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.

4 comments:

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!