Profilin’ -December 2001

profilin

Okay, so I’ve been thinking about this racial profiling thing. It’s been discussed a lot in the days since Sept. 11th. People getting accosted, people being refused entry onto a plane. It’s a strange issue, really. How do you discount the fact that, say, some members of a certain group or ethnicity are responsible for a certain kind of behavior? Yet, how can you lump everyone in like that? Humans are all different, regardless of common denominators such as ethnic origin etc.

Creating a profile based on a presumed majority just doesn’t make sense. I am from Boston, does this mean you will automatically assume that I hate the *#@%^! Yankees? Well, actually, I do. But my sister doesn’t. In fact, she couldn’t care less. Two people from Boston, in the same family even, with completely different opinions and independent thoughts and actions.

When I lived in Los Angeles, one night I was driving on the freeway in my 1973 Chevy Impala. Out of nowhere, this huge, bright light comes shining in my car from the driver’s side. After I got over the freakout, I realized it was the LAPD. They were looking into my car. You wanna know why? Because it happens to be that a good portion of the Hispanic, Latino, and Chicano kids drive old Chevys, Fords, Dodges etc. The cops weren’t scrutinizing the passenger of the car randomly, they assumed I was a gangbanger type. Well, that’s what I’m assuming they thought. That I was a Latino worth looking into. That never happened to me after I started driving my Subaru around. And you know what the kicker is? I was more than a little buzzed when that happened. (I know, LAME, young and stupid) But, ya know what? I got away with it, because I am a white woman. Can you imagine just driving down the 101, minding your own business, and getting pulled over because of the way you look or the car you drive? Which invariably leads to other things, like an expired license, maybe you’ve got a little weed on you, or you had a couple of beers at dinner which then leads to a DUI. If you look like me, you get away with it. Every single time. If you fit a profile, you’re bummin’, because the authorities automatically have it out for you, and you never had a chance.

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