Thursday, April 16, 2009

Racial Profiling

MWF-40ish-drives a minivan-guess that is all it took for the ones that protect and serve in our local mid-size city to decide it was a day to flip the switch, let the lights do the dance and pull me over. Oh, and I was going five miles over the speed limit.

There was not a ticket involved. My "numbers" were ran, and I guess the officer decided that his initial vibes of me being in a neighborhood that was not of my race, did not constitute me being there to purchase any mood altering substances. He then let me know I did not need to be in a place like this neighborhood. Did I know how dangerous it is? He also told me people like me need to stay out of this area.

PEOPLE LIKE ME? Are you kidding me? I guess he meant it as a compliment. Still I am pondering that comment.

But before I could go and after I had got the great news of no ticket, I asked if I could get out of the van and speak to him. He surprisingly agreed. I wanted to have a conversation that was out of ear shot of my kids, mostly because I did not want them to associate fear with our friends who lived in that neighborhood. I wanted him to know that I was dropping two young girls off at their home after they had spent the day with us, and that I had thought it was much better to take them home after rollerskating than have them walk home, after all, it is the "hood". I left him with a portion of gratitude and accepted his mercy hoping I had been a witness of kindness that particular officer does not see everyday.

I had a small taste of the world today and the views that are associated with safety, but as I drove home and knew that I was never out of the protection of the Lord.

I smiled because of a blogging friend from Dallas, Texas that came to mind...Melissa. If you want to read about a family that has put all prejudices aside for the sake of the gospel, read about their adventure and love of life.


Hannah said...

That was an awesome post! Good for you girl to stand up for what is right! I so admire your insight in situations like this. I think I would have been to mad and freaked out to have a nice calm coversation with the cop. You are such a good woman and mom!!

Silent_Majority said...

From the perspective of a cop: I have been one for 12 years now. I stop cars and drivers all the time that don't "look right" (of course based on a violation of the law). I hope that people will come to understand that we do this not for some malicious reason but based on years of experience. Not every white guy in a black neighborhood is there to buy drugs, I know this, but some are. I cannot look at a person and say definitively that they are or are not a criminal. When something looks out of place, and I have a legal reason to stop the vehicle or person, I will. I do this not out of malice but because I took seriously my oath to protect and serve. There are bad guys out there and they don't wear signs to identify themselves. I will say this; I always enjoy stopping someone like you. You seem to understand that we have a job to do and that most of us are God fearing honest people as well (no atheists in a fox hole so to speak). Good post. God Bless.

Stephanie said...

Very Cool, Jill.

Melissa said...

I love your courage..I would have just mumbled as I pulled away...nicely done!