Hallway Harry / Photo: Chika Okafor, Facebook
While racism most certainly is not new in America, 2018 seemed to be the year that Black folks couldn’t do basic things, like having a barbecue in the park or waiting for a friend in Starbucks, without stoking the ire of white folks. And as we close out the year, sadly, white folks still don’t seem to want to leave us alone for just existing.
Recently, Bleacher Report producer Chika Okafor shared a disturbing incident with one of his neighbors, who was later dubbed “Hallway Harry.”
Okafor and a friend were waiting for their Lyft driver to arrive when they were approached by an unidentified white man who questioned why they were in the New York City apartment building.
“I was racially profiled in my apartment complex last night. While I was with my friend Cassius Flemming waiting for a Lyft ride on the first floor of the building that I have lived in since mid-December of last year, this man interrogated me about where I live,” Okafor wrote on Facebook along with a video of the incident.
In the clip, the man questioned Okafor and accused him of not living in the Upper East Side building.
“What are you doing in my building? You don’t live here,” the man said. “I’ve never seen you before. I’ve lived here 27 years.”
While the man never uttered a racial slur — and claimed he also questioned white people he doesn’t know — he mockingly called Okafor “a smooth king” and refused to accept the fact that the 29-year-old lived in the building.
In spite of the man’s insistence that confronting Okafor wasn’t about race, Okafor said it the man’s sense of entitlement was definitely rooted in racism.
“He thought that he was entitled to know who I was and where I lived simply because, according to him, he lived there for 27 years,” Okafor wrote on Facebook. “The arrogance is appalling but honestly, not surprising because far too many times people of color have been victims of this kind of behavior.”
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