Being black in America has never been easy, but it seems as thought we have devolved back to the Jim Crow era of lynchings, only, in the form of police executions. Reports of constant racism and discrimination, including viral videos that paint a much more vivid picture for white allies who will never fully understand what it’s like to be black, have become the norm in the United States. Black lives are threatened and snuffed out every single day, and even being a very recognizable celebrity can’t save you.
Actor Ving Rhames has been on the silver screen since 1984 with well-known roles in movies like Pulp Fiction, Guardians of the Galaxy II, Dawn of the Dead, Con-Air, and Jacob’s Ladder. But that didn’t stop him from staring down the red laser pointer of a 9mm as police investigated a call about a big black guy breaking into a home.
Thankfully for Rhames, the lead cop recognized him and ordered the others to lower their weapons.
Rhames discussed the encounter on The Clay Kane Show, saying this when asked how racism affects his life:
“This happened this year. I am in my home, it was around 2:15 p.m. in the afternoon. I have a screen door and then I have a wooden door…. I’m in my house, I’m in a pair of basketball shorts only. I have two English bulldog puppies. I hear a noise in my backyard, but I’m thinking the puppies are just running around, and then I get a knock on the front door.”
“I open the door and there is a red dot pointed at my face from a 9-mm. They say put up your hands, literally. I just walked and opened up the door….Then they said ‘open the front screen door.’ They say do it with one hand so then I have to do it with one hand. My hands are up and they have me outside.”
That’s when Rhames was recognized and told that one of his neighbors had made the 911 call claiming they saw a “large black man” breaking into a home. Cops then walked with Rhames to the caller’s house to confront him, but the neighbor denied making the call.
Rhames recalls how close he came to being shot on the spot, and what might have happened if he or his child had opened the door with something in their hand:
“My problem is, as I said this to them, what if it was my son and he had a video game remote or something and you thought it was a gun?”
The actor could have easily ended up just another statistic, and very well may have, had the officer not seen him in movies before. The intention of the caller will never be known. They may not have purposely tried to end someone’s life that day, but they very well could have.
Check out the interview below: