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Morning Shift

Public Spaces Can Be A Minefield For Black And Brown People

Earlier this week, large groups of African American teens congregated in and around north Michigan Avenue and the nearby beaches.

And while there may have been isolated incidents one might associate with crowds of teenagers-cops described the behavior as “borderline criminal”-CPD decided the best course of action was not to wade in and start making arrests but to, in their words, “direct” these groups to buses and trains headed toward the south side.

Some might applaud the police for not overreacting, and for keeping a vital tourist area safe. Others might point to the recent incidents at a Philadelphia Starbucks, or a common room at a Yale University dorm, or a California Airbnb, where police were called for no reason other than the presence of black folks caused suspicion or fear.

So we wanted to know….who belongs in what spaces? And who decides who belongs in those spaces?  

Guest: Lance Williams, associate professor of Urban Studies at Northeastern Illinois University

Learn More: 

Police Try To Keep Peace Downtown, Along Lake By ‘Directing’ Large Groups Of Troublesome Teens To Express Trains (Chicago Tribune 5/30/18)

Police Are Being Used To Exclude Black People From Public Spaces (NPR 5/29/18)

Being Black Means Constantly Rendering Yourself Non-Threatening To White People (NBC 5/29/18)

Black Lives and the (Broken) Promise of Public Space (Project for Public Spaces 7/13/16)

Being Black in Public (Slate 4/19/18)

White Caller Crimes (The Root: 3 min video about white people calling the cops on black people for everything and nothing at all)

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