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Walking While Black…Not!

04 Nov

Jogger exercising and walking on the wrong side of the road, not using the sidewalk.Local police stop jogger and politely suggest she move across the road to face traffic for safety reasons…

Jogger turns out to be a College Professor of Journalism…And a few days later writes an op-ed in the paper on being “racially profiled”.

Then the Police released the Dashcam footage…showing…absolutely…nothing. Except of course the professor walking on the wrong side of the road on the street instead of the sidewalk.

Anyone else feel someone needs to sit this “professor” down and tell her to STFU?

This is not a BLM moment. It is just a couple of cops doing their job.

I don’t buy the “Rorschach moment” – I see an inability to admit doing something wrong.

Got stopped by a cop one time, while trailering a boat in southern Virginia. Wasn’t speeding, had checked the lights before starting the trip to make sure they were working, the boat was strapped down tight… The cop explained that one of the screws in my trailer license plate had fallen out, and the holder was flopping in the wind and might fall off. I thanked him for alerting me to the fact, which saved me $60 in the cost to replace the plate if it had been lost. Temp fix with a Zip Tie (best thing since Duct Tape!), and on my way.

That is quite simply is a small part of what good Cops do.

Racism? By whom? This video of Texas cops stopping a black professor is a racial ‘Rorschach test’

On Oct. 24, University of North Texas professor Dorothy Bland was walking around her affluent Dallas suburb when she was stopped by police. Bland, who is African American, had been exercising in the street. The cops, who are both white, asked her to walk in the opposite direction so she could see traffic or, even better, to use the sidewalk. Roughly three minutes later, she was on her way.

The short and seemingly simple interaction has proved anything but, however.

Several days later, Bland, who is the dean of UNT’s journalism school, penned an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News claiming that she had been racially profiled.

“Walking while black is a crime in many jurisdictions,” she wrote. “May God have mercy on our nation.”

Dorothy Bland

Corinth Police responded by releasing the officers’ dashcam video of the interaction and claiming Bland had turned a “cordial” stop into a “racial issue.”

“If we didn’t have the video, these officers would have serious allegations against them,” police chief Debra Walthall told Fox News. “Every white officer that stops an African American does not constitute racial profiling.”

Now it is Bland, not the cops, who is facing pressure as nearly 2,500 people have signed a petition urging UNT to fire her.

Although disciplinary action against either the professor or police appears unlikely, the viral video is still generating a heated debate about law enforcement and race relations in this country.

Like Bland, many Americans see the stop as a subtle but significant instance of racial prejudice by police.

“If officers were concerned only about Bland’s safety and her impeding traffic, why did they ask her for her ID? Why did they need her birthdate? Why did they radio in a ‘name check’?” wrote Dallas Morning News writer Leona Allen, who is African American.

“We’re not fools,” Allen added. “Sure looks like they’re calling to check to see if she had outstanding warrants.”

Many others were equally angry — but with Bland.

“As a person of color, this upsets me,” said former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk, who is also African American. “Particularly against what happened in South Carolina. Particularly as this country is wrestling with very real concerns regarding the police treatment of African American youth.”

“She took advantage of a very innocent and thoughtful police response — walk on the right side of the street — she’s just looking for her Skip Gates moment,” Kirk told the Morning News, referring to the 2009 arrest of black Harvard professor Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, which led to accusations of racism against the Cambridge, Mass., police officer. “There’s a real danger here.”…

“It’s a Rorschach test,” wrote Morning News columnist Jacquielynn Floyd of the video. “The way we interpret it probably says a great deal about our beliefs, expectations and experiences in a nation that remains woefully divided along racial lines.”

Were it not for America’s simmering debate over race and policing, the incident could be chalked up as an example of the so-called Rashomon effect. The phenomenon, in which different people draw contradictory interpretations of a single event, draws its name from the eponymous 1950 classic film by Japanese director Akira Kurosawa.

What is undisputed is that Dorothy Bland was walking in the street near her Corinth home on the morning of Oct. 24, when she was stopped by two white police officers.

“I was dressed in a gray hooded ‘Boston’ sweatshirt, black leggings, white socks, plus black-and-white Nike running shoes,” Bland’s recounting began. “Like most African Americans, I am familiar with the phrase ‘driving while black,’ but was I really being stopped for walking on the street in my own neighborhood?”

She continued:

Knowing that the police officers are typically armed with guns and are a lot bigger than my 5 feet, 4 inches, I had no interest in my life’s story playing out like Trayvon Martin’s death. I stopped and asked the two officers if there was a problem; I don’t remember getting a decent answer before one of the officers asked me where I lived and for identification.

I remember saying something like, “Around the corner. This is my neighborhood, and I’m a taxpayer who pays a lot of taxes.” As for the I.D. question, how many Americans typically carry I.D. with them on their morning walk? Do you realize I bought the hoodie I was wearing after completing the Harvard University Institute for Management and Leadership in Education in 2014? Do you realize I have hosted gatherings for family, friends, faculty, staff and students in my home? Not once was a police officer called. To those officers, my education or property-owner status didn’t matter. One officer captured my address and date of birth.

I guess I was simply a brown face in an affluent neighborhood. I told the police I didn’t like to walk in the rain, and one of them told me, “My dog doesn’t like to walk in the rain.” Ouch!

Bland was clearly angered by the encounter. She compared the stop to other instances in which African Americans have died at police officers’ hands.

“Although I am not related to Sandra Bland,” who died in a Texas jail after a traffic stop, “I thought about her, Freddie Gray and the dozens of others who have died while in police custody,” the professor wrote. “For safety’s sake, I posted the photo of the officers on Facebook, and within hours, more than 100 Facebook friends spread the news from New York to California.”…Read the rest of the article here

 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on November 4, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter, The New Jim Crow

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

3 responses to “Walking While Black…Not!

  1. roderick2012

    November 5, 2015 at 11:48 AM

    I have a problem with their asking her for her ID and running a check on her.

    Why didn’t they just pull over and tell her that a truck had almost run over her and that she needed to use the sidewalk and she was walking on the wrong side of the road instead of leaving their cruiser and harassing her?

    Obviously their beat is too slow for them.

    Like

     
    • btx3

      November 5, 2015 at 12:29 PM

      Technically she committed a crime, and could have been ticketed. I think the decision not to ticket her was based on a clean background.

      Like

       
      • roderick2012

        November 5, 2015 at 12:42 PM

        As I stated it was obviously a slow day for the cops.

        It just seems as if the cops take every situation to the extreme.

        Like

         

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