Thursday, June 6, 2013

Racial profiling is not the product of someone's imagination

You have to watch this. A young friend of mine, a black youth, once told me how he felt every time he went in to a store. People were always watching him assuming he was up to no good. I used to work in the streets of Oakland with a crew of guys. The foreman might be a Japanese American or a Latino guy, the truck driver was black, I might be the only white guy.  But whenever a member of the public wanted to know what was going on or what was wrong, they invariably came and asked me. I would have to send them over to the foreman.  Even black folks came and asked me.

This is a very powerful video about racial profiling.  The most important thing is that racism is part of the system, it is built in to it, institutionalized.  Dealing with it as an individual problem as opposed to a social one is not enough.  As Malcolm X said, "You can't have capitalism without racism." 

Next time you think a black youth seems to display what seems to be some unwarranted anger or suspicion, give them a little slack in how you deal with it. It's no wonder people go off.

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