6-year-old black boy arrested for picking a tulip
Start talking to your non-black social circle about racism, not running to black people to get extra credit
My grandfather and everyone on his block were serious about their grass. When new residents moved into an apartment next door, my grandfather would put me on hold via phone to peer out the window and complain about the guy mowing neighboring grass. I happened to stop by one day, and he was talking about it again. Sitting on the radiator near the front windows, I turned around to see who he was referring to. After a closer inspection, I smiled down at the guy mowing that grass, stood up and walked outside.
Chicago is the third largest city in the United States but feels like a “small” city sometimes. It turns out my grandfather happened to be complaining about a past co-worker of mine and long-time friend (for well over a decade). I had no idea they knew each other, and because he was married, it wasn’t like I stopped by his house on a regular basis to hang out.
I laughed at the coincidence of it all. My grandfather gave him a couple of tips about mowing his lawn. I shook my head at how picky he was being, and life went on with him and his block club. A simple conversation resolved it all. And my grandfather, still a stickler for his garden and the way grass should be mowed, lost interest in this gripe and moved on to something else. From that point forward, I only heard my grandfather give compliments to his neighbor/my friend. He also decided he wanted to be a matchmaker between the two of us, but I shut that down immediately. Again, my friend was married.
I thought about this recently when I heard the story of the 6-year-old black boy who was arrested for plucking a tulip from someone’s yard. Not only did this child not understand the offense. This kid was so bored during the court proceedings that the attorney had to give him a coloring book and crayons to keep him busy while the judge learned of the case.