As a public service of I Should Be Laughing, I’d like to direct y’all to the wise words of one Marcia Courson; now, I don’t know Ms., Courson personally, but I’m guessing she’s a white lady because she has come up with the most radical solution for black men being shot by police while standing in their backyards on their cell phones, a la Stephon Clark … or having the gall to drive through town with a broken taillight, a la Philando Castile … or the walking away from a police officer in a menacing manner, a la Walter Scott … and so many more that I cannot even mention them all.
Marcia Courson’ solution, and I’ll let her say it, as she wrote in in her column for The River Valley Times, a community newspaper in Rancho Murieta, a gated community near Sacramento:
"Hard to know what a young man wandering the streets at night might be up to and if he has a gun. Police have to be careful not to overreact, and you black men might be better off at home after a certain hour."
There you have it black men of America: stay home. See, if you go out after dark, well, you run the risk of being shot while black, arrested while black, profiled while black. So, stay at home and let the evenings belong to the white people, for your own good.
River Valley Times publisher Dave Herburger takes responsibility for allowing Courson’s column to run but acknowledges that it was "a complete miss" on his part because, since the paper's editor was out because of a family illness, he didn’t bother to read the column before it published; now he says:
"It connotes Nazi Germany. Having a race-based curfew is totally unacceptable."
It also connotes a society of victim blaming; black men get shot because they leave their homes at night, so it’s their own damned fault.
Herburger says Courson is writing a response that would run in the next edition and that she’s "very apologetic." But Courson is not responding to any requests for comments.
Perhaps she should have read her column before submitting it; perhaps she, as a white woman who has no idea what discrimination feels like … she is not followed through department stores by salespeople thinking she’s gonna steal something …she doesn’t have people crossing streets to avoid her … she doesn’t have to worry about being shot while holding her phone … or driving … or walking … or talking … or ….
She doesn’t have to worry about being arrested while waiting on a friend in a Starbucks.
I cannot speak about racism from the standpoint of full understanding because, yeah, I’m white, but I can speak on racism from the standpoint of someone who sees all sorts of problems with suggesting that if black men want to avoid being shot by rogue, overzealous, undertrained, perhaps even racist, police officers, then, quite simply, stay home. Lock the doors.
Cuz if you’re outside while black, then there’s no telling what might happen.
Courson will no longer be writing for her local paper.