The incident I am going to blog about actually happened on Monday, but I told the other person involved that I was going to blog about it, so here goes.
I play tennis once a week with some very well to do guys in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania (the Main Line for those of you from the area) and invariably one of my tennis partners (this Jewish guy who will remain nameless because he reads my blog) takes me to and from the game and drops me off at the train station in Center City. (I don't drive on the Main Line if I can help it)
So Monday, after the game, we are driving back to Center City on 676 which loops around Philly. We are in his very big Mercedes sedan (why a Jewish guy would choose to drive Mercedes I will never understand) and he keeps glancing in his rare view mirror. "What's wrong?" I ask him. "There is a state trooper driving behind us", he tells me, and it's hard to tell if the worried look on his face is real or feigned. --Dude is a lawyer so you never know--. "So"? "Well, I was wondering", he says, "Is there such a thing as driving while having a black passenger?" Now I am really looking to see if my man is serious, and I still can't tell. (Driving while having a black passenger? DWHABP.... Yeah, that's a new one) So finally, I ask him: "Are you serious?" "Well yeah, I mean, you have to admit, that the likelihood of me getting stopped is greater with you in the car." I still can't tell if he is serious or not. Finally, and probably mercifully for my man, the trooper passes us with not so much of a glance in our direction. "OK, you can relax for now" I tell him, "but remember, we still have a few miles to go." Now he is laughing his ass off, and I am wondering if he is laughing out of relief or if he thought the shit was funny all along. I am thinking it's a little bit of both.
I can't resist one last shot: "For a minute there you felt what we feel every day huh?" Now I was laughing. "Field, have you ever been stopped when you felt you were profiled?" Now he seemed genuinely curious. "A few times", I tell him, "but I survived every time. I know 'the rules.'" I am hoping that he won't ask me to elaborate, and he doesn't. It's just the same, because he will never need them.
And speaking of the po po and profiling. I can't let tonight go without commenting on the beat down an *80 year old woman took in Ohio the other day. Quite a few folks sent me e-mails with the link and wanted to know what I thought about it.
Anyway, rather than give my opinion, I will let you view the tape and tell me what you think:
Good policing? Just an angry old black woman who doesn't know how to respect authority? Or policemen (or in this case police woman) gone wild with no respect for people of color.
I viewed the tape over and over, because I don't want to be a knee jerk racism chaser......*smirking*, and the question I keep asking myself is this: Would that police officer have acted the same way if that woman looked like her?
*Pic courtesy of the Globalgrind.com