This week has been a catastrophe for Blackness. Two men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, were killed by police officers within 24 hours of each other. Neither had committed a crime that was punishable by death nor did they put any officers lives at risk. It’s inexcusable, unjustifiable, and is perpetuated by a system that disproportionately targets Black Men. Then in the same week, police officers in Dallas were killed during an otherwise peaceful protest about those killings.
In another sector of the internet this week, a mobile game called Pokémon Go was released. Being of the geekish human variety, I was inexplicably excited about this game. They were giving me a chance to catch ’em all once again, this time in the real world using an obvious combination of technology and magic. I downloaded it immediately when I saw the news of its release.
I spent less than 20 minutes outside. Five of those minutes were spent enjoying the game. One of those minutes I spent trying to look as pleasant and nonthreatening as possible as I walked past a somewhat visibly disturbed white woman on her way to the bus stop. I spent the other 14 minutes being distracted from the game by thoughts of the countless Black Men who have had the police called on them because they looked “suspicious” or wondering what a second amendment exercising individual might do if I walked past their window a 3rd or 4th time in search of a Jigglypuff.
When my brain started combining the complexity of being Black in America with the real world proposal of wandering and exploration that is designed into the gamplay of Pokémon Go, there was only one conclusion. I might die if I keep playing.
I would please ask people read the article before posting. I know there's a lot that I quoted above to read but I think it would help the thread if everyone read the entire piece to get the context.
-There is a statistically disproportionate chance that someone could call the police to investigate me for walking around in circles in the complex.
-There is a statistically disproportionate chance that I would be approached by law enforcement with fear or aggression, even when no laws have been broken.
-There is a statistically disproportionate chance that I will be shot while reaching for my identification that I always keep in my back right pocket.
-There is a statistically disproportionate chance that more shots will be fired and I will be dead before any medical assistance is available
Let’s just go ahead and add Pokémon Go to the extremely long list of things white people can do without fear of being killed, while Black people have to realistically be wary.
Honestly, I wish this was a joke post or satire of some sort. It isn’t. Something needs to change.