tagNon-EroticRacial Profiling 101

Racial Profiling 101


Brother Samuel here. America's favorite bisexual black male post-collegiate adventurer. Back from obscurity with my most realistic story ever. Why so realistic? Simply because it really happened. It concerns my attempts to find answers to an age-old question. Why are some people so dumb? I mean it, some folks are just stupid. And they are completely incapable of seeing this flaw in themselves. This is a problem which I must address seriously. Is there something in the water which makes people dumb? I think it must be so. How else could you explain some of the things I am encountering these days. The strange behaviors of American men and especially American women will never cease to amaze me. They're such a weird bunch. Two-faced, and deceitful. Lucky for us, I am more than equipped to deal with them.

The other day, I walked into a department store in the city of Brockton. The store is located near East Bridgewater, right at the city limits. I just walked in. Just a six-foot-something good-looking and well-dressed black man in his early twenties casually strolling into a store. At the same time I entered, there were others entering. Notably a rather hefty white woman with a huge shopping bag and her tall, slender son who wore a blue outfit and a red backpack. They walked in at the same time I did. However, I was the only one approached by this light-skinned black man in a security guard uniform. He asked me to leave my bag at the counter, for security reasons.

I was rather surprised, to tell you the truth. When I asked the man why he wanted me to leave my bag at the counter, he told me that it was store policy. I pointed to the hefty white woman with the oversized shopping bag and her son's backpack. The security guard said they weren't a risk, then asked if I were going to comply with his order and leave my bag at the counter. I absorbed all of this slowly. According to this security guard, the store had a policy of asking people to leave their bags at the counter. Yet that day, the policy only applied to me. Why?

I knew the answer the moment I asked myself the question. I am a black man in America. And I'm entering a department store. Of course my presence makes the store owners, clients and personnel nervous. Of course they must ask me to leave my bag at the counter. It's all part of Racial Profiling 101. In the eyes of America's rulers, all black men are considered potential enemies of the Republic. Orders are to keep a watchful eye on them wherever they may be. I looked at the security guard and told him that I'd rather leave. With that, I walked out of the department store with my head high and contempt on my face for the enforcers of that biased policy.

As I began the long trek home, I walked with a heavy heart. I kept asking myself over and over, what have I done to deserve such treatment? Why am I considered a potential thief by the owners of that department store? Why did they dispatch a security guard specifically to keep an eye on minority males entering the store for signs of wrongdoing. The last time I checked, a criminal can be anyone. There are ruthless male gangsters and wicked female gangsters who make them look like Choir Singers. There are predators of both sexes and all races and sexual orientations in our communities. Danger can come from virtually any source. So why was I seen as a greater danger than anyone else entering the department store on that bright sunny day in mid-August 2008?

I'm a Haitian-American gentleman who's lived in the state of Massachusetts for nearly a decade. I attended high school there and recently graduated from college. I've been a student-athlete, a human rights activist who focused on causes such as Men's Health Issues, Heterosexual and Homosexual Male Victims of Domestic Abuse, Same-Sex Marriage, Gay Parents Rights and Immigrant Rights. I've always believed in living a life of truth. I don't hide the fact that I am bisexual from friends or family members. I respect the men and women of this world, but fear no one. That's what my father and mother taught me.I've been fortunate in this life, I think. Growing up, I attended an all-male Roman Catholic School with a legendary reputation for excellence. It wasn't cheap but my father worked hard to take care of his family. He's the director of an airline company. My mother is a schoolteacher and small business owner. I attended a private college in the Boston area, surrounded by the sons and daughters of wealthy white families. And I proved myself both academically and socially. Recently, I've published quite a few books. Works of urban fiction focusing on the themes of black male bisexuality, African and Haitian-American relations, minority education, work and family, as well as romance in a turbulent, politically correct and at times anti-male world. Folks seem to like my work.

I'm twenty three years old, an Aquarius and a young man of many accomplishments. But none of that mattered when I entered that department store. I'm still a black man and this is still the United States of America. Because of my skin color and my gender, I'm considered Public Enemy Number One. The State of Massachusetts elected a black man as its Governor only a couple of years ago. In a few months, a black man will be the President of the United States. A team of black men represents America's only hope at the 2008 Summer Olympics in China. A black man nearly became Mayor of Brockton a few months ago. The Mayor of Atlanta is a black woman. An openly gay black man is the Mayor of Cambridge City. There are talented black men and black women working as State Representatives in my state. Yet that's not enough.

It will never be enough. It wasn't enough when, in the summer of 2007, I was stopped by police officers while exiting a video store in Brockton. The video store had been robbed by a slender, red-haired white guy. Witnesses saw him fighting the video store's middle-eastern clerk before fleeing. I was in the back of the video store when it happened. I didn't see a thing, so absorbed was I in a certain movie. The clerk had taken off after the thief and everybody was exiting. I exited along with everybody else. I didn't consider myself a witness since I hadn't seen or heard anything. I was a few streets away from my house when two squad cars pulled up behind me. They asked me to hold my hands up, then grabbed me and searched me. They put me in the back of a squad car. Then they drove me back to the video store while berating me, so certain were they of my guilt. The clerk thankfully cleared my name and the handcuffs were removed. A new squad car came, carrying the young white man who had robbed the store. He was identified as the culprit by the clerk. They took him away.

That's when a car driven by my aunt's friend and carrying my siblings pulled up. Thankfully, they hadn't seen me in handcuffs. I gave the white policeman my name, then I was let go. I got into my aunt's friend's car and we drove off. Don't even get me started on what happened when my mother, grandmother, father and brothers found out. They weren't happy. However, what could we do? The police will continue to harass black people because they think we're all criminals. Nothing can stop them from doing this. Store owners will always think of blacks as potential crooks. Nothing can change that. To this day, I still get the chills thinking about being tied up like an animal in that police squad car. All because I was black. Always Number One in their hearts when they're looking for a criminal. It's always open season on black males. That's what it means to be black in America. Will things change? Maybe someday they will. I hope to God that a change is gonna come. But I don't think I will see it in my lifetime.

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