Friday, July 19, 2013

The Problem With Profiling

During the 1960s racial relationships were beginning to reach a peak especially in the south.  I was in high school in Alexandria, Virginia.  We had one black student in the entire school at that time. His name was Rayfield Barber.

Fast forward to the 90's. We had an all years  reunion, for Groveton graduates.  At that reunion many of the alums were interviewed and asked about their years at Groveton.  In the above link to a You Tube video, Rayfield relates how he had to go to court to come to Groveton, but once there he was treated very well.  (The video is 9 minutes long and includes Mr. Hiller, a Groveton history teacher.  The link below it is 5 minutes long.) If you talk to many American black people they will tell what good lives they had either separate from other races or integrated in the northern and western states. (Check out Condi Rice, Dr. Ben Carson, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, and Clarence Thomas.)

Now looking at today-- I’m sorry that Trayvon Martin had such a short life but I don’t think he was killed because of profiling.  It was determined by a jury that Zimmerman protected himself.  Obviously, both men made mistakes and it is a tragedy.

So let me ask this question: How would you react to a group of black men carrying Bibles?  Now compare this with your possible reaction to a group of white men carrying weapons.  I would trust the guys with the Bibles.  Wouldn't you?

Over the years, many people have been profiled for various reasons.  I’ve personally been profiled.  The one and only time I was stopped by a policeman it was because I was a young woman, I think.  I don’t have proof, except to say that this particular policeman also stopped several friends of mine.  Maybe he was just looking for a date or he thought all women were very bad drivers.

Then in 2004, when I arrived at the airport, I was suddenly surprised that I found myself to be on the “No Fly” list.  This is my only claim to fame.  And even today, I never know if I will be detained. It’s so annoying.

Profiling even happened to my elderly parents.  One time the two of them were driving south and were stopped for looking like hippies.  (This was my mom's theory.) My dad had neglected to get a haircut and they were driving a very old car. 

Have you been profiled as well?  You very well may have been.  It is possible that everyone has been profiled at one time.  Maybe it is for the color of your skin, your age, or your sex, or even the car you drive. 

Where are we today?   I do admit that until the Civil Rights laws were passed in the 1960’s people of color had been treated unfairly, especially in the south.  Some are still treated unfairly even today. You may have watched the movie or read the book, “The Help.”  I was shocked at how the black maids were treated by some.

I don’t know why God allows such hard times, but everybody will eventually suffer in one way or another.  (My Aunt Evelyn said that she had never suffered until she hit her 90’s.  Then she suffered terrible pain.) We here in the United States, I believe, are better off than most people in other parts of the world.  

No comments:

Post a Comment