Corner Store Caroline: White Lies Ruin Black Lives

By Twanna F.

White people. What is it exactly that you are afraid of? Hate and fear are directly correlated so I have to assume that you’re afraid. Is it fear of the unknown, fear caused by a lack of understanding? I’m genuinely confused. It’s insane that you all see men when looking at innocent boys, and even worse make monsters out of them.

If you haven’t heard, Teresa Klein, a 53 year old white woman is now being dubbed “Corner Store Caroline” after she imagined then accused a 9 year old Black child of groping her in a corner store. After calling police, causing a scene, proceeding to yell at the child’s mother and claim that she was actually a cop, the woman managed to play the victim. This incident didn’t surprise me as much as it saddened me, because the parallels between this situation and the Emmett Till story are too strong to ignore. A young man minding his business, for some reason, translates to criminal activity before a white woman’s eyes. They see what they want to see without giving it a second thought. Without thinking about the future of a young person. And maybe it’s because they can’t see us as persons at all. Thankfully Jason Littlejohn was present to capture it all unfold.

As racial tensions rise in America, white people are regaining the comfort they once had in public displays of racism. Thus, we see a spike in “cry wolf” 911 calls. Knowing the dangers Black people face when dealing with the justice system, it’s safe to say that these calls themselves are criminal. The spiteful decision to make these calls implies that the intent is to use police brutality, which could be deadly, as a tool to outlet your own racism or at least using mass incarceration. Your ignorance fed fear isn’t an excuse for any of it.

Luckily, lynch mobs are out of style because if this were 50 years ago this poor boy would’ve been crucified. My prayers go out to the child who was accused and his family. I can’t imagine the damage that has been done or the fear that’s been put into their hearts, but know that I support you all and those that have gone through the same thing. Y’all it is so important for Black people to watch over each other at a time like this. I’m grateful for those that keep cell phones in hand, documenting the prejudice, otherwise they’d try to erase this history the way they always have. I’m letting you know now white people, you will be held accountable for the many parts you play in destroying the lives of innocent Black youth. Sorry, not sorry.