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J. relates a personal story of racism


Newly Human
Aug 11, 2010
The Joycemobile
From his Instagram:
jaugustrichards A number of years ago, I was helping a friend put an audition on tape. When I left his apartment complex, I was halfway to my car when I heard a voice behind me. I turned around and some guy said, “Where are you coming from?” I thought he might be flirting and I wasn’t interested so I just laughed and kept walking toward my car. He asked the question again. Dumbfounded, I repeated the question. “Where am I coming from?” He replied, “Yeah, which apartment?” Now, I’m thinking this is some jealous boyfriend so I said, “Have a nice day, man…” and started to get in my car. “I’m going to call the police!” he screamed and stood in a place that would make it impossible for me to drive off. I said, “You’re going to call the police? Why?” “I’m the manager and I demand to know which apartment you are coming from.” Y’all don’t know this side of me… By the time I finished cussing him out most of the neighborhood was observing the encounter. I did this not only because I was outraged but I needed to include as many witnesses as possible. At the top of my lungs, I made it known that he never identified himself as the manager and even if he had, I am under no obligation to disclose my whereabouts to a perfect stranger. He felt like he had the right to detain and interrogate a fellow private citizen simply because that citizen is black. As if that were not dehumanizing enough, my “friend” who I was there helping, heard the yelling, came from his apartment and told me to relax… “We’ve had a lot of break-ins lately.” Needless to say, I never saw or spoke to that person again. I am sharing this story to let you know that it doesn’t matter that I own a home in the very neighborhood where this took place, that I had been on several TV shows or that I was driving a car that would indicate I wasn’t there to rob the building… As black men, none of us are immune to being the next #AhmaudArbery, #GeorgeFloyd, #ChristianCooper the list goes on and on… #blacklivesmatter
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http://instagr.am/p/CAtNZSnDv6H/ [/QUOTE]
That's sad. Hope the comments he got were supportive.


Aug 18, 2016
Los Angeles, CA
I have recollections of Ving Rhames and Forest Whitaker have similar encounters. Whitaker was once accused of theft at a coffeehouse in New York. I think. Some neighbor of Rhames had called the cops on him.


Jul 29, 2016
Reading that account, it seems like one big case of miscommunication rather than "racism".

Firstly, at no point does the manager refer to J August Richard's race. In fact, JAR first thought the guy was trying to flirt with him. Racists tend to make it very clear when they dislike someone because of their skin colour.

Secondly, JAR seems to think the manager was gay. First with assuming the manager was trying to "flirt" with him, then assuming he was a "jealous boyfriend" then how the manager "screamed". Straight men tend to "yell" or "shout", not "scream" so the question is why does JAR think the manager is gay? Was it really obvious hence why JAR assumed he was trying to flirt?

Thirdly, the manager messed up by not identifying himself as the manager straight off, however at no point does JAR actually ask who the guy is, instead he assumes the guy is trying to flirt with him or that it's a jealous boyfriend. It only comes out when JAR asks why the police are being called. Adding on to that, JAR's answers to the question "where you coming from?" would come across as quite evasive which would seem quite suspicious, given that the manager has never seen him before (and is probably acquainted with all the residents in the apartments) and there have been a lot of break ins.

Fourth, JAR gets aggressive. Sure he's pissed off, but he's refusing to answer a simple question, he's being evasive and now he's getting aggressive when challenged over why he's there. To someone who isn't JAR, that would come across as suspicious behaviour. I'm not saying JAR should've just blurted out details but saying something like "I was just helping out a friend who lives here" would've been an adequate answer without giving anything away or at the very least de-escalated the situation. His first question should've been "who are you?"

Fifth, JAR seems to jump to the conclusion that the manager is hassling him because he's black. As I've said above, at no point does the manager mention JAR's race so why does JAR think it's a race issue. This is the kind of victim mentality that is perpetuated amongst the black community (not all subscribe to it but it's certainly the narrative that is currently being pushed), the idea that if someone has an issue with you, it must be because of your race and nothing else such as behaviour.

Sixth, JAR's friend came out and basically explained the manager's reaction "we've had a lot of break ins lately" and JAR decides he's never going to speak to that friend again. Why exactly? JAR jumped to the conclusion the manager was being "racist", calling the experience "dehumanizing" and obviously his friend's lack of "sympathy" (for lack of a better word) was enough to end that friendship for good.

Seventh, JAR seems to pull the "I drive a nice car, I own a house, I've been on tv, therefore it should be obvious that I'm not there to rob the place", it's almost one step away from going "don't you know who I am?" and the answer is clearly no.

This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion, but I think JAR overreacted (and it could possibly even be argued that JAR's friend's reaction suggests this was the case, given his lack of "sympathy") It was an unpleasant experience for JAR, there's no denying that, but it seems to be a result of miscommunication on BOTH sides and not an issue of racism. At no point does the manager mention or bring up JAR's race. JAR has assumed that the reason the manager is challenging him is because of his race and yet there is no definitive evidence of that. The manager hasn't commented on JAR's race (and you can guarantee JAR would've mentioned such a comment if it had been made) and we've only gotten one side of the story. There are several reasons why the manager could've felt the need to investigate such as he spotted someone unfamiliar on the lot and, given the recent break-ins, he thought he'd better just check out the situation. He obviously tried to come across friendly at first because JAR had assumed he was trying to "flirt" with him. It was then the miscommunication and JAR's "evasiveness" which escalated the situation. The manager may have received a call from a resident about a "suspicious" person on the premises and he felt it was his duty to check it out.

JAR finishes that "as black men, none of us are immune from being the next [insert name here]". Not committing crimes would be a good place to kickstart that immunity. Police don't go around arresting black people for being black, they go around arresting criminals. Not resisting arrest is also another way to avoid a tragic outcome. If you feel like you have been unjustly arrested for whatever reason, take it to court. There are lawyers who would gladly take the case if they truly believe there was wrong doing on the police's part. An easy win boosters their reputation, upping their success rate percentage which they can then show off to prospective clients.

The police being presented as some kind of boogeyman out to get black people for being black is a dangerous narrative that is being passed down from one generation to another and it is very possible that it could also be a contributing factor to why there is such conflicts between cops and black people. Think about it, if you've grown up being told that cops will kill you if they have the chance because of the colour of your skin and you believe that because you've not been told any different, then what do you think is going to happen when said person ends up in a situation where a cop is trying to arrest them? Flight or fight kicks in and they're going to start resisting arrest (though it should also be noted that criminals just don't want to be arrested). That's not the cop's fault, they're just trying to do their job and return home to their family in one piece, People need to stop making out that George Floyd was some innocent victim killed just for being black. He was a career criminal and had been in and out of prison his entire life. He didn't deserve to die and everybody has condemned Derek Chauvin for killing him. What is not okay is for his death to be used as an excuse for riots and other criminal behaviour under the pretence of "fighting police brutality and racism" when racism has nothing to do with it and the majority of cops are good people. Chauvin and Floyd had history with each other and there was a lot of animosity. Add in the fact that Floyd was high on Fentanyl and methamphetamine and had Covid at the time of his arrest, there are a lot of factors there that can cause death, his skin colour is not one of them.
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