What a wonderful thing. Really. Yesterday I was really glad I was white when the cop pulled my husband I over when we were driving home yesterday. Mike is a very careful driver. He never speeds. If the sign says 50 he goes 50. He changes cruise control whenever the speed changes. So when the cops lights when on behind us he thought it was for somebody else he pulled over, expecting the cop to whiz on by, and he didn’t.
“Oh crap.” I said. “I forgot to check the mail to see if the new car registration arrived with the new sticker to put on the license plate.” There is a 30 day grace period, but it was way past that, too. I just forgot to send it in on time. We don’t drive very often. Mostly around town and it’s not a very big town. We dodge a lot of horse and buggies. We rarely use an entire tank of gas in a month.
Anyway, I was sure we’d get a ticket, and then we’d have to take in proof of the registration when the registration came in. It might be a hassle but no White Privilege Came In Handy When A Cop Pulled me Overbig deal. By now the cop is at the window of our quite run down, beat up, 14 year old car with the paint destroyed from sitting in the sun for years when we lived in Key West, and he starts apologizing for pulling us over. Huh? Apologizing?
He said, “I saw the wrong color registration ticket on the plate and called it in and was told the plate was no good. Then I called it in again and now they said it was okay, so I just wanted to explain why I pulled you over.” He was all smiles. Nice as pie. Weirdly, he never even asked Mike for his license and registration. Have you ever not been asked for license and registration?
As we pulled back out on the road again, Mike looked at me and I said, “Good thing we’re white.” He agreed.
He’s aware of the research I do and the articles I write. Although I can’t say absolutely that it would have been any different if we were black, I know, from the many articles I’ve read about the experiences of black people getting pulled over for no reason, except for driving while black. We have all read the news over and over about one more black person being accosted, beat up, arrested or killed while cops repeatedly say, “Stop resisting,” when he’s already in cuffs, stomach on the ground with a foot on the back of his neck.But I can’t remember the last time it happened to a white person. Did I miss something?
In order to be fair I’d like to ask everyone who can to participate in a little survey – in the US we have a massive problem with racism. I would like any white person who has been pulled over by the police for no reason, to please leave a comment. No speeding or any other violation counts.. You could not have been driving drunk or high or engaging with a prostitute or had just robbed a bank – just pulled over, verbally assaulted, searched, handcuffed, scared your kids or threatened you for no reason. It could be you or a close friend, but give truthful details.
If you are black, have you been pulled over for no reason and harassed? More than once? Were you searched? Handcuffed? Arrested? You or a friend or relative? All the same criteria applies. If anyone wants to change their name feel free to do so.
To be fair to the police because there are good cops out there, too, if you are black and been pulled over and were treated respectfully with no sarcastic overtones because of the color of your skin, please add that, too.
I’m going to let this run for a few weeks before I tally anything, to give it time. I will post it multiple times on facebook and twitter. If anyone gets rude, as that can happen sometimes, your message will disappear.