Well, I have.
I’ve been working on a post discussing one of my earliest recollections of being profiled.
I’ll share the details tomorrow.
Join in the Fray: How do you define “profiling?”
I’m blogging every day in the month of July in Blogher’s NaBloPoMo Challenge. Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment!
Copyright © 2013 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, The Swirl World™, All rights reserved.
Yes, indeed – I remember that series. I went back and pulled the link and I’ll post it below.
You hit the nail on the head – think about how many non-Black people shared your viewpoint. YOU never dealt with it, so therefore it really didn’t exist. Surely Black people are overreacting! And then when you DO experience it – because you were with a Black woman for whom that type of profiling was nothing NEW, all of a sudden you’re faced with the reality of someone ELSE’S world..
If only each of us looked past our own noses to try to understand how other people live.
Here’s the link to your article:
Yes. I did a post on BB&W about this some time ago so I will not get into the entire story. Most white people – who have never experienced it – often seem to either not believe that racial profiling happens or think that it isnt that big of a deal (“just forget about it”) until they have experienced it. I admit, I was one of these as well (” oh, that doesnt happen” ” oh, it is all in your head” “oh, you are just being paranoid”). Until I had a cop knocking on MY car window asking for ID’s because I was committing the heinous crime of PWWWBWIC. This is the unknown counterpart to DWB… Driving While Black. It is Parked While White With Black Woman In Car. Mall parking lot, we were just having a conversation. Colleagues, we are both teachers. Car pooled to an Educational Professional Development. Both dressed professionally. Chatting. Me, white man. She, black woman. Wow, if that doesnt deserve a cop ID’ing us, I dont know what does. As we are handing over our ID’s and I am filled with righteous indignation, I ask the classic “Whats the problem, officer?”. Tiny white female cop – backed up by her partner with one hand on his gun – says “oh, we have had some trouble” and goes to run our IDs. Trouble? OK, but not from me. After she brings us back our IDs and leaves, I look to my colleague and she says “Welcome to my world”. And for the very first time in my life…. I understood racial profiling. If I had been alone or if my companion had been white… my window never gets knocked on.
That is a fantastic story. Thank you so much for sharing that.
A Swirl Girl says
Karla, what an AWESOME story! I love the way you stood up for yourself, and also how Joanne Woodward stood up for you. What’s that saying? The only way for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing? Kudos to her AND you for not rolling over and letting that profiling happen.
A Swirl Girl says
Eugenia, yes it IS. And some people go through live and NEVER experience it. smh
Yes, I’ve been “profiled” as a consumer, a few times but the one situation I’m thinking of, I can look back and cheer at the outcome. I was living in New Haven, Connecticut at the time at the behest of the US Navy and decided to drive to an upscale food market, Hay Day, in Westport. I had heard great things about their produce and I’m a foodie and an amateur chef so it was right up my alley. I grabbed a basket and was walking around picking up a few things when I noticed a man following me. He and one of the clerks had just finished a furiously whispered conversation so I assumed he was there to ensure I didn’t “steal” anything. I ignored him, continuing to shop. I reached into my purse to get a pen out to make notes on a couple of things and the next thing I know, the guy was asking me to go to the office. I calmly asked why and he said I had put something into my purse; they wanted to check it. I told him to call the police and if the police didn’t find anything, I was going to call a civil rights lawyer. He froze at that. Now, unbeknownst to me, Joanne Woodward (yes, that Joanne Woodward) was shopping too. She came around the corner when she heard the conversation and asked the guy what the hell he was doing. He stuttered out an explanation and she read him the riot act. At the time, the word “profiling” didn’t exist for what he did but she jumped all over him about his assumptions. I had never seen her in a movie but the tongue-lashing she gave that guy was awesome. She was mad! She told him she would never shop there again and she would ensure her friends never shopped there either. Joanne put down her basket, took my hand and said, “Let’s blow this joint. There’s another market up the road that’s a lot better than this one anyway.” The manager tried to apologize to me and to her, begging us to stay but she was a force of Nature and told him where to stick it. When we got to my car, she hugged me and said, “I sure hope you don’t think we’re all like that idiot in there.” I assured her I didn’t, we chatted for a while, I thanked her and that was it.
Isn’t that a horrible feeling. Yea I have.