Tag Archives: racial profiling

Horrible Week

Dead_Rabbit

To the two guys who kept arguing with me on my Intro to Criminal Law class before, tell me how racial profiling doesn’t exist now?

The recent events in the US have been the most malignant in terms of race relations recently, a mixture of bad police culture, guns, and a history of racial injustice. I’ve been tweeting about it for a couple of days now, and I’m sure many people have said more thoughtful things about it than me. But what gets to me most about these events is how the movement Black Lives Matter get tarred and feathered. “They’re a terrorist organization financed by George Soros!” “What about the cops?! Blue Lives Matter!” “What about everyone else? All Lives Matter!”

First off, enough with the conspiracy theories. Even if the movement was started by the Illuminati, it is working against a system that is corrupt. A system that is flush with guns, have bad training, and is protected by an abusive union. Even if Black Lives Matter had connections with the Black Panthers, it is a reaction to a system that has continually failed a group of people. Stop being obtuse. People are getting shot and killed, and people are angry. Not everything has to be a convoluted conspiracy of global destabilization. Remember Occam’s razor.

Cops’ lives matter, of course. They all have families and many police officers are minorities. The problem here is the police have a tendency to oppress minorities. They are the ones arresting, oppressing, and shooting black people. To say, blue lives matter, is a false equivalency. No one is systematically oppressing police officers. No one. They are the power. They are the ones with the authority to arrest, detain, and shoot if necessary.

To say “blue lives matter,” is almost the same as complaining about the existence of Black history month, or the BET Awards, or gay pride parades. Minorities have these things because they rarely get a say in things. They have been marginalized and now they are speaking out. Cops have never been marginalized. The song Cop Killer and that video of “pigs in a blanket” did not cause of a long history of suffering for police officers. It didn’t get them arrested. It kept them off schools and jobs. Police officers actually have it good. Many news outlets say that the shooting in Dallas which killed five officers was the deadliest attack on police officers since 9/11. If that’s the case, then being a police officer actually sounds safer than being black, gay, or a toddler in America.

And of course they’re safe. Judging from the protective gear, equipment, and tactics they’ve been using, they’re bound to be safe. The police forces on TV look more prepared for war than the poor soldiers sent to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. Police officers are bound to be safe if their first reaction to a black woman crying after her boyfriend got shot is to point guns at her as well. Diamond Reynolds was a woman whose loved one just got murdered while her daughter was in the vehicle. She’s not a Magneto. It reminds me of that Natalie Merchant song Gun Shy. “There is a world outside of this room, and if you meet it promise me, you won’t meet it with your gun.” Unfortunately, I keep seeing examples of the opposite.

And as for “all lives matter.” I agree. All lives matter. It’s just that black people in America want to be part of that “all.” They have a long history of not mattering.

 

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Police and Minorities

flowers_tentacles

Seriously, what is happening in Ferguson?

What’s annoying about the debate is when privileged talking heads wonder why black people don’t trust the police so much. What exactly is their problem with authority? Usually, people that spout of such opinions are, you guessed it, white people who are more than happy to indulge in small talk with police officers whenever they get stopped for whatever it was they got stopped for. Did you watch the game? Hey, didn’t you go to Sisler High School? Nice weather for fishing, eh? Etc. etc. I don’t think black people… or other minorities for that matter, could usually get away with half the things white people could get away with when it comes to dealing with police officers. Most of the time, minorities are too busy explaining themselves. How could they indulge in inane banter? There is often no room for pleasantries because it is not afforded to them. The police are doing their job, you did something wrong or you fit the profile, now answer the questions.

Ferguson is an amazing contrast to how authorities react to white people behaving badly, particularly in the standoff in the Bundy Ranch a few months ago. In that scenario, white militia men are pointing guns at police officers, clearly threatening to harm them should they remove Cliven Bundy’s illegally grazing cattle from government property. White people carrying and pointing guns around = totally legal. But in Ferguson, people showing outrage at teenagers getting shot, regardless of whether they’re a suspect for a robbery or not (since when was robbery a crime deserving of a death sentence?), police react as if they were being invaded by a foreign force. Body armor, automatic weapons, tear gases, etc.

And (white) people ask why do minorities have a problem with the cops?

I remember having a debate in Criminal Justice class about racial profiling. I told them about a story of me being profiled in Vancouver Airport and asked in two separate instances by two different officers whether I was carrying any contraband or cash exceeding $10,000 while I was waiting for my flight. I was dressed in a suit, no hand carry, and just reading a book. I don’t know where I could’ve hidden both contraband and cash. In both instances, the officers asked me questions, looked at my passport and tickets, then proceeded to make small talk and jokes with other people next to me after questioning me. Thanks officers. I felt that while the incident was minor and quite annoying, I could see how people could see being profiled as dehumanizing. But that’s what some people don’t get. That’s what some (white) people don’t get. “How could you feel dehumanized? Personally, when an officer stops me and checks to see if everything is in order, I feel safer and lucky that I live in such a well-protected neighborhood.” Yeah keep thinking that. I’m sure you’ll feel differently when it’s only done to you a few dozen times.

Personally, I’ve only had minor instances of racial profiling in Canada (I’ve had more racial profiling here in South Korea), but I can only imagine how hard it must be for other neighborhoods in Canada and in the US. In any case, I believe it’s never right for the powerful to tell those under them how they should be feeling, how they should be reacting in the face of oppression. That is a privilege only the oppressed should have. As for Ferguson. God bless people for their hope, courage, patience, and faith that justice will someday be done.

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