On Race and Side Hustles

The Washington Post reminds us that Alton Sterling and Eric Garner were just trying to make a little extra money.

Photo credit: María T., CC BY 2.0.

Today’s must-read:

Alton Sterling, Eric Garner and the double standard of the side hustle

Alton Sterling was outside of a Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge selling CDs on Tuesday when an encounter with police left the 37-year-old man dead on the pavement, according to the 911 call that sparked the incident.

The news immediately recalled the death of Eric Garner nearly two years ago on Staten Island, not just because the two black men died at the hands of police, but for what they were doing when they attracted the attention of law enforcement in the first place. Police say the 911 caller reported that Sterling was threatening people with a gun, but like Garner, he was also engaged in a petty crime. Garner had been selling loose cigarettes, a hustle on par with peddling CDs.

The Washington Post, quoting a series of tweets from Anil Dash, reminds us that a lot of us participate in illegal side hustles like Sterling and Garner—the unauthorized Airbnb apartment rental being the prime example.

Read the whole thing. Make sure you watch the accompanying video showing what happens when a young black boy tries to sell candy bars outside a Target.

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