Tag Archives: racial profiling

Jay Z defends his Barney deal



Philly cops caught harassing and insulting pedestrians

Watch the clip and share your thoughts.

US Airways had no problem with man in panties, but baggie pants football player had to deplane…what’s the difference?


US Airways allowed this man,  to ride on of their flights 8 days before they prohibited a University of Mexico football player, Deshon Marmon from flying on one of their planes. they told him his saggy pants were unacceptable, but a man in his panties is free to ride. What’s the difference? May because the football player was black? No that can’t be a factor. We live in a color blind society. Sadly not everyone is blind.


No More “Pants on the Ground” in Dublin Georgia

 The mayor of Dublin, Georgia is saying saggy, baggy pants now are in the category of indecent exposure and violators could be fined up to $200. “Dublin Mayor Phil Best said he plans to sign this week an amendment to the municipality’s indecent exposure ordinance. The amendment, which Best plans to put into immediate effect at the City Council meeting, prohibits the wearing of pants or skirts “more than three inches below the top of the hips exposing the skin or undergarments. We’ve gotten several complaints from citizens saying the folks with britches down below their buttocks was offensive, and wasn’t there something we could do about it,” Best said.* Some of the residents are all for the new ordinance, but some think it will cause racial profiling since so many black young men favor this style. Lashika Haynes supports the push to force folks to pull up, “It’s just disrespectful by showing your drawers to people,” she said. But there are those who feel that the ordinance singles out a specific group of citizens. Jean Wolf, who volunteers with young black men in the community said, “They’re the ones wearing the saggy, baggy pants.”*   Is this law unfair? Tell me what you think.


Arizona’s New Law Is this Racial Profiling or Immigration Reform?

“Arizona’s Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed a controversial immigration bill into law on Friday, calling it “another step forward in protecting the state of Arizona. The bill, SB 1070, came in response to a spike in violence along the state’s portion of the U.S.- Mexico border. It will make it a state crime not to carry proof of legal immigration status and will require Arizona’s state and local police to ask about a person’s immigration status if there is “reasonable suspicion” that he or she is in the country illegally.”* Anyway you look at this it is racial profiling. Arizona does have a real problem with illegal immigrant but two wrongs don’t make a right and this is simply wrong, but what can they do? We are living in tough times and it is hard enough to take care of the citizens of this country. I am amazed at the number of illegals that are able to tap into resources that should be reserved for the citizens of this country, but to give the police the unfettered power to question any brown person is not the answer. Arizona had to do something, but this is not it. There will be numerous challenges to this law so I hope the same legislature that sanctioned this discriminatory law is now thinking of other options because this is a blatant violation of civil rights.


Morning Joe’s Mika Taking the Heat for Conversation on Race

This morning while watching the Morning Joe I was struck by how this Henry Louis Gates story will not go away. By now everyone knows the story. Black man arrested in his own home by white policemen, but the facts of the incident are still in dispute. The President has said the cops acted “stupidly” which elevated the conversation, but the sad part of this is people are being attacked for facilitating the conversation. In the case of Mika Brzenski she said she was receiving hate mail from both sides for merely asking questions, but that is her job to ask questions. Race is an uncomfortable conversation. most of the time we don’t discuss it but that does not mean that race is not an issue. It is times like this that force us to grample with this touchy subject. While watching the show it was interesting to see co-workers who normally affirm each other at odds with each other. Race is a polarizing subject but the conversation on race should not be polarizing, but unfortunately it is.

The Gates Incident Affirms the Need to Teach Our Black Sons to Comply with the Police

 The Henry Louis Gates controversy has caused America to re-visit the issue of racial profiling. When I initially read the article I thought it was a clear case, but I was surprised at the response of my husband. My husband is an Ivy League graduate and he said when the police give you an order you comply. He said any other response might get you killed. I think the public is appalled because Gates is a noted historian and an esteemed elder in the black community. The question is how could they do this to him, but the bigger issue is how could they do it at all. The sad fact is we have to teach our children how to react to the police. The police are no longer the Officer Friendly we met in elementary school. There are far too many rogue officers who are looking for a reason to use their billy club and we do not want our children to be on the other end of it. So in spite of the fact that Gates is beloved to us he is still a black man and like it or not in 2009 black men still have to behave in a certain way or risk being killed.

An Interesting perspective on the Henry Louis Gates controversy

A friend of mine from Chicago sent me the link to a story that ran in the Chicago Sun-Times. The headline is Oh, Henry! You’re Sending the Wrong Message. In the article she gives a very interesting look at the incident and she presents a good argument that is worthy of reading.

