Running While Black

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

This post initially was entitled “Person vs. Two Pickups, a Pistol and a Rifle,” until I saw a Wikipedia page dedicated to “Running while black.” One of its footnotes cites an article, Running while Black: Why we are not all in this together, in which the author, Dewayne R. Stallworth, states something that must haunt many black runners:

As an educated black man who enjoys taking contemplative runs in my neighborhood, I must confess that I leave my home with the thought that I may not return (and this is before Arbery’s killing). I think about my attire — would this shirt cause someone to think I am a burglar.

Jogging as a black person in the US is a thing. For a person of any race, urban running brings with it risks of breathing bad air, a possible sprained ankle, and collision with a car.[1] But for a black person, there’s the added risk of being beaten or killed.

Driving in the US is also a thing. It imposes new risks to the environment, pedestrians, bikers, and animals. When the two meet—running as black and driving as a racist—something terrible occurs. Bad as racism in itself is, the added power of a pickup truck, a pistol, and a rifle make the situation all the worse. Cars and trucks make it extremely easy to track and kill—with almost no effort at all.[2]
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