Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yes Sir

I find this story about Black families teaching their children (generally sons) how to relate to the police unbelievably depressing.

It's not that I have license to be rude to cops whereas Black people do not. I don't recall ever being told how to talk to a cop; I assume I'd try to relate to them the same as I do to any other authority figure (quite deferentially -- I'm actually extremely conflict-averse). But it wasn't an "issue" for me. There was never any sentiment that this might be a problem. By contrast, these families are talking as if they see the police as a double-edged sword. Of course they recognize that cops are necessary for safety and protecting their well-being. But they also see them as a potential source of threat, and that's a scary situation to be in. And the further down the totem pole you go, the worse it gets: it the toughest neighborhoods in America, residents have been known to describe the police as "just another gang" they have to deal with.

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