Not Your Typical “Driving While Black” Story
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You are riding in a car with some friends, and you get pulled over by a cop. What do you do? A group of members from the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) responded to this predicament by exercising transformative justice, when they engaged in an enlightening conversation with the officer who stopped them as they left a campus event at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ). It was supposedly for a broken taillight that turned out not to be broken at all. When confronted by the carful of African-Americans who called this incident simply another case of Driving While Black, the officer said his feelings were hurt.
Turns out the officer was also African-American, proving the point that as people of color, we also profile against our very own, sometimes completely unaware of our prejudice. We must start accepting responsibility and treating one another with the respect that we wish other races would show more often.
Racial bias in any form is evil because it affects a person’s attitude and this plays a factor in the self-fulfilling, destructive behaviors that plague the black community. It’s time for us to stop passing the buck and reclaim our dignity.
What do you think? Was the officer in the wrong? Did the camera change the dynamic of the conversation? Is profiling ever justified?