Wearing a Blackhawks t-shirt did not save me from being profiled

I am getting the notion that some people believe that racism or preconceived notions do not factor into when a person is profiled. I strongly disagree with that notion.

I read a story online a few weeks ago where a white man who was picking up his black granddaughter from school when someone saw him and called the police. Thinking that he possibly kidnapped the girl. I joked with my wife about that someone is going to do that to me one day when I’m out with our nieces.

This week I was at Mc Donald's with my niece when some guy walks up her and asks if she's okay. Obviously because I'm black and she's not. Did he think that she was in some sort of danger because of my appearance?  Hell yeah! No doubt! Did he think I was a pimp running a Hunger Games-like kiddie prostitution ring?? Who knows? But there is one thing I do know is that if I were with a black kid he would not have asked if they were okay.  He would have not given it a second thought. People think we make this stuff up. No we don’t.  It's real!!!

That is why George Zimmerman went after Trayvon Martin.  People like that idiot I dealt with and Zimmerman assume the worst because of appearance. I’m not sure how suspicious or threatening I was since I was wearing a Black hawks t-shirt not a hoodie.

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  • So, your point is what?

    Do you think the police may have been called if the white guy was with white children?

    You prove my point that profiling works all different ways, and minorities are no different in assuming that people are this or that.

    Honestly, how many times have you heard all white people lumped together when being discussed by black people? Please, don't say never. I have worked where I was the only white person, and sometimes they forgot I was there. Good thing I had a thick cracker hide.

  • My point is he assumed the worst because my niece isn't black. the guy would not have said anything if my niece was black. No they would have. I have several times..

  • In reply to Evan Moore:

    Evan, how is this different from the white guy in your article who had the police called on him because he was with a black child? Were not the same dynamics in play? The guy was white; they thought he kidnapped the black child, and, even worse that your situation, the police were called. And...of conjecture... who was it that called the cops: people of color or blanco Americans?

    I guess I'm just dense. I don't see the difference.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    There was no difference. because of the differences like the people who called on the white guy and the guy who approached my niece. The root of this is that I was deemed suspicious in that man's mind solely based on appearance.

  • In reply to Evan Moore:

    Okay, Evan, thanks. I couldn't see the difference, and there was no difference. The white guy was deemed suspicious and so were you, based on circumstances. So why the dust up?

    I, you and every other person have been judged solely on appearance. Some of that judgement is positive and some negative.

    This is not a racial thing, but a human nature thing.

  • No the problem was that you were wearing a black hawks Jersey.I've been to lots of Hawks games and I count on one hand how many blacks I see there. So yes you're wearing a Black Hawks Jersey was very suspicious. Next time wear a Bulls or Bears Jersey anything but a Cubs one

  • That was a joke. I was wearing a hawks t-shirt. You wont have to worry about the Cubs shirt.

  • Mr. Moore, great that you have a niece that is not black. I believe what really bothers you is how the white male collective looks out for their children, something the black male collective is incapable of doing. Before you get mad at the messenger, (me) review the number of black missing children reports, and the number of crimes committed by black children against black children in Chicago in 2012 and then review what the black male collective has done in those instances to help "their" children.

  • No not at all. The guy was Latino. Like I said, he thought I was suspicious because of my appearance. Thanks for reading!

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    I agree with Mr. Moore. Prejudice and bias figure in to so many decisions. The motivations behind these people’s actions were wrong. There’s no other way to put it. Yet, I also have to look into their hearts (I’m not talking about Zimmerman). They were concerned about a child’s welfare and took three seconds out of their day to ask a question that might have saved a child’s life. Did they do that out of preconceived and erroneous belief? Yes. Were they wrong? Yes. Were they worried about a child, a human being they didn’t know? Yes.

    I can’t fault their hearts’ concern. If my child had been kidnapped and it turned out he or she had been taken to a restaurant, I know I would be heartbroken and angry that no one took those three seconds to ask if she was all right. But to do so based on skin color alone is oh so very wrong. And yet, I know I would have hugged the bigot who intervened and as a result saved my child, all the while fighting the urge to punch his color bias in the mouth.

    Incidents like these prove color prejudice remains a problem that cannot be overlooked or understated. However, at the same time they serve notice that people are aware of the dangerous world we live in and are willing to take a stand and get involved, even when it’s for all the wrong reasons.

    I will take issue with the photo. We want law enforcement to humanize the communities they serve. Here’s a picture (though probably staged) of a cop doing that, and adding that caption demonizes the effort. It takes law enforcement and community working together to bring about change. Sending a message that we’ll find fault in anything law enforcement does only serves to hinder the efforts toward change.

  • In reply to David Kentner:

    thanks for reading. I see your point but he would not have cared if I was sitting with a black child.

  • My guess is there were two factors at play, not just the one: ethnicity and gender. Had you or the other gentleman more closely resembled the children in question, *or* had you been female, chances are no one would have said anything.

    There's an unfortunate perception I've seen growing over the years that adult males and children mixing is automatically suspicious, particularly if they're not related--which many people still assume people aren't if they don't look alike.

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