An African American Man’s Vulnerable Post About Why He Won’t Walk Around His Neighborhood Alone Goes Viral

Shola Richards will not take a walk around his Los Angeles neighborhood unless he is joined by his dog and family because he fears he will be viewed as a threat.

Two people hold hands.
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Shola Richards will not take a walk around his Los Angeles neighborhood unless he is joined by his dog and family because he fears he will be viewed as a threat.

Shola Richards is an African American man from Los Angeles, California, who recently shared a vulnerable post regarding the topic of racism that has since gone viral. In the message that he shared on Facebook, he explained that he does not go on walks around his neighborhood unless he is joined by his dog and one or both of his two young daughters, according to Today.

Richards, who is 45 years old and has an athletic build, explains that because of his skin color, he is afraid he would be considered a threat while walking around the community alone. But when he is with their small family dog and holding his daughter’s hand, he takes on a different image. When he is with his family, he appears to others to simply be a father just going on a walk, not someone who wants to cause trouble.

“When I’m walking down the street holding my young daughter’s hand and walking my sweet fluffy dog, I’m just a loving dad and pet owner taking a break from the joylessness of crisis homeschooling. But without them by my side, almost instantly, I morph into a threat in the eyes of some white folks. Instead of being a loving dad to two little girls, unfortunately, all that some people can see is a 6’2″ athletically-built black man in a cloth mask who is walking around in a place where he doesn’t belong (even though, I’m still the same guy who just wants to take a walk through his neighborhood).”

He went on to explain how exhausting and frustrating it can be to continue to avoid presenting himself as a threat. Because of his skin color, he feels that he can’t go about life as he would if he were white. He discussed the topic of white privilege, noting that just because one has white privilege doesn’t mean that they don’t struggle in other aspects of life.

Richards called upon white people to not be neutral in regards to the topic of racism, but to be willing to stand up and fight against it. His post was shared over 500,000 times just on Facebook alone.

The topic of racial division has come to the forefront over the past week due to the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died while in custody of the police. As The Inquisitr previously reported, a video of the incident was shared publicly and has since gone viral, angering many and sparking protests.