Tuesday, August 11, 2009
A Civil Service
So here I am in court, and I’m looking around at my fellow traffic criminals as we wait in the gallery for the judge, and I do a little counting. As it turns out, in a room of about 50 people, about 22 were black, 18 Latino, about 8 were various other minorities, and just 2 people in that whole big ol’ room were white.
I have to believe that white people forget or don’t care to fix their fix-it tickets at the same rate as all other races. We’re all human! We all hate having to deal with stupid shit like driving with one headlight. I also have to believe that all drivers, regardless of race or color, break these minor traffic laws with the same frequency. If both these things are true then the obvious conclusion is African Americans get pulled over and cited the most for the routine traffic violations we all commit, then it’s the Latinos, then the“others” and lastly Caucasians.
No one wants to believe in racial profiling, but then again we all know it happens. If you knew me as a teenager you would know that there was never a reason for a police officer to push me onto the hood of his patrol car and search my pockets because he got a report that some Mexicans were throwing water balloons at cars. Yet there I was.
Hell, not more than three weeks ago Henry Louis Gates Jr., was arrested for breaking into his own home. And Obama was right, Cambridge police acted stupidly. I don’t care what color a suspect is, if you arrest a man breaking into his own home you acted stupidly.
We would like to think that racism doesn’t exist especially in our great city of Los Angeles, that we’re too metropolitan and sophisticated. Well we’re not. I envy my friends of European descent who can look at the police and feel safe, and I hate the fact that when I see a cop I eye him with the same suspicion that he eyes me. It sucks. But when you realize that half the people getting pulled over for the same crime that everyone is committing are one minority closely followed by a second minority, well then I think the suspicion is deserved, especially when you belong to the latter.
But firemen are cool. Props yo!