Viral Facebook post about a package shows what it's really like to be black in America

Viral Facebook post about a package shows what it's really like to be black in America
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A few months back, a simple mistake by UPS presented an opportunity to make an important statement about the state of being black in America in 2018.

Sean Carter, a Harvard-educated lawyer in Arizona, received a UPS package on his doorstep that was supposed to be delivered to one of his neighbors.

Carter lives in a predominantly white neighborhood.

Instead of simply dropping the package of at the correct address, he called the shipping company and requested it pick the package up for redelivery.

He created a Facebook post about his decision and it has stoked a meaningful conversation about race in America. Since, it’s received over 80,000 comments and 123,000 shares.

This package has been sitting outside my house for days now. Why? Because we are black. And yes, I’ll explain. UPS...

Posted by Sean Carter on Saturday, April 28, 2018

At first glace it seems like Carter is being rude, but at a time when black men are still seen as an existential threat by many, Carter wouldn’t put his or his son’s lives at risk.

Here's excerpt from Carter's post.

“But Sean, why wouldn’t you be a decent person and just take the package to your neighbor? Or better yet, you have teenage sons. Send one of them. That’s the perk of having teenagers — free menial labor.”

The answer is because we’re black. And it’s extremely unsafe to send our boys to the home of any family that we don’t know in this predominantly white neighborhood.

Why? Because there is a realistic chance that one of my neighbors will see my boy as a threat and call the police or even pull a gun on him.

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For those who think Carter is overacting, he cites the recent story of Brennan Walker, a 14-year-old black boy who missed the school bus, so he walked up to a stranger's house to ask for directions. The person pulled out a gun and fired on Walker as he ran from the doorstep.

THAT is why this fucking package will be sitting on my porch until UPS retrieves it. Because I can’t trust that my white neighbors won’t see me, a Harvard-educated lawyer (or my 14 yo honor student son) as a roaming homicidal maniac.

THIS is what it’s like to be black in “post-racial” America.

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Carter was invited on CNN to discuss his post and why it resonates with so many people.


Carter's entire post:

This package has been sitting outside my house for days now. Why? Because we are black. And yes, I’ll explain.

UPS mistakenly delivered this package to the wrong house. The address on the package is for a house just a block over, so we are waiting for UPS to pick up the package and deliver it to the right house.

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“But Sean, why wouldn’t you be a decent person and just take the package to your neighbor? Or better yet, you have teenage sons. Send one of them. That’s the perk of having teenagers — free menial labor.”

The answer is because we’re black. And it’s extremely unsafe to send our boys to the home of any family that we don’t know in this predominantly white neighborhood.

Why? Because there is a realistic chance that one of my neighbors will see my boy as a threat and call the police or even pull a gun on him.

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And if you think I’m being ridiculous or paranoid, Google “Brennan Walker,” a 14 yo black boy who earlier this month, missed the bus and tried to walk to school. He got lost and approached a house to ask for directions. The owners of this home were convinced that this 14 yo BOY had come to kill them (in broad daylight), causing the husband to pull out his gun and open fire on the fleeing BOY.

THAT is why this fucking package will be sitting on my porch until UPS retrieves it. Because I can’t trust that my white neighbors won’t see me, a Harvard-educated lawyer (or my 14 yo honor student son) as a roaming homicidal maniac.

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THIS is what it’s like to be black in “post-racial” America.

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