I’m not going to link to anything because this has come up so often that I don’t want to single anyone out, but who the hell doesn’t know that race is an issue in the United States.
Yes, I’m talking to you, person who wonders why a reportedly by-the-book police shooting of a violent, mentally unstable white guy doesn’t result in an uproar whereas a reportedly by-the-book police shooting of a violent, mentally unstable black guy results in multiday protests.
Most people would agree that Jamar Clark was not exactly a saint, and some close to him say he was trying to change. I believe that.
But the difference in perception of an unfortunate event stems from a lot of minor events that don’t make the news. There is a reason people rally behind someone like Clark.
The big reason is everyday interactions with law enforcement. I can’t tell you the whole story because I am not black, but I can tell you this.
I’ve been pulled over by the police for failure to signal a lane change and/or erratic driving about a dozen times. A few of these even happened on interior residential streets that did not have lanes painted on road. As a former driver’s ed instructor, I know I had violated the law.
However, I think it’s odd that every time I was pulled over for not signaling a lane change, I was with a black co-worker. I’m a terrible driver and vaguely off-white guy all of the time, but I have never been pulled over for something as stupid as not signaling a lane change when driving by myself.
I’m lucky. None of the stops lasted more than 10 minutes and I was never issued a citation (which means the stops probably never entered a police officer’s daily log).
What would you do if you thought your every move was scrutinized to the exact letter of the law?
Would your opinion of by the book police procedure change?
My experience is very limited. Please share your story in the comments.