When will white people in this country just let Black people LIVE THEIR LIVES? When? The daily indignities we rain down on Black people never ceases to enrage. The tiniest percentage of them make the news. Here's the latest (reported, anyhow.)
Paul McCowns attempted to cash his paycheck in a branch of Huntington Bank that was located in a grocery store in Brooklyn, Ohio. He idn't have an account with Huntington Bank, so, as per bank policy, he provided them with two forms of ID: his driver's license and his social security card. He even offered his fingerprints as proof of identity. For the check that had his name on it from his employer.
Not one, but two bank tellers refused to cash the check. Continued to question his identity, called his employer (who didn't answer the phone,) and said they needed to confer in the back. Then they asked him to wait where he was while they went to the back of the bank. He got pissed off and left. When he left, guess what happened:
(a) Cops pulled up and arrested him.
(b) Cops pulled up and arrested him.
(c) Cops pulled up and arrested him.
If you picked any of the choices above, congratulations. You have been paying attention to what life is like for ordinary Black people in America. That's right, for the egregious crime of doing absolutely everything he was supposed to do according to bank policy, the law, and society, he was STILL PUT IN HANDCUFFS AND THE BACK OF A POLICE CRUISER.
Can you please, just for a moment, close your eyes and think about that on a deeper level than "Man, that sucks." Are you worried that the next thing that happens is he gets openly agitated or physically abused by the police? You wouldn't be wrong to think that. It doesn't happen to be the case, this time, but know this. When white people call the police on Black people, they are very likely ensuring brutality will ensue.
Fortunately (and I use that term loosely, since none of this scenario is fortunate) for Mr. McCowns, the police also attempted to contact his employer, who did pick up the phone.
“My employer said, ‘Yes, he works for me, he just started and, yes, my payroll company does pay him that much,’” McCowns said. The police released him, and the bank apologized. He described the incident as highly embarrassing. I don't know his feelings for a fact, but in addition to embarrassing, I'd imagine this experience was enraging. But we all know how police and society view an enraged Black man, no matter how justified the rage. So if he was feeling that way, he is damn sure pressured to keep that under wraps. But how would YOU feel?
All Mr. McCowns was doing was cashing his paycheck, following every rule of the bank to. the. letter. As one commenter on this cutting article from The Root pointed out,