Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How to survive as a black man

At his blog, Acting White, James Callier relates his encounter with a Sheriff's deputy in the racially-charged and often violent city of Oakland, CA:
As the officer cautiously knocked on the driver-side window, the black man instantly remembered Chris Rock’s rules for engaging the police (here). Instead of rolling down the window and yelling in a Samuel Jackson voice, ‘WTF do you want MF!’ I calmly said with a smile, ‘hey officer!’ He then moved his hand away from his gun (to my pleasure), and asked if I knew that I was parked in a red zone. I said no, but it was possible because I did not recall seeing any marking as I approached a few minutes earlier. I added that I was waiting to pick up someone from BART and this was a convenient spot.

Now this is where it got interesting. Upon my words, the deputy stepped back with a look of disbelief and shaking his head. He then straightened up and, with authority, asked for my license and registration and if I had anything else to offer, wherein I said, ‘nope, you got me dude!’ I fully expected a citation, but then he busted out laughing, (like when you were a kid trying to keep milk from shooting out of your nose when your brother farted at Grandma’s dinner table). Officer Laughtrack said he could not believe I was offering the truth as my defense, in downtown Oakland, site of riots and sh_t. He said let’s just call this a warning.

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