Add Phone Calls in Public to the List of Things that are Illegal While Black



It was just three days before Christmas when Jermaine Massey, a guest from Kent, Washington, staying at a Doubletree hotel in Portland called his mother from the hotel lobby after noticing he missed her call earlier. A white security guard confronted him and told him that he was trespassing. Massey immediately began to capture the incident from his cellphone. Even after Massey showed the security guard his room key proving that he was a guest, but once the police arrived and told him that he had to go because he posed a "security threat" to the other guests, yes, you read that right.



Massey was escorted out of the building by the police, and another silver lining (man I hope y'all can read my sarcasm) is that the encounter with the police wasn't hostile, the officers even offered to help Massey find another hotel. I can only imagine the intensity felt by Massey, the same intensity that we all feel especially when '12' is called. Thankfully, the situation didn't escalate, which sounds more like the best worst-case scenario for Massey.

“I’m afraid to just do normal things now,” Mr. Massey said in an interview with the New York Times, calling the encounter racial profiling. Photo courtesy of CNN.

We've heard so many stories of black people getting the police called on them, getting arrested or even killed for doing "normal things." Whether it was barbecuing in the park, babysitting or cheering for your kids at their sports games, black people had to suffer the embarrassment of "misunderstandings" because yt-pee-po were uncomfortable or had an illegitimate fear of black people.


I live in a suburb outside of Atlanta, and anytime I need do things at night like take out the trash or go to my car, I'm always conscious of how I'm dressed and may be perceived. I'm six-foot-four and weigh over two-hundred pounds. In the daytime, neighbors look at me and think I play for the Falcons. But at night, they may think I'm OJ Simpson with a vendetta. So even if it's raining, I might not put my hoodie over my head, or if I'm walking down the street, I may make enough noise to be heard and seen as to not look like someone that's creeping. Crazy precautions I know, and I know my white male neighbors don't have to think about things like that. Why should I have to go far out my way to make them feel comfortable off their false perception of me?


Photo courtesy of CNN

The real silver lining of this story is that the security guard and hotel manager were fired for the incident. Also, Jermaine Massey has lawyered up, hiring an attorney to sue the socks off of the Doubletree. I hope he gets so much that he becomes the new owner of the hotel.




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