BY MARY MITCHELL Sun-Times Columnist

As a homeowner who has had a break-in, I can’t get too worked up over what happened to Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. Notable African Americans across the country are expressing outrage that Gates, who is considered to be a leading African-American intellectual, was hauled off to jail for trying to get into his own house. But let’s look at this from another angle. This is a case of no good deed goes unpunished. I wish someone had been watching when thieves broke into my house and made off with everything they could carry. But like so many other communities in America, we live in neighborhoods of strangers. That’s probably why the woman who called 911 on Gates didn’t simply walk over and ask if she could help. What she saw was two black men acting suspiciously. What Gates saw was racial profiling. And because complaints about racial profiling are so common, even without knowing all of the facts about Gates’ arrest, President Obama concluded that police “acted stupidly” and pointed out that “blacks and Hispanics are picked more frequently, and oftentimes for no cause.” Still, if you are a black man living in a prestigious neighborhood, you shouldn’t be surprised that someone would call police if they spot you on the porch trying to force open the front door. According to the statement released by Gates’ lawyer, Charles Ogletree, another heavy-hitting Harvard professor, Gates arrived from an overseas trip and found his front door jammed. “Gates then entered his rear door with his key, turned off his alarm and again attempted to open the front door. With the help of his driver, they were able to force the front door open,” Ogletree noted. Once inside, Gates called the real estate company about the damage to the door of his rented home, and that’s when he “observed a uniformed officer on his front porch.””When Professor Gates opened the door, the officer immediately asked him to step outside. Professor Gates remained inside his home and asked the officer why he was there,” Ogletree said. Let’s stop there. A lot of black men have been brutally beaten by police officers for not obeying a police order. But according to Ogletree, the police officer told Gates he was responding to a 911 call about a breaking and entering. As is the case with all confrontations between police and citizens, the versions of what happened differ. Gates claims that after giving the police officer his Harvard University identification and his valid Massachusetts driver’s license, he asked the officer if he would give him his name and badge number. “He made his request several times. The officer did not produce any identification nor did he respond to Professor Gates’ request for this information,” Ogletree said. But the police report claims that after Gates was told police were there because of a 911 call, he said: “Why, because I’m a black man in America?” and that Gates initially refused to show his ID. The report also alleges that Gates engaged in colorful dialogue with the arresting officer: “Gates turned to me and told me that I had no idea who I was ‘messing’ with and that I had not heard the last of it,” the officer reported. When Gates was repeatedly told to “step outside,” he allegedly responded: “Ya, I’ll speak with your mama outside.” Everybody knows when you start dissing a cop’s mama, that’s it. After about four hours in jail, Gates was released on his own recognizance. Not surprisingly, the City of Cambridge issued a statement Tuesday calling the arrest “regrettable” and “unfortunate,” and the police department dropped all charges. Meanwhile, Gates told TheRoot.com, the online magazine of black perspectives he founded, that he is “outraged.” “[The officer] didn’t say, ‘Excuse me, sir, is there a disturbance here, is this your house?’– he demanded that I step out on the porch, and I don’t think he would have done that if I was a white person,” Gates said. That may be true.But because Gates is recognized as one of the most influential black men in America, his ordeal was nothing compared with what he would have suffered as an ordinary black man. I’m concerned because the message here seems to be that police don’t have the right to order a black man around. That may make sense to Gates. But people who live in urban America know better than to try this at home.

Did President Obama go too Far by Saying the Cambridge Police Acted “Stupidly”?

This morning on the Today Show Matt Lauer interviewed Michael Eric Dyson and radio host Michael Smerconish and asked them to weigh in on the controversy. Smerconish said while he is a supporter of the president he disagreed with his assessment of the police, but the more important point he made was the way people look (race) tends to color how they see this situation. President Obama said he did not know what happened in that house, but even without knowing the specifics he knows that once the professor had satisfied the fact that he was in his own home the inquiry should have been over. It is true that President Obama is seeing this situation from the lens of a black man. Michael Eric Dyson affirmed the president’s opinion that the police did act stupidly. The policeman said the professor was uncooperative. What does that mean? I have watched so many white journalists over the past few days say they too would have been uncooperative and belligerant if a policeman came in their home, and even after they complied with the officers request still being told to step outside. Let’s just take the color issue out of the equation why did the officer want Professor Gates to come outside? He wanted him to come outside because he wanted to arrest him. Why did he want to arrest him? He was not breaking and entering wasn’t that the reason they came in the first place? No, he wanted to teach the teacher a lesson. He wanted to let this black guy know who was boss. It reminds me of the old saying “what do you call a black professor?” If you are black you know the answer,  and if you can answer the question then you know why Professor Gates is mad and he simply refused to take it anymore.

Celebrated Henry Louis Gates Victim of Racial Profiling in “Post-Racial” America

About a month ago Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)said in jest if President Obama did not have his security he would have a hard time getting a cab in New York. He was criticized for this remark but the reality is it is the truth. Some police see a black man and they think criminal first. This is why noted historian Henry Louis Gates was arrested while attempting to enter his own home. “Police say they were called to the home Thursday afternoon after a woman reported seeing a man try to pry open the front door. They say that they ordered the man to identify himself and that Gates refused. According to a police report, Gates then called the officer a racist and said, “This is what happens to black men in America.” Gates is director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University, but to the police he was just a black man breaking and entering.