Saturday, June 16, 2012

Making Assumptions...

During one of my car stops this week, I was towing a car because the driver was driving on a suspended license.  The driver had been cited and sent on his way while I waited for the tow truck.  Once the tow arrived and was loading the car up, two... errr... "young African-American citizens" of about 20 came walking along with their pants down around their knees and noticed the goings on.  Not being able to contain themselves, they stopped across the street and stared while talking loudly amongst themselves.

"Awwww daaaaaamn.  Da mufuckin PO-leece towin' some nigga core (that's how they pronounce "car" in these parts) fo DWB.  Cain't be rollin' thu Smiffville if yo ass ain't white."

I stopped writing and looked at them, which they didn't like.

"Mufuckin PO-leece always be fuckin' wiff niggaz.  Y'all a buncha raciss mufuckas.  Mufucka prob-ly gonna come over here and Tase us juss fo looking at him.  Hope mufucka don't pull his gun instead of his Taser."

I continued looking at them, not saying a word.

 "Why you tow a nigga "core"?  What da fuck he do?"

Since they had finally decided to include me in their conversation I decided I might as well chime in and inform them.

"Well, you see the driver of this vehicle was, in fact, not black at all.  In reality, he was white.  And I actually stopped him for a reason, as with ALL traffic stops I make.  Congratulations on proudly displaying your ignorance for all to see, thereby perpetuating a long held stereotype that most intelligent black folks have been trying to climb out from under for eons.  I expect your parents are awfully proud of you.  Now pull your pants up."

I hadn't noticed the black gentleman walking past me until he snorted and snickered loudly.  I looked at him as he gave me a thumbs up and grinned.

The hood rats stood there for a minute with their mouths open as if I had been speaking to them in Latin, or possibly Martian, then they proclaimed, almost in unison, "Fuck tha PO-leece!" and walked on their merry way.

Yet another daily example of ignorant ass hats making assumptions without bothering to find out the details first.

And before any trolls get any ideas, no, the police do not operate on assumptions.  We operate on instinct, intuition and hunches, which we investigate before we make blind statements.

There is a HUGE difference...

11 comments:

Officer "Smith" said...

Now, I just have to figure out why my spaces between paragraphs are not showing up. WTF?

Hank Fox said...

I'm liking it so far.

HOWEVER ... your top tag with the sly whack at "liberals" ... argh. Disappointing.

I'm a 60-year-old former newspaper and magazine editor who grew up in Texas with rodeo cowboys. Big Nascar and gun fans, rowdy drinkers, mostly right-wingy Christians. One cop, one former cop in the family.

But ... women's rights? The dislike of racism? Belief in equal rights? Love of animals and nature? Ardent fan of science and reason and education? I'm there, dude.

I do know that not every ethnic-related interaction is prejudice/racism. I had a run-in with a guy a few weeks back:

I was stopped at one of those highway rest stops. When I approached the main building, there was a car parked directly in the entrance walkway so that I had to walk around it. I thought it might be someone picking up a handicapped or elderly person, so it didn't bother me.

But I saw a young guy, a conservative Jew, getting out of it with two kids, and I realized he was PARKED there. Half joking, half annoyed, I tossed at him "There's an entire parking lot out there, but THIS is where you have to park?"

He came back with "I park here all the time, but you're the only one it bothers. What do you think that means?"

"It means you're rude and inconsiderate."

He pointed to his yarmulke. "If I was black, you wouldn't have said anything."

Gah. I had NO idea where to go with that. The guy was an asshole, but it was an argument I wasn't going to win. I just walked away.

Anyway, I'm interested in seeing where you go with this.

Regarding the spaces between paragraphs, try using TWO paragraph insertions (hit Enter/Return twice after each graf) and see if that works.

Regarding the comment-section statement about trolls, I've been a blogger for a long time, and I'll just toss this in: The definition of "troll" is not "someone who strongly disagrees with me." It's mostly "someone who comes here to deliberately spoil the experience for the other commenters," with a little bit of "someone who comes here solely to spit rage at me, without attempting to discuss the subject at hand in any reasoned manner" thrown in.

