Oh You Didn’t Know: Racial Profiling

Posted: November 8, 2013 in Personal
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Remember how shocked everyone (who wasn’t paying attention) was when Lance Bass finally admitted he is gay? I, however, was not moved. How about the bounties in the NFL? Everyone was livid about how the morality of the game was in jeopardy. I, again, was not shocked. Hell, I would yell at my players in Madden that if they injured the quarterback, I would give them a bonus (I never did though). Or how about the fact that people get harassed/arrested for shopping while black? That one is pretty shocking, huh? NO. None of this is shocking if you open your damn eyes. This is life, it has always been life and there is little to nothing that can be done about it. OK, that’s a lie. We CAN do something about the last one, we just won’t. Oh you didn’t know? Let me put you on then.

Ways to stop, or at least deter, racial profiling:

1) Stop shopping where you know this shit happens.

Are those shoes really that important? Is that shirt really going to change your life? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Is it fair that you can work your ass off (the legal way) to afford something and you can’t go buy it in peace? No, it’s not. Guess what, life isn’t fair. In order to make it at least appear fair, you have to hit the pockets of elitist stores like Lord & Taylor, Barney’s or Saks Fifth. If someone like, oh say, Trayon Christian who gets arrested after providing ID for his own debit card, Jay-Z can’t walk into the same store right after and buy something. It shows the world that not only is it OK for people to disrespect us, but it also shows that we don’t respect each other. Without solidarity, no one has any reason to respect us as a people in this country, least of all white America. As individuals, we possess little to no power, especially when the most financially powerful of us refuse to fight for their own people.

2) Stop stealing shit.

Are black people the only ones who steal? No, not at all. We are, however, stereotyped as people who can and will do it. Want to know why? It’s simply because we do. As a people, we all know at least one to four people who have PROUDLY stolen some shit, and that is a big part of the problem. Once again, if we had any form of solidarity, any concept of what one does affects the many, maybe cats would think twice before they ran up in someone’s house, robbed the local liquor store, or started a credit card scheme. A stereotype can only stand as long as the people in question maintain it. It’s as simple as this: cut the shit.

3) Know that you don’t live in a Utopian society

We are not the only ones that wear hoodies. We are not the only ones that wear Tims. We are not the only ones who listen to rap music. All true statements, but it doesn’t matter. The bottom line is, when you are seen in a hoodie, you are thought of in a certain way. When you are seen standing around with a group of your friends and you just HAPPEN to be wearing all black outside at 11 p.m., people are going to feel a way. I don’t turn and walk the other way, but if there’s a big enough group, I’m keeping an eye on them. That’s not profiling, that’s survival instinct. Don’t get mad at someone watching you when you look like you should be watched. Instead, shock them with your intelligence and kindness. Speak like you have some damn home training and an education. Smile every once in a while. You know damn good and well you don’t walk around mean mugging around your mother, don’t do that BS in the streets. It is by no means right that people feel intimidated because you are dressed a certain way, but it is what it is. You can continue to ignore it, or you can play the game and not have five squad cars pull up on you in the middle of the afternoon because you felt you needed to look hard to some random woman on the street. You want to get mad about something? Put on a nice outfit with jeans that fit (not skinny jeans, FUCK skinny jeans) and THEN get mad when you’re profiled. If you look the part, people are going to put you in the play.

If you look at the examples given, you see none of this relies on the actions of anyone but us. We didn’t break the system, but we can do our part to fix it. It isn’t easy by any means. It is far easier to just say, “This is what it is and what it will always be, so fuck it; let’s just stay ignorant,” but it doesn’t have to be that way. It shouldn’t be that way and if we do nothing to change it, we really can’t say shit.

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