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21 Things You Can't Do While Black

 
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tatee View Drop Down
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    Posted: Feb 12 2014 at 4:00pm

21 Things You Can't Do While Black

In the United States, sometimes your skin color is evidence enough against you.

—By Lauren Williams

| Wed Feb. 12, 2014 3:00 AM GMT
529 iStock

Florida's second sensational, race-tinged murder trial in less than a year is underway. Michael Dunn, a white, 47-year-old software developer, shot and killed Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old African American, as the teen sat in an SUV with three friends. Charged with first-degree murder, Dunn is pleading self-defense under Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law. He contends that he argued with the teens (over what a witness says he called their "thug music") and fired on them after he claims he saw Davis brandish a shotgun. Police found no gun at the scene, and witnesses say Davis never had one.

Like the George Zimmerman trial, during which the self-styled neighborhood watchman successfully argued that he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in self-defense, Dunn's case has raised questions about Florida's broad self-defense law, racial profiling, and how the two issues intersect. Would Martin and Davis be alive if they weren't black? Would they have been afforded the benefit of the doubt by their killers if they had been white? Their deaths didn't happen in a vacuum. There's evidence that just being black in the United States is often all it takes to arouse suspicion. Here are 21 examples from the last five years of some of the things black people can't do without others thinking they're up to no good.

1. Listen to loud music at a gas station.

2. Walk home from a snack run to 7-11.

3. Wear a hoodie.

4. Drive after swimming.

5. Drive in a car with a white girl.

6. Appear in public in New York City.

7. Walk on the wrong side of the street.

8. Wait for a school bus to take you to your high school basketball game.

9. Drink iced tea in a parking lot.

10. Seek help after a car accident.

11. Inspect your own property.

12. Show up at your job.

13. Talk trash after an NFL game.  

14. Throw a temper tantrum in kindergarten.

15. Buy designer accessories at Barney’s.

16. Buy designer accessories at Macy’s.

17. Be a 13-year-old boy.

18. Enter your own home.

19. Botch a science experiment.

20. Be a tourist.

21. Lay face down in handcuffs.


Lauren Williams

Story Editor

Lauren Williams is the story editor in Mother Jones' Washington bureau. Follow her on Twitter. RSS | Twitter

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/02/21-things-you-cant-do-while-black


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livi123 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (11) Thanks(11)   Quote livi123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 12 2014 at 4:10pm
22. Breathe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote tatee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 12 2014 at 4:12pm
there's an article related to every example listed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote trudawg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 12 2014 at 4:21pm
aint this the truth!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote coconess Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 12 2014 at 4:31pm
23. (according to some bhm'ers) Cant eat fried chicken and watermelon in public 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote liesnalibis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 12 2014 at 4:39pm
Be a pretty woman or have long hair (or you're mixed, no matter how nappy it is smh)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote livi123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 12 2014 at 4:41pm
Originally posted by liesnalibis liesnalibis wrote:

Be a pretty woman or have long hair (or you're mixed, no matter how nappy it is smh)


Guuuuuuuuuurl.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lonisha87 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 12 2014 at 4:43pm
Its all sad and true
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (7) Thanks(7)   Quote kfoxx1998 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 12 2014 at 4:48pm
25-100 Be left the fck alone by yt people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (9) Thanks(9)   Quote carolina cutie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 12 2014 at 5:08pm
Show strong emotions without being labeled 'angry'.
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