We generally use social media for fun, keeping tabs on family, friends, and even fashion. But, it can also be used as a platform to bring attention to social injustice. And, that's exactly what Minnesota teen Rashid Polo set out to do recently. While walking through two convenience stores, the 19-year-old documented employees following him. Why? Because he's black, says Polo. This isn't the first time this has happened to him, so he turned to Vine to call out the employees in action. And, what you see is not your typical goofball Vine vid.
When you watch the videos below, it's pretty obvious what's happening here. In the first, we see a woman who appears to be white "keeping busy" by cleaning various counters and fussing with merchandise, conveniently always on his tail. The second is similar — different day, but same issue. Judging by these ladies' constant presence and eyes on Polo, this certainly doesn't look like a coincidence.
This is not an uncommon experience for young, black men. The Barneys case involving Trayon Christian being accused of stealing a Ferragamo belt that he had actually purchased was publicized, due in large part to Jay Z's response during his collaboration with the store. But, in instances when celebrities aren't involved, these cases rarely get the same level of recognition — even though they happen every single day, everywhere. Kudos to Polo for putting this out there for everyone to see. We can only hope these videos bring more widespread awareness to this ongoing conversation on racial profiling.
Photo: Via Rashid Polo.