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Driving While Black: Racial Profiling On Our Nation's Highways

Posted by on Sep. 21, 2014 at 7:36 PM
  • 58 Replies

https://www.aclu.org/racial-justice/driving-while-black-racial-profiling-our-nations-highways


Super long, this is just an excerpt.

Driving While Black: Racial Profiling On Our Nation's Highways

June 7, 1999

By David A. Harris,
University of Toledo College of Law

An American Civil Liberties Union
Special Report
June 1999

 

INTRODUCTION

On a hot summer afternoon in August 1998, 37-year-old U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Rossano V. Gerald and his young son Gregory drove across the Oklahoma border into a nightmare. A career soldier and a highly decorated veteran of Desert Storm and Operation United Shield in Somalia, SFC Gerald, a black man of Panamanian descent, found that he could not travel more than 30 minutes through the state without being stopped twice: first by the Roland City Police Department, and then by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

During the second stop, which lasted two-and-half hours, the troopers terrorized SFC Gerald's 12-year-old son with a police dog, placed both father and son in a closed car with the air conditioning off and fans blowing hot air, and warned that the dog would attack if they attempted to escape. Halfway through the episode – perhaps realizing the extent of their lawlessness – the troopers shut off the patrol car's video evidence camera. 

Perhaps, too, the officers understood the power of an image to stir people to action. SFC Gerald was only an infant in 1963 when a stunned nation watched on television as Birmingham Police Commissioner "Bull" Connor used powerful fire hoses and vicious police attack dogs against nonviolent black civil rights protesters. That incident, and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s stirring I Have a Dream speech at the historic march on Washington in August of that year, were the low and high points, respectively, of the great era of civil rights legislation: the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. 

How did it come to be, then, that 35 years later SFC Gerald found himself standing on the side of a dusty road next to a barking police dog, listening to his son weep while officers rummaged through his belongings simply because he was black?

I feel like I'm a guy who's pretty much walked the straight line and that's respecting people and everything. We just constantly get harassed. So we just feel like we can't go anywhere without being bothered... I'm not trying to bother anybody. But yet a cop pulls me over and says I'm weaving in the road. And I just came from a friend's house, no alcohol, nothing. It just makes you wonder – was it just because I'm black?" 
– James, 28, advertising account executive

Rossano and Gregory Gerald were victims of discriminatory racial profiling by police. There is nothing new about this problem. Police abuse against people of color is a legacy of African American enslavement, repression, and legal inequality. Indeed, during hearings of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders ("The Kerner Commission") in the fall of 1967 where more than 130 witnesses testified about the events leading up to the urban riots that had taken place in 150 cities the previous summer, one of the complaints that came up repeatedly was "the stopping of Negroes on foot or in cars without obvious basis." 

by on Sep. 21, 2014 at 7:36 PM
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Replies (1-10):
VooDooB
by Emerald Member on Sep. 21, 2014 at 7:48 PM
Black people probably shouldn't drive.
VooDooB
by Emerald Member on Sep. 21, 2014 at 7:52 PM
3 moms liked this
1999? Christ on a cracker - now you're just looking for race topic shit to post. Current = now.
JonJon
by Ruby Member on Sep. 21, 2014 at 7:52 PM

You probably should ignore my posts.

Quoting VooDooB: Black people probably shouldn't drive.


VooDooB
by Emerald Member on Sep. 21, 2014 at 7:55 PM
1 mom liked this
You're probably right. I am a raging, bigoted racist afterall.

Quoting JonJon:

You probably should ignore my posts.

Quoting VooDooB: Black people probably shouldn't drive.

JonJon
by Ruby Member on Sep. 21, 2014 at 7:56 PM

I wrote a sequel for you.  I like stuff written by the ACLU.

Quoting VooDooB: 1999? Christ on a cracker - now you're just looking for race topic shit to post. Current = now.


VooDooB
by Emerald Member on Sep. 21, 2014 at 7:58 PM
3 moms liked this
I like stuff written by people who actually have brains.

Quoting JonJon:

I wrote a sequel for you.  I like stuff written by the ACLU.

Quoting VooDooB: 1999? Christ on a cracker - now you're just looking for race topic shit to post. Current = now.

JonJon
by Ruby Member on Sep. 21, 2014 at 8:07 PM

In 1750 Benjamin Franklin, in his Poor Richard's Almanack, observed the great difficulty of knowing one's self, with: "There are three Things extremely hard, Steel, a Diamond, and to know one's self." 

To begin with, to "know thyself" means you must become conscious of your thoughts, your likes and dislikes, your prejudices, habits, memories, etc., because the more you understand yourself, the greater is your understanding of humanity as well. 

Knowing your true self is when you learn to step outside of your thinking - in other words, to be the "observer" and not caught up in your emotions and all the above-mentioned aspects that make up your "persona" or "personality" as we see it here on earth. 

I won't question your self-assessment.  You're on Step One of the road to recovery.

If you have nothing to say on the actual topic, I'd prefer not to engage in rounds and rounds of nonsense.  Not in the mood, today; some other day, maybe.

Quoting VooDooB: You're probably right. I am a raging, bigoted racist afterall.
Quoting JonJon:

You probably should ignore my posts.

Quoting VooDooB: Black people probably shouldn't drive.


VooDooB
by Emerald Member on Sep. 21, 2014 at 8:41 PM
2 moms liked this

First paragraph is from wiki - exactly. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_thyself
Second paragraph comes from another website - word for word. http://prmac.com/release-id-62763.htm

This isn't the first time I've caught you doing this either. If your words aren't your own, sourcing your "thoughts" is not only in good form, but pretty much standard in life.

Question:

Do you have any original thoughts of your own, ever? Or is everything you post here a form of plagiarism? 

 

Quoting JonJon:

In 1750 Benjamin Franklin, in his Poor Richard's Almanack, observed the great difficulty of knowing one's self, with: "There are three Things extremely hard, Steel, a Diamond, and to know one's self." 

To begin with, to "know thyself" means you must become conscious of your thoughts, your likes and dislikes, your prejudices, habits, memories, etc., because the more you understand yourself, the greater is your understanding of humanity as well. Knowing your true self is when you learn to step outside of your thinking - in other words, to be the "observer" and not caught up in your emotions and all the above-mentioned aspects that make up your "persona" or "personality" as we see it here on earth. 

I won't question your self-assessment.  You're on Step One of the road to recovery.

If you have nothing to say on the actual topic, I'd prefer not to engage in rounds and rounds of nonsense.  Not in the mood, today; some other day, maybe.

Quoting VooDooB: You're probably right. I am a raging, bigoted racist afterall.
Quoting JonJon:

You probably should ignore my posts.

Quoting VooDooB: Black people probably shouldn't drive.


Elkamelka
by KayGee on Sep. 21, 2014 at 8:47 PM

There was a black actor on Bill Maher this Friday (I can't remember his name), and he told a pretty terrifying story about being pulled over. I'm sorry I don't know how to link on here.

Bookwormy
by Ruby Member on Sep. 21, 2014 at 8:56 PM
4 moms liked this
Although this OP was written 15 years ago, I'm confident it could have been written yesterday. And i love the ACLU too. Not all white folk deny racism. Of course, I'm a Jewish lesbian, so i belong to a couple minority groups myself. Still, I'm white & benefit from it.
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