From Black Voices — A couple Saturdays ago, on my normal biking route, I pulled out of the street briefly and began to continue my journey. But as I began to pull back on the pavement, two of New York City’s finest pull up and commenced the annoying procedure of ticketing me for riding on the sidewalk.
I pedaled less than 25 feet on the sidewalk, and I’m sure there were many other more serious crimes likely being committed within a two block radius at that time. But one of the officers basically explained to me that my action fit the pattern and my appearance (I was wearing black sweats) fit the profile of criminals in the area.
I thought it was ridiculous, and didn’t realize I should be wearing a tuxedo for a morning bike ride, but what could I do other than let the cops run my license for warrants that I’ve never had, take the $25 citation, and resolve to fight it albeit on principle?
So when I hear that people are just as frustrated about having to submit to scanning and even pat-downs from the Transportation Security Administration, it makes me laugh.
Apparently, mainstream America seems to have a problem with what black folks have endured in this country since police forces have existed. For years, we’ve had to submit to pat downs, shake downs and beat downs from government agencies not in airports, but in our own communities, in our cars and even in our homes.
So the sweet irony tickles me to hear conservatives bitch and moan about their freedoms being intruded upon in an attempt to thwart terrorism, when they have no problem with it when it’s done to us by the city or state police. I’m telling you I love seeing these squares, who have never once understood or cared what it’s like to be racially profiled, get the business from Five-Oh.
They either kept their mouths closed or defended racial profiling, but when the baton is aimed at their anuses, now it’s a problem. My God, it’ll be worth it to hang out at airports this holiday season to laugh your a** off at these pricks who just a few years ago all but insisted that anyone who isn’t white be subjected to a forearm-deep cavity search.
Now, I get just as frustrated as the next guy over the hassle of taking my shoes off as I go through security, putting my belongings into a bin as it goes through an x-ray machine, then, of course, getting my stuff together, and putting my shoes back on to make an O.J. Simpson dash to my gate in time to make a flight.
However, I do realize that screening is a necessary process in order to keep insidious types off of airplanes, just the same way I realize that cops patrolling a beat looking for actual criminals keeps the streets safe.