Monday, October 25, 2004

Racial Profiling

Ambra Nykol is talking about racial profiling among police officers. She talks about instructions she got from her parents dealing with police. They sound a lot like what I recieved. Read it for perspective if nothing else.

I'm a white anglo-saxon protestant male. As a rule WASPs born in my age group do not really pay conscious attention to people's race. In fact we tend to politely ignore and talk around race for fear that noticing might get us called bigots or racists. Trust me there is no worse thing you can call a white man than racist or bigot. It is a charge which can haunt a white man for the rest of his life. Just look at what happened to Mark Fuhrman (who is actually a pretty nice guy and a good cop) at the OJ Simpson trial. For other examples of the power of the race card, look at how Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Push Coalition got funding for years.

A lot of white folks aren't racist and we don't know anybody who is racist. Yeah we may say look at that lazy black guy, but we say the same thing about a lazy white guy he's hanging out with. We honestly don't care about skin color any more than hair color. The bad thing is that this is not universal, but a lot of white folks think that it is. To paraphrase comedian Ron White "I have a friend who is a racist, does anybody believe that anymore?"

Unfortunately people still do. I was traveling down south to visit my girlfriend Amybear in Greenville, NC. After being told about how racially charged that part of the south is I actually paid attention to race a bit. Specifically I noticed that all the cars the state police had pulled over (and there were many) were driven by black men. To be fair to the cops, some of them were black too.

It surprised me. If I was black I'm sure I would be pissed about it. I'm white and I know I should be madder about this than I am.

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