Golfing while black becomes the latest reason to call police officers on black people
Earlier this month, after two black men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia for waiting while black, Starbucks decided to close its stores nationwide on May 29 for an implicit bias training. While this may seem like a responsive approach, it is unlikely to bring about change on its own. This is because while Starbucks may take the steps to begin helping its employees confront their irrational fear of black people, it does nothing to change the larger culture we’ve been socialized in—which not only supports but foments racial bias. As Damon Young from The Root points out, it is America that needs to close for a racial bias training.
Sadly, what happened at Starbucks is not an isolated incident. On Saturday, April 21, a little more than a week after police were called to the Starbucks, a group of black women went golfing at the Grandview Gold Club in York, Pennsylvania. They, too, had the police called on them—this time for “playing too slowly” and refusing to leave the golf course. As described by the AP :
At the second hole, a white man whose son co-owns the club came up to them twice to complain that they weren’t keeping up with the pace of play. [Sandra] Thompson, an attorney and the head of the York chapter of the NAACP, told the newspaper it was untrue.
On the same hole, another member of the group, Sandra Harrison, said she spoke with a Grandview golf pro, who said they were fine since they were keeping pace with the group ahead of them.
Despite that, the women skipped the third hole to avoid any other issues, she said.
Just to be clear, this was not a group of newbies out for their first time on the golf course. This is a group of local women who refer to themselves as “Sisters on the Fairway” and who have been golfing together for over a decade. They knew what they were doing. Even after the complaint, they checked in with a staff person at the golf club to make sure they weren’t holding anyone up. In fact, they were so considerate of the group behind them that they decided to skip the next hole. But apparently that wasn’t good enough. Their thoughtful consideration and adherence to the rules merited a call to the police along with getting them kicked off of the course.