As teenagers in 2016, we are all too familiar with social media and it’s ability to make a trend of something–anything, overnight. This is what seemed to happen when Pokémon GO was launched on July 6th as almost everyone able to download was hooked by July 7th.
Along with the popularity of this addictive new game, in recent weeks social media has been polluted with videos of police shootings of black people which gave rise to stories of police brutality against blacks being shared from news feed to news feed. P.S. #BlackLivesMatter
Many took to these social media platforms as well to give their views on both PokemonGo and the Black Lives Matter movement, however, one man in his blog decided to discuss the relationship between the two.
Omar Akil wrote a blog entitled,
“Warning: Pokemon GO is a Death Sentence if you are a Black Man.”
Where he made some exceptional points. The main point being that he had to be on guard and uneasy walking around as a black male with his head down. Read the entire blog post here.
Now, as always with a topic of this nature and the amount of recognition the blog received, many decided to share their opinion. One stuck out that made me as a young black person, simultaneously sick and annoyed:
“Sorry, but this is bulls**t. Black Americans are **200 TIMES** more likely to commit an aggravated (armed, or otherwise egregious) assault, as any member of the general population, according to crime statistics compiled by the FBI. ***200 TIMES***! That is a CRIME PROBLEM, not a “racism” problem. More crime = more policing. More policing = more shoot-outs, more arrests, more convictions, and higher sentences FOR REPEAT OFFENDERS — not for “blackness.” ”
This comment left me annoyed not only because he said that race was not the issue but also because I know that there are so many others who think exactly like him, blaming black people for being slaughtered mercilessly and harassed for no real reason by police.
Some called Omar’s stance far-fetched and a complete over exaggeration but if one were to tell the stories of Philando Castle and Alton Sterling to someone completely unaware of the reality, they would claim them to be over exaggeration when they are the furthest from that.
To me, the mere fact that someone’s mind could even go to a place like that to write that blog post about being afraid as a black person of playing a game, that is all the proof necessary to show that there is a big, nasty problem that needs to be taken care of.
So, what do you think? Is Pokémon Go another thing that black people have to enjoy cautiously?