Let’s jump in!
A bitch has received several emails requesting my thoughts on the recent report by Missouri’s Attorney General Chris Koster on what we like to call driving while black.
Now, I know that more than a few folks respond to people of color taking exception to being pulled over for being black and behind the wheel of a moving vehicle the same way they respond to people of color taking exception to being asked to produce proof of citizenship simply for being brown in a border state – they shoot back some bullshit about how we shouldn’t be upset if we didn’t do anything wrong and gleefully ignore the fact that we didn’t do anything fucking wrong in the first place…unless someone reactivated Jim Crow and my ass missed it.
Yeah, I know that’s how some people feel…that it isn’t a big deal and if people of color didn’t commit crimes we wouldn’t be pulled over and blah followed by blah followed by another fucking blah. This bitch knows that if all straight white men between the ages of 24 and 45 in a community, regardless of whether they have a criminal record or not, were pulled over and/or hauled in for questioning every time a child went missing or a serial killer was wanted those same folks would sing a different tune on profiling.
This shit is easy to dismiss when you’re not the one with a cop at your car window for no damn reason.
Anyhoo, Koster released the 10th annual report on vehicle stops…the report says that “if you are African-American you are 70 percent more likely to be pulled over than if you are Caucasian" and that "In the city of Ladue, you are 1,700 percent more likely to be pulled over than if you were Caucasian."
For non-locals, Ladue is an affluent St. Louis suburb and is known as a place where black folks get pulled over and asked if we are lost…trust a bitch, it’s happened to me more than once.
The Attorney General’s office examined 1.7 million stops by 642 law enforcement agencies in 2009.
Over the past 10 years the rate of black folk getting pulled over has increased in Missouri from 30 percent to 70 percent.
A bitch thought that shit was disturbing all on it’s own…but much of the media attention has focused on the Ladue stats ‘cause Ladue is Ladue. Seems to me that Ladue is just doing what Missouri does with more dedication and consistency and we’d do well to not give the state a pass simply because one suburb is particularly rancid when it comes to harassing black drivers.
Even if you are comfortable with the idea of black residents in the state of Missouri having to add an extra 30 minutes to our drive time to allow for a potential incident of driving while black…your ass should be pissed.
Every time a Missourian is pulled over for driving while black and there wasn’t a crime or cause or reason…every time a police officer takes the time to run plates, write that shit up, call it in, walk to the car and ask if we are lost and then issue a verbal warning for some shit that never happened…every time that shit happens it wastes time, money and an opportunity to protect and serve.k.
I’m not even going to get into the civil rights violations or the precious privilege demonstrated by the Ladue police department when they defend these stats by saying drivers can always come into the police department offices and file a complaint…but I will point out that the former Ladue Police Chief is suing Ladue for allegedly firing him due to his refusal to racially profile black drivers.
The true tragedy is that there are people out there who have been conditioned by a media that only mentions race when the race isn’t white to think that black people…all of us…are guilty until proven innocent.
Just like there are misguided liberals who think that claiming that we are all a part of the human race is progressive and who feel that thinking of humans in terms of race is the problem.
But a bitch has personally been pulled over and I can tell you black trumps adhering to the laws a lot in Missouri and a hell of a lot in Ladue.
For the record, humans are a species not a lets-all-hold-hands-and-ignore-our-differences-so-I-can-tolerate-you race.
And post-racial is a delusion just like that “I don’t see color” claim someone is typing up right now to post in the comments.
This isn't complicated.
'Tis rather simple.
A bitch is a full-figured chocolate brown woman with an Afro and I sure as shit expect people to see that shit…
…what I don’t want or deserve, even though I've come to expect it, is to be pulled over and harassed for that shit.
Thursday, June 03, 2010
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