Programming note: To learn more about #livingwhileblack, watch “United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell” on Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
It’s happened yet again.
An African-American guest at a Portland hotel says staffers called police on him after he took a phone call in the lobby – an incident many observers see as another in a dispiriting and all-too-familiar series.
In 2018, police across the United States have been urged to investigate black people for doing all kinds of daily, mundane, noncriminal activities.
This year alone, police have been called on African-Americans for:
Waiting for a friend at Starbucks
Napping in a university common room
Not waving while leaving an Airbnb
Selling bottled water on a sidewalk
Eating lunch on a college campus
Riding in a car with a white grandmother
Babysitting two white children
Wearing a backpack that brushed against a woman
And these are just the incidents that CNN has reported. There are no doubt many others.
A review of news headlines this year shows that police were also called on other people of color. But it seemed to happen most often to black people: black people just going about their business.