This past weekend I went to Miami for a girl’s trip. I wanted to take a few photos for my Instagram, so we went out really early Sunday morning. When my friend Tiana snapped this pic of me, I was outside of a home decor store in The Shops at Pembroke Gardens. Thinking it's a Sunday and I'm not bothering anyone I looked at the items through the window. When I turned around, I noticed a white woman in her car on the phone looking at me. I figured that she was the store owner or at least a manager. Not thinking anything of it, I kept walking and we kept taking pictures. We went for a cup of coffee then came back to the strip. When we were about to leave all of a sudden the police was there asking if she was okay. I was trying to ignore them because I didn’t want to jump to conclusions, but when the police officer saw us with my camera, I couldn't help but notice that he rolled his eyes in annoyance like he was saying, "Seriously this is what you called me for?" Thankfully the officer never approached us and we were free to go.
Sadly, this experience isn’t anything new. I've encountered racism before and I've seen the news stories about white women calling the police on innocent black people. I even got sick of it and refused to give them any publicity. But at some point, there needs to be consequences for these actions. Elizabeth "Duffy" Johnson, Permit Patty, BBQ Becky, Golfcart Gail, the Georgia woman, and Cornerstone Caroline, these women shouldn’t be allowed to hide behind their despicable cowardly actions. Even if I waned to buy any of her overpriced, moderate designed items, I wouldn’t after that kind of treatment.
Many years ago, my father was surrounded by police officers and sheriffs when he went to the bank with some friends because people thought it was strange that 5 black men in a van would go to the bank in Ft. Lauderdale. It's disturbing to have the police called on you for simply taking pictures in a public space while being black. In America, I’m more than aware of how quickly these situations can escalate and go wrong. I wanted so badly to approach her about the it but I was going to church afterwards (Church By The Glades) and just wanted to be at peace. Living While Black is a serious problem and most encounters don’t end well.