two black men were arrested after a few minutes of calmly, quietly sitting in a place that famously welcomes people to come and sit a while.

What happened is white fear entered the room. Those two people in the store somehow became frightening to the manager. Not because of what they did but because of what she saw. Witnessesówhite ones!ósay nothing happened to make the manager grow fearful, but white fear is so powerful it justifies itself. For some reason, the manager felt a need to get them out of her store as fast as possible. Because two black men were calmly, quietly sitting there, waiting for a friend.

White fear is a powerful force. Once in the bloodstream it can make calm black customers look scary. It can even make little black boys look scary. Ask Tamir Riceówell, you canít literally ask him because heís dead. He was 12 when he was shot and killed by 26 year-old police officer Timothy Loehmann in Cleveland in 2014 in a public park where he was playing with a toy gun. People were so scared of him that they called the police. He was killed within a few seconds of Officer Loehmannís arrival. Officers said they thought he was 18. They saw him as a nearly grown man when he was a little boy. Thatís what white-fear goggles can do.
...
If you think that all I need to do is follow the law and Iíll be fine I point you to Philando Castile, a licensed gun owner in a car with his family. He calmly informed an officer that he was armed. Castile was dead seconds later. John Crawford was holding a toy BB gun in a Walmart. Officers rushed in and shot him dead. I could go on.
...
Thatís a long way of saying I donít really know how to avoid white fear. Iíve seen white people leap to call the police over small interactions where no crime was being committed. If white-fear goggles can make sitting in Starbucks look like criminal behavior what chance do I have to make it through the rest of my day?

Iím scared out of my mind right now.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/black-coffee-and-white-fear-made-a-toxic-mix-at-that-philadelphia-starbucks

24 replies, 1273 views

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply Toure: Black Coffee and White Fear Make a Toxic Mix (Original post)
EffieBlack Apr 2018 OP
betsuni Apr 2018 #1
Cha Apr 2018 #2
Stellar Apr 2018 #22
tblue37 Apr 2018 #3
Arkansas Granny Apr 2018 #4
oasis Apr 2018 #5
sheshe2 Apr 2018 #6
Demsrule86 Apr 2018 #7
redstatebluegirl Apr 2018 #8
malaise Apr 2018 #9
brer cat Apr 2018 #10
SallyHemmings Apr 2018 #11
BumRushDaShow Apr 2018 #12
OneGrassRoot Apr 2018 #13
HipChick Apr 2018 #14
7wo7rees Apr 2018 #15
Cha Apr 2018 #17
Cha Apr 2018 #16
Cal Carpenter Apr 2018 #18
BumRushDaShow Apr 2018 #19
EffieBlack Apr 2018 #23
EffieBlack Apr 2018 #20
WhiskeyGrinder Apr 2018 #21
tulipsandroses Apr 2018 #24

Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 03:57 AM

1. K&R

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 04:17 AM

2. That's a powerful essay

by Toure. Reminding us of many of the innocent killings of African Americans, by the police, as an example of White Fear. I see why he knows that's what happened at Starbucks in Philadelphia.

"Itís like my skin is a time bomb and white people hold the button. I never know what will make them push it and set off the explosion."

Thank you, Effie

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Response to Cha (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 10:33 AM

22. and killed with impunity...

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 04:46 AM

3. K&R for visibility. nt

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 05:22 AM

4. K & R

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 06:26 AM

5. K and R

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 06:36 AM

6. K and R

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 06:53 AM

7. +1000

Excellent.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 07:08 AM

8. K&R

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 07:10 AM

9. Yes indeed

Rec

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 07:32 AM

10. K&R

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 07:41 AM

11. Living while Black

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 07:51 AM

12. Yes and yes!

As a black female, "white fear" means I must move carefully and with exaggeration when opening my pocketbook in a store to pull out a shopping list lest I be targeted as a shoplifter. This is literally EVERY TIME I go in a store and has been done by me for the past 4 decades.

It's a wonder that more of us aren't suffering from PTSD.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 09:04 AM

13. K&R n/t

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 09:05 AM

14. K&R

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 01:51 PM

15. K&R

No blacks here now! It is safe. Come on in to meet your friends now.

FUCK STARBUCKS

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Response to 7wo7rees (Reply #15)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 05:19 PM

17. Wow

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 05:18 PM

16. ..

