At Huntington Bank in Cleveland, OH, Paul McCowns was attempting to cash a paycheck from a new job. Worth over $1000, tellers doubted the legitimacy, called his employer, and then police.
Going to the bank can occasionally be an event, but no one expects the feds to appear. McCowns, a 30-year-old Black male, began his new career for an electric company three weeks prior. When he visited the Huntington branch in Brooklyn, OH, a suburb of Cleveland, he initially had no problems. As a non-Huntington customer, he had to submit his fingerprint, which was standard. But it was when tellers looked at the value of the check that things went awry.
Apparently, Black people can’t be paid more than $1000 for work. To verify the check’s legitimacy, tellers called McCown’s employer. Numerous times. Unable to contact the electric company to verify employment, the bank turned him away. Disappointed he was unable to receive his hard-earned dollars, McCowns left to get in his truck, only to have a squad car cut him off.
In an interview with Cleveland 19 News, McCowns said officers yelled at him, shouting “Get out of the car!” Having had the Brooklyn police called on him, he was detained until his employment was verified. McCowns’ employer said, “Yes, he works for me. He just started, and yes, my payroll company does pay him that much.”
McCowns said, “The person who made that phone call — that manager, that teller — whoever made that phone call, I feel as though they were judging.”
While this may seem out of the ordinary for many, this bank has a history of making these types of calls. According to Brooklyn Police Chief Scott Miekle, since July 2018, the Brooklyn Huntington branch has made 10 calls, all for fraudulent checks.
Embarrassed by their tellers’ poor customer service, Huntington Bank has released a statement:
“We sincerely apologize to Mr. McCowns for this extremely unfortunate event. We accept responsibility for contacting the police as well as our own interactions with Mr. McCowns. Anyone who walks into a Huntington branch should feel welcomed. Regrettably, that did not occur in this instance and we are very sorry. We hold ourselves accountable to the highest ethical standards in how we operate, hire and train colleagues, and interact with the communities we have the privilege of serving.”
I guess we can add banking while Black to the list of things we can’t do.
Summer Walker & Social Anxiety
Is T.I. Ok?
Summer Walker Says We Don’t Deserve Her…And She’s Right
Summer Walker’s recent Instagram post aims to remind us all to step away from the superficiality of social media and remember we’re only human.
In an age where people exploit “Love, Light, and Positivity” through discussions involving mental health and support, toxicity toward those affected has never seemed more prevalent. Conversations regarding self-care, emotional maturity, and navigating anxiety or depression seem to flood social media in ways that both normalize and trivialize the conditions. While the public perception of mental health is changing for the better, it seems our behavior does not match.
Social media has allowed us to become more accessible to one another but over time we forget there’s a living, breathing, feeling entity on the other end. We become crass, callous, and act without regard for another individual. In that ignorance, we forget that access to each other is a privilege and not a right. For someone like Summer Walker, who has reached their limit with public criticism, denying others access is no massive effort.
“Y’all Can Have The Music & Imma Just Head Out”
Summer Walker has always been candid about mental health. During her concerts, she often pauses to address her social anxiety while encouraging others to push toward their goals. Although she’s continuing to navigate the music industry and face her challenges head on, she recently made the decision that her first tour will be her last – partly due to social media criticism. Saying, “I’ve decided y’all don’t deserve me” Walker intends to distance herself from the public’s gaze upon the conclusion of her tour.
Following immense criticism for her Tiny Desk performance and hygiene practices, Summer penned a caption on Instagram in an effort to remind people she’s “just a regular person.” Believing people’s values are skewed, Summer said public expectations of her are too high and she has no desire to be in constant competition with the world. “Everyday/everything isn’t a Miss America bad b*tch contest and I don’t feel the need to put others down to stay relevant.” Adding that people are really disconnected, she said we’re hiding behind apps, filters, clothes, and other things that distract us from who we truly are. Imploring others to apply equal effort in enhancing their spiritual appearance along with their physical, Summer exposed the lack of self-acceptance and performative empathy that has affected so many.
Girls Need Love
It’s great to place so much emphasis on the importance of mental health care and showing up for your “strong friend”. But it isn’t truly being applied when your solidarity is so visible in theory but not in practice. People who experience social anxiety are not exempt from what causes it through the use of social media. For creatives, the irony of their work providing so much happiness while they often struggle with mental health issues is not lost. While Summer’s fans are hoping she does not refrain from producing music in the future, she’s made it pretty clear she has no obligation to shrink her emotional boundaries to please anyone besides herself.
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