My husband asked me if he could be a guest blogger today.
I, of course, said yes...
Out of the mind of Aaron:
The Professor Gates Arrest:
I don't know exactly what happened in this case but I am black, and this has been my experience. When I was younger I lived in Pasadena and worked in Seal Beach. I was a musician and I'd often drive around South Pasadena (which is really upscale) to wind down after gigs. I was stopped twice. Young black man driving around aimlessly in a neighborhood in which I didn't live at 3:00 in the morning with a load of music gear in the backseat. Both times I was respectful to the officers and there was no incident.
Another time I was working on my car outside the church in which I worked in Seal Beach. My legs were sticking out of the car and friends from church that lived two doors down saw "someone" messing with my car and called the police. The officer came up to me with his gun drawn an ordered me out of the car. I did what I was told. My ID was inside my office and I asked the officer if I could get it. He checked my name against the registration and it matched. As he was checking everything out he said "You're not freaked out by this." (or something like that). I just said "no". He did his job which was to check out the situation. I did my job which was to let him. And everything worked out.
The first mistake any person of any color makes is to challenge a police officer.
1. Most cops, like everybody else, want to do their job and get home alive. (For them that could be a real issue on any given day.)
2. If you do as a person of color come across a a truly racist cop, WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO GIVE THEM THE EXCUSE TO MESS WITH YOU? There is racism out there but in every situation you have a choice. You can make the situation better or worse by how you react. I've had encounters with the law throughout my life and I've never given the law a reason mess with me. I'm not a fool. I know it happens that innocent people get hassled. But I've never seen where losing your cool would help your situation.
Addendum: Crayl and I honeymooned at Walt Disney World which is technically in the south. We spent the week there with not a single nasty look that I notice. (And I try to be aware because I know "IT'S" out there) We got home to San Diego and went out to breakfast, the black waitress wouldn't acknowledge Crayl and the black ladies seated behind me talked about us throughout the entire meal...
As much as I've dealt with racism from whites in my lifetime I've seen much more of it from blacks. Dr. King would be disgusted and frankly so am I. Yes, it's out there, but it is not a one way street.
Just putting it out there. But one last thing. Years ago I heard a black schoolgirl in Los Angeles call in to the Dennis Prager show and say she doesn't take her books home or answer questions in class because she didn't want to be hassled (at best) for trying to be "white". That's one of the saddest things I have ever heard.