Driving while black.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Harvard Professor that was arrested for breaking and entering because he had to force his way through his own front door.  A neighbor had called the police, thinking someone was trying to break into the house.  Maybe that person should pay more attention to who their neighbors are.  If you haven’t heard about this you can read about it here.

This was actually the 2nd African American Harvard Professor who was wrongly arrested.  This would not even be in the news if they weren’t.  I want to know (maybe I don’t it’s probably really depressing) how many average African American, Mexican, Sudanese, Asian, Somalian (the list goes on and on) have been wrongly arrested and it never made the news.  Minorities have told me that they often get pulled over for seemingly no reason.  This makes me so frustrated because I deeply feel that this would not have happened to a Caucasian professor, or Caucasian period.

How do you explain to your child or even yourself why this is ok?  I would be so ashamed if Finn saw me being taken away in handcuffs for no reason.  I would be furious.  I feel that this is a big step backward and I hope we can start moving in the right direction immediately.

As a teacher I often have to tell parents things that they don’t really want to hear about their child.  Sometimes this causes the parents to become angry with me.  Twice this has happened with a parent of a minority and they accuse me of being racist.  This truly hurts me because I don’t believe that is true.  It causes me to be angry with the parent and think that they are using their race as an excuse.  When I look at cases like the above I have to realize that they have had experiences during their lifetime that I couldn’t even comprehend that led them to the belief that many Caucasians are racist.  I believe we need to have a greater empathy for all people.  I love the quote~Be kinder than necessary, you never know what battle people are fighting. And that could not be more true for anyone of any color.  But especially for minorities because they have probably been taught all their life that they are second class citizens.  I don’t know about you, but many of my highest kids in my class are minorities and many other minorities I know personally are nothing but first class.  Many have faced trials and tribulations and overcame them to truly represent what the American Dream is all about.  And they deserve the same respect but they also deserve allowance for how others have treated them in the past.

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5 Responses to Driving while black.

  1. spamwarrior says:

    As a minority (I’m Chinese American) I have seen Caucasians who have refused to speak to my Chinese friends. There was one mother whose little boy was in the same class as a friend’s son, and they also lived on the same street. Whenever her little boy would run into the house of the Chinese boy, she’d go, “Get out of there!” and whisk him away. It was sad to see. You’re right, we need to have greater empathy for people.

      I am so sorry to hear about both of these situations. It seems that all minorities have stories like these and it’s just so sad that you have to live through those. I hope that one day (in the very near future) we can all be counted equal, as it should be. It’s frustrating to me because people think since Barack Obama was elected President we are not racist anymore. It was an amazing thing, but we still have a long way to go!!
      :) Kate
  2. Vince says:

    I completely understand what you’re saying, but I have seen minorities use it as a crutch. I have a former employee that blamed every instance of his underperforming and/or not getting promoted on the fact he was black. Never mind that we have many minoritiy personnel working for us that do get good reviews and advancement. Never mind that it’s their own performance holding them back.

    Not saying this is the case with everyone, but it does happen. Pity we can’t measure each other simply on our character and personality.

      I wish the same thing. I wish they wouldn’t have the opportunity to use as a crutch because we could all say everyone is treated equally. Hopefully that’s what we are working toward!
      :) Kate
  3. Laoch says:

    Fine post.

    “Be kinder than necessary, you never know what battle people are fighting,” is a very useful sentiment.

      I try to remember it every day!
      :) Kate
  4. nashe says:

    These are the people who impede progress, really! Ignorance does not get anyone anywhere.

      So true!
      :) Kate
  5. C. Princess says:

    Great writing.

      :) Kate

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