Summer is officially here and kids around the country are putting their business savvy on display: Opening lemonade stands, washing cars, and mowing lawns. One 12-year-old black kid in Ohio, however, learned that hot temperatures and customer acquisition aren’t the only challenges when running a lawn mowing business. Last week, a woman called the police on him for doing what he was paid to do ⏤ that is, cut the grass.
Reggie Fields started Mr. Reggie’s Lawn Cutting Service with the idea of mowing lawns to earn a little extra money over the summer. He had been hired by Lucille Holt of Maple Heights, Ohio, and was hard at work mowing her lawn ⏤ while his siblings did other yard work ⏤ when the cops arrived.
Apparently, a neighbor decided the appropriate response to seeing a black child hard at work in her neighborhood was to involve the police. Thankfully, the cops took no action against the young entrepreneur as he was breaking no laws. Lieutenant Joe Mocsiran of the Maple Heights Police Department explained to Fox News that it was clear the kid had done nothing wrong. “A little kid is out there working hard ― heck no,” Mocsiran told the station.
Holt posted a video of the incident on Facebook and it was met with national outrage, as many saw it as yet another example of the discrimination black people face while doing everyday things. The Twitter hashtag #LivingWhileBlack has become a popular spot for sharing similar stories.
This is RIDICULOUS!!!
Posted by Lucille Holt on Saturday, June 23, 2018
This level of attention actually ended up benefitting Mr. Reggie’s Lawn Cutting Service, as Reggie began getting flooded with calls from people requesting him to mow their lawn. Holt even started a GoFundMe page to support the business, which has raised $36,000 in less than two days.
“It’s been busy,” Fields told Cleveland.com. “We’ve been all over the place. My mom has to drive us all over.”