Paul O’Neal Died #CrimingWhileBlack, You’re Only Allowed #CrimingWhileWhite
Remember #CrimingWhileWhite? I do. It was a weird attempt at uniting White and Black Twitter under the banner that somehow we aren’t that different in our ill-advised pursuits — yet in the most fundamental ways — we are not able to share the same privileges that this great country gives us for free.
White kids can be as bad as they wanna be with absolutely no consequences. They are allowed to make the kinds of mistakes that display an initial lack of authority that could carry over into adulthood — or just be regulated to kids being kids.
Shoplifting, stealing cars, challenging those who are tasked with regulating law and order, the list goes on. Rules are meant to be broken when you’re convinced that no matter how the years stack up — you will stay eighteen forever.
Then magic happens. You grow up.
You’re too old to get away with shitty behavior and you know it. Some don’t give a damn and still maintain the level of truancy that makes them the hero of their adoring crew. But, most decide that it’s time to let go of the “bad boy” image and settle into the boring routine of maturity. They have goals that need to be realized and if looking back on the bad ole days with a smile and entertaining testimony is the reward for briefly playing with fire — so be it.
A lot of white dudes boast with pride about how they messed with the law with short term consequences that did very little to alter the future. They were allowed to be young, stupid, and careless with their actions — and managed to suffer the humiliation of being locked up and then released.
Shit happens, right? You’re not going to be handed a death sentence for embarking on a joy ride in a car that doesn’t belong to you — as your bleached-blond locks obey the wind with every turn. Nah! White guys don’t die for stealing cars. Black guys do.
Black guys are not permitted to be too American. They can’t deviate from good behavior like the characters in the movies who do way more shit and seem to be granted the pleasure of being yelled out by their parents — and punished with the unthinkable notion that their summer surfing holiday will no longer be an active item on the itinerary.
No, Black teens can’t be social renegades with passions that exceed their present disposition because White cops have no tolerance for future felons or assumed gang members. These types of Americans can’t be given room to experiment and fail miserably. They only get one shot.
In the back.
That’s how Paul O’Neal died. He was supposedly driving away in a car he didn’t pay for which is not a smart move for anyone — regardless of race or creed. He was against the idea of immediate surrender and decided to race down the streets of Chicago with the cops on his tail. It sounds like a scene from The Fast and the Furious — except the ending isn’t PG13.
It’s Rated R.
He was shot in the back during a foot chase and once the bastards got to his dying frame — they yelled out profanities and proceeded to cuddle his hands in handcuffs — even though it was apparent that he didn’t them. They finally got their guy. A criminal who was so bad and so Black that he needed to leave this world while the car he was riding in still benefited from an eager engine.
#CrimingWhileBlack is not allowed. You can’t assume that you have the right to enjoy the delightfully chaotic trajectory of discarding your rights for the fun of it and then reclaiming them after you realize that life definitely doesn’t accommodate rebellious fodder indefinitely.
#CrimingWhileWhite however, totally gets how a surfer dude with blue eyes could be feeling out of sorts in ways that translate wrongly but, hey, it be like that sometimes. Bro!
Yeah, high five dude! I was bitchin’ back then! I was a “G.” I had to cut that shit out though!
Paul O’Neal will never get to recap his adventure of the stolen car, cold jail cell, and eventual release.
He is dead. His family is deader. I am dead inside. And we are all going to continue to take in the sights and images of Black people being eradicated for the same reasons their ancestors were lynched for public pleasure. It has become an option for 24/7 viewing. We watch the videos with morbid fascination and share the evidence with avid enthusiasm.
Check this shit out! You thought the last one was a stunner? This one is way more dope. It’s an actual gun fight Bro! And you can even see the blood taking over his shirt!
Yeah, amazing how Cops and Robbers never gets old. Each episode raises the bar. Thank God that shit isn’t real.
Wait. Huh? It’s not a show? Fuck! That guy really got shot over a car?