Thanks again, Effie

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 05:46 PM

18. This happens ALL THE TIME

White Fear takes over. Cops, citizens, all day everywhere.

Case in point: A friend of mine called the cops for HELP because a woman refused to leave his house and she became violent. After 45 minutes talking to the cops HE got charged for domestic violence! He is the gentlest dude you've ever met and I've seen him de-escalate situations. He is 5 ft 10 inches and less then 200 lbs. The cop's report said he was 6'2" and 230 or more pounds!! What is that? WHITE FEAR

Case in point: I run a small business in a commercial shopping center. The parking lot gets full. The landlords hired a (black) guy to walk around the plaza and the parking lot to make sure people weren't parking there to go to other places (which is common - there is a huge facility across the road with limited and expensive parking). Day 2 I notice this guy is around a lot and I introduce myself and ask if he's the new parking monitor. He says yeah, I'm the guy the landlord hired to check for parking problems. Cool. As I get to know him in the following weeks he tells me he appreciates that I just introduced myself and asked about him because one of the other (white) tenants CALLED THE COPS on him for being suspicious. Hmmm, what makes him suspicious? Who the FUCK would call cops on a black guy in this day and age, knowing what the outcome could be? Why wouldn't they just ASK him what he's doing? WHITE FEAR of black men.

So fucked up. And I live in a liberal bubble where most white people would tell you there is no problem with racism. It's BULLSHIT. I have a very diverse group of customers and the nature of the business means we talk about lots of personal stuff and race comes up a lot. Whether someone is a high school kid or an M.D., rich or poor, tons of PoC tell me stories of racism from the micro-aggressions while shopping or whatever to the terrible police situations that are all based in racism.

WHITE FEAR is the problem. Black people are not. And, to my fellow privileged white folks, if you aren't overtly and consciously anti-racist you may as well be in the KKK. For real. There is no more playing dumb. Silence is complicity.

Sorry, apparently needed to do some ranting today.

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Response to Cal Carpenter (Reply #18)

Tue Apr 17, 2018, 08:48 PM

19. Righteous rant!

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Response to Cal Carpenter (Reply #18)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 11:18 AM

23. It does, indeed. And each time it happens, apologists focus attention on just that incident

and then pick it apart to try to convince us that THAT one wasn't REALLY about race.

Several years ago, my cousin was using his credit card to purchase some items when the store clerk decided he couldn't be the rightful card owner - although my cousin is black, he's often mistaken for a Latino and the clerk assumed the Anglo-sounding name on his card meant that the card wasn't his, that it was therefore stolen and called the card in. My cousin got tired of waiting, took the card back and walked out of the store. Whereupon the store clerk chased him, jumped him in the parking lot, yelling to store security he needed help. They roughed him up and pinned him down to the ground. When the police arrived, sirens blaring and guns drawn, the clerk said my cousin had tried to use a stolen credit card and then assaulted him, snatched back the card and tried to flee the store. The police immediately handcuffed him, threw him into the back of the squad car and took him to jail where they charged him with attempted theft, possession of stolen property, disorderly conduct and, of course, resisting arrest.

Fortunately, for him - and unfortunately for the cops, the store and the city - my cousin came from a family full of lawyers (including a few civil rights lawyers and a couple of judges) and more than a few white people, so he was able to have his rights vindicate pretty quickly and substantially. But had he not been so well connected, he probably would still be in jail. All on the word of a racist store clerk who knew that the police would believe him and do exactly what he wanted because he said so.

Yet, when I tell people this story, I often get it whitesplained to me about how this really had nothing to do with race.

And this is just one of so many personal examples I and my family and friends have experienced only to be told that we are overreacting, we're "making everything about race" "we don't understand policing," etc.

I call bullshit on the excuses.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 10:26 AM

20. Kicking

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 10:27 AM

21. K&R for the TRUTH.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 02:00 PM

24. Powerful article

Its all too real.

There are times I am angry and there are times when I find it so comical- I am standing in a store with a young clerk sneering at me, or following me around and I here I stand with 3 degrees under my belt, pursuing a 4th, knowing how much money I have in my bank account and you think I am about to steal this $20 item? Seriously?

I am looking at you, judging you, thinking here you are working this retail job, making minimum wage or little above it and you have the damn nerve to somehow think I am less than?
I don't think that your worth is in how much money you make. I just find it interesting that assumptions are being made that I am about to steal something by folks that I make 3-4 times what they make yearly.

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