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Friday, July 8, 2016

"Racism:" Two Way Street

A few days ago, I got a lot of flack on facebook for describing the TSA officers who treated me badly:

  • one pushed me instead of speaking clearly
  • the other was verbally abusive, not allowing me eye-contact with my valuables, as she gave me a "pat-down"

Both of the women were black and heavy. If they had been described as blondes, asians or red-heads and petite nobody would have cared. But there were some really nasty comments against me, just because I didn't leave them as vague "stick-figures."

Whenever there's an "incident" in which a white shoots a black, those descriptions are accepted:
Still images from video show Alton Sterling as he is shot dead by police during an incident captured on the mobile phone camera of shop owner Abdullah Muflahi in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Video taken July 5, 2016. Abdullah Muflahi/Handout via
The U.S. Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into the fatal police shooting of a black man in Louisiana's capital, the state's governor said on Thursday, as two deadly encounters between law enforcement and black men triggered protests in the United States.
The probe comes as community leaders in Baton Rouge urged authorities to conduct a full-scale criminal probe of two white police officers over the slaying of Alton Sterling, 37, on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Of course, and I'm not denying it, the police look awful and most probably made a very bad call. But don't forget that the victim, also, made a mistake, a fatal one. These short of shootings happen quite often when people want to take out their "papers,"and the police mistakenly think they are pulling out a weapon. So the best thing is to just stand with hands raised and tell the authorities where to find identification/license etc.

But calling me a racist for giving a physical description of the TSA officers who treated me badly/incorrectly  is so much like those who insist that those who don't support Obama are racist or those who don't support Hillary are anti-women/sexist. Looking at Obama's or Hillary's experience, character, platform etc and making a decision based on that and not their color, sex, and so on, is racist/sexist. There's no moral superiority in saying:
"It's time for a woman president. We are behind the times," (Newsday)

If that's the main theme, than it's totally sexist.


Adela said...

I don't believe that you are a racist. We don't live in a color blind world. Our races and our religions make us who we are for better or worse. I did watch the video of the shooting of Philando Castile that his girlfriend posted. That wasn't easy to watch. From what I read in the last day or so is that when you are getting your license to carry a weapon you are told that if you are stopped by the police you must tell them that you are carrying. The officer was pointing his gun at the guy even after he shot him, but we don't see what happened before. Most men carry their wallets in their pockets, and being that he told him that he carried a gun, what was he to do? Perhaps the officer should have said get out of the car and have the other officer check him. BUT he was pulled over because of a broken tail light, thats all. The guy had no record and worked at a school. Here in Brooklyn we call that "driving while black" I work at a school and I have black co-workers, we have had heart to heart talks about racism. On one hand being white and Jewish I understand hatred, on the other hand I don't know what its like to walk into a store and be followed around because someone thinks that you're going to steel something. That happened to one of my best friends. Being mistrusted and hated and feared for the color of your skin can make you crazy. Its going to be a long hot summer in America. And the election...I don't even want to go there.

Batya Medad said...

I know that these things happen a lot, and also police get shot at without warning. It's always a tough call.
I felt that the TSA agent was taking out her anger on me, lihavdil (different of course) from the blacks who shot at the white police killing them.

Adela said...

People in power often take their anger out on people who they know can't fight back. In your case you couldn't fight back because you would have been locked up immediately. I always hear negative things about NYC cops. I've seen and experienced it myself. I wouldn't want that job. The death of those police officers were awful as well as the deaths of countless black men in the last few months (years) and I think that this is going to be a long summer of violence over here in America. Both sides have valid reasons to be suspicious of each other. Anger and guns are a bad mix.

Batya Medad said...

yes, and add fear and suspicion...