If you’re wrong about something, and someone points that out and gives their reasons -- however heatedly -- that’s not a troll. It’s just someone expressing a strong opinion.

Of course in the end, the blog rule is that this is YOUR territory. Your own private space. And you can ban or ignore anyone you want to.

But if you ban everybody who disagrees with you, you’ll end up with an echo chamber that will make you feel good, but contribute nothing to the public dialogue, or the image of police officers. I’m assuming that’s some of what you hope to do here.

This is worth doing, and I hope you keep at it. It’s also very hard work, in case you don’t already know that. But even a little blog has the potential to reach a worldwide audience. Wherever you are and whoever you are, you can rise to the point where you’re invited to speak in public, where you write books, where you have some influence on the larger-world discussion of your subject matter.

And yes, you’re going to face some hate. Cops face an uphill PR battle. Not every person who wears a uniform is a hero, and pretty much anybody over the age of 12 knows it.

Whether you become more than a cops-and-cop-groupies-only echo chamber will depend on if you turn some of your observational and writing skills on members of your own profession, as you do on members of the public.

Good luck with it.

Hank Fox said...

Ah. Regarding my former long comment with all the "fatherly advice" stuff, the only post I could see was this one. I thought you were just starting out.

Pay me no mind. Carry on, Officer Smith. ;-)

*Goddess* said...

Now pull your pants up....I love it!!

If there's no
in between your paragraphs, you could insert them manually on the html screen. If it is there and not working, sometimes I put several spaces between the paragraphs and that works.

Officer "Smith" said...

My font is gone, my spaces don't show up no matter how many I put in. Blogger, I want my old template back. This new Blogger format sucks ass.

I'll get it sorted back out when I have time.

Officer "Smith" said...

Ahh yes, there it is. Fixed.

Officer "Smith" said...

Hank,

Believe me, I know what a troll is. I've experienced my share. And I do not, by any means, consider everyone who dares disagree with me a troll. I have actually had some long and spirited conversations on this blog with folks who did not see things the way I do. Then there were the trolls.

At any rate, thanks for reading AND commenting.

Mad Jack said...

This is a good post and I enjoyed reading it. I'm glad you busted the idiot with the suspended license. He wasn't supposed to be on the road in the first place, and driving on a suspended license you'd think he'd know better than to drive badly enough often enough to get caught.

You have any idea how bad you have to screw up to get busted for traffic? And how often? Bad drivers get away with their poor driving for years before they have their driving privileges suspended.

The hood rats stood there for a minute with their mouths open...

Right, because they didn't understand a word you said. I would have no trouble understanding you when I was ten years old, yet these twenty-somethings could not fathom what you meant. Think about that for just a minute.

Perhaps worse is that the two street rats see nothing wrong with their situation and have no desire to change. Even if they could change, it would take a radically different environment and five to ten years of intense learning and growth to affect the kind of change that would make them successful in today's world; and if (by Divine intervention) either one did change, the very first thing they would do is exit the old neighborhood faster than a Nazi at a war crimes tribunal in Israel.

David Couper said...

Hey... we;ve all been there, right? But what about the response? Necessary? Can we do the job while "unconditionally respecting" folks like the sidewalk commentators? For any idea of what I am talking about I invite you to take a look at my book, “Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off About Protest, Racism, Corruption and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation’s Police” (Amazon.com) and visit my blog at http://improvingpolice.wordpress.com. Being a cop is not easy. But there is an opportunity each day to improve things. Be careful out there!

David Couper said...

Just in case you didn't get my last post, I was referring to my new book, “Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off About Protest, Racism, Corruption and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation’s Police” (Amazon.com) and my blog at http://improvingpolice.wordpress.com as some help in managing a "them-us" attitude with sidewalk "kibitzers."

Acacia Consulting Group said...

It's not profiling, it's an educated guess.