Home » I always get a store receipt in case I’m accused of stealing. Am I trippin? A discussion

I always get a store receipt in case I’m accused of stealing. Am I trippin? A discussion

by The Grio

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

I have no idea how much scholarly work has been done on the topic of Black people and paranoia (a quick google search of “paranoia in the Black community” returned a soild amount of studies), but if anybody needs a subject, I’m your guy. I’m probably not the most paranoid person I know. I know people whose life experiences would require extreme paranoia at all times — think Jay-Z’s line on “December 4th” from 2003’s “The Black Album:” “hustlers, we dont’ sleep, we rest one eye up.” But I’ve also seen some things that I can never unsee, on a personal level, that make me wary of almost any and all surroundings at all times. 

And then there’s racism. 

I’ve lived in America for most of my life and encountered racism in its many forms in every corner of this country I’ve been to. I’ve also spent a significant amount of my life as an adult in places where liberal whiteness always makes you double take whether or not you just got racismed or not. That (understandable) overthinking has seeped into nearly all parts of life. Which is why I get annoyed when I go to stores, and cashiers ask me if I want a receipt for items I’ve just purchased. It’s a small annoyance and probably unnecessary, but it does irk me. And here’s why: I’m always thinking that some other person in that store will see me walk out without a receipt and accuse me of stealing something, and then suddenly the cashier, who just took my money, has amnesia. 

Is this nonsense? Maybe. Is it extreme paranoia? Perhaps. Is it possible? Absolutely. Is it likely? Probably not. But who wants to find out that one time that your paranoia was founded? Surely, not I. So I always ask for a receipt. And if I’m at the self-checkout, I ALWAYS get a receipt. I think it’s culturally biased to NOT just give me one. 

Read the full article here

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