WATCH: Man says he called cops on black man for ‘safety’


Washington – The encounter was broadcast in a video, posted to Facebook on the Fourth of July.

A white man faced the person with the camera, a black man, asking him to step out of the San Francisco building where the white man lived, or to call the person who invited him there. After the man refused, the white man, later identified as Christopher Cukor, a manager at YouTube, called the police.

“You’re just going to be the next person on TV,” Wesly Michel, the man taking the video, told Cukor.

He was right.

After Michel posted the video on Facebook – “So this is July 4th 2019,” he wrote – the video took off, fueled by algorithms on social media that often prioritize outrageous and inflammatory content, leaving a trail of angry conversations in their wake.

Within days, the video was viewed millions of times, getting a boost after it was posted on the Twitter page of filmmaker Tariq Nasheed. Then it was picked up by tabloid media outlets like the New York Daily News and the Daily Mail.

To many, the video was another entry in the public ledger of black people confronted while doing seemingly quotidian things, the trend that gave rise last year to the hashtag #livingwhileblack.

“Another anti-Black racist in the #BayArea was filmed while he made a fraudulent 911 call on an innocent Black man who was standing outside of a building waiting on his friend to come down,” Nasheed wrote. “The anti-Black racist’s name is allegedly Christopher Cukor, and he works for @youtube.”