Skip to main content

View Diary: Young Black Male (56 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I see your point (15+ / 0-)

    Can't miss it.

    A friend who lived in a wealthier neighborhood outside of Detroit in his teens was regularly stopped on his way home...obviously suspicious charcater driving a nice car in a wealthy neighborhood while being young and black.
    His mom finally went to the police station and firmly told them what she thought and what she wanted. He was no longer stopped on the way home but never forgot his crime of being a young, black male going home.
    He understands.

    A boss I had was from Taiwan. She went to college here and stayed and became engaged to a black man. She was surprised when her parents expressed concern because she never knew them to have bias but they were worried about the stories they heard about prejudice in the US. She assured then that might be regional but not where they were living and encouraged them to come and see.
    The visit went well until they decided to take a trip and show her parents the beauty of northern MI and the UP. Just past the bridge they were stopped by the police and with guns drawn they ordered him out of the car and down on the ground.
    Oh good reason, he "met the description" of someone involved in a string of burglaries. My boss asked if that description included an elderly Taiwanese couple and woman companion.

    More cars police cars showed up and he was handcuffed and held for 8 hours before he was released with no apology.
    They understand.

    Good impression on the worried parents who urged them to come and live with them instead. The parents were finally put at ease when they just promised not to go up north anymore.

    My best friend travels around the country for his work. There was a certain area where he was always pulled over for a non-existant reason (two miles over the limit or something) or for "matching the description" of some suspect. They always asked to search his car. He built in extra times for trips through there so the stop wouldn't make him late. I teased him that it was a compliment to how young he looked since I had just read how young black and Hispanic men were being stopped and searched for drugs.

    Not like I knew but I encouraged him to say no to the search...and he did that but added the step of telling him he would but he'd be late for his gig and would over them one of  his CDs and tell them about how he must look like someone else because he was so often stopped there and perhaps they could tell other officers he was just passing through. Related or not he soon quit being stopped.
    He understands.

    I was shocked when he told me as a young man in the 60's he had a concert in a big nice place in Detroit. The promoters couldn't find a decent hotel for his lodging that would take a young black man and they ended up having him stay with one of their families. In the 60's in Detroit?

    He's understood for a long time.

    There's something all the harder in being questioned while sitting on your own sloop, just sitting, smoking, relaxing. What a crime.

    But they are all insulting.

    I've often thought of the worry of parents of young black males. My young white male son was no angel but change his color and you'd have upped the odds of him having been caught at some of his misdeeds (most of which I surely don't know about) Even if they aren't being caught at some errant teen activity it would be heartbreaking to see them hassled because the color of their skin made then look like a suspect.

    One last story. A clent of mine called the police when an ex-boyfriend came to her house and started smashing her new TV. (Both white) She explained he was bipolar and manic right now.
    As the police wandered around they say her medicine for depression and said something about them both being whackos.
    They told her they couldn't do anything, she had let him in, they didn't see him break the TV. She should just tell him to go and the police strted leaving.
    She followed them asking them to at least make him leave, take him home or to the hospital, she couldn't handle it. They shrugged and said she shouldn't have let him in.
    As they got in the car she yelled "What the fuck am I suppose to do"

    She was arrested for obscene language and taken to the station. (At the station one of the cops said "shit" and she noted that was an obscenity, shouldn't he be arrested? He told her it was more a medical term, a bodily function. She asked if he knew what the f word was. He threatened to charge her again)
    We could not get the charge dropped, only reduced.
    The mentally ill sure know what it's like to be dismissed and hassled by the cops. So do the poor.

    So on the bright side you weren't arrested for using a naughty word.

    This is no consolation but many years ago a friend had a computer game that whenever something went wrong you still got life experience points. It became one of my mottos when crap would happen and one I shared with my kids when unfair things happen. We get life experience points.

    Now I don't know what you get to trade them in on but you are racking them up and you should get something really, really good for them.

    I am sorry about that hassle you went through, really sorry.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site