Arthur Hill only wanted a haircut when he nearly lost his life for being a Black man. According to WCNC, the incident occurred in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
Hill needed to get a shave before work and stopped at a nearby barbershop owned by Larry Thomas, 65. When Hill approached Thomas to see if he could get a hair cut, Thomas responded by saying, “I don’t do Black hair.” Hill responded by asking, “Are you referring to African-American hair?” Thomas nodded his head and grabbed his .38 revolver which was placed near his waist.
Hill was shocked by the threat and went to authorities to report Thomas. Thomas was eventually arrested and his gun was confiscated. However, he was only charged with pointing and presenting firearms at a person.
Thomas’ actions were clearly motivated by hatred and racism. As a result, he should also be charged with making a terroristic threat or a hate crime.
South Carolina is the same state where racist teenager Dylann Roof massacred a group of Black people in a church simply because they were Black. It’s also the same state where former police officer Michael T. Slager shot Walter Scott in the back five times while he ran away. Slager tampered with evidence in an attempt to make it appears as if Scott was aggressive, but the entire act was caught on camera. Roof and Slager are both awaiting trial. But the more disturbing fact is that South Carolina allows for racists to exists comfortably within the state. There is an overt sense of hatred that many of the White residents have for Black residents that stems from skin color. Until the state makes it an issue, racists such as Thomas, Roof, and Slager will continue to terrorize Black citizens.
Hill, who moved from New York for life at a slower pace, said that he may move again because he never imagined that his life would be threatened for simply wanting a hair cut.