Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Dept. of Justice Stats on DWB
This blog is relatively new so we haven't yet had the chance to get into the issues that surround Driving While Black (DWB), the nationwide problem of police officers stopping African-American and Hispanic drivers based on nothing more than the color of their skin; but we will.
It's always good to begin with facts. There was a piece on the CNN Website on Sunday that was also widely reported on NPR and other news media outlets on Monday regarding the release of Justice Department statistics showing that police are much more likely to stop black and Hispanic motorists and are also far more likely to use physical force on or against them when they do than they are against a driver who is white.
This comes as no surprise to most blacks and Hispanics in this country. It only confirms allegations that have been common in communities around the nation for decades, allegations many white Americans do not understand because police treat them differently because of the color of their skin - but one example by the way of the existence "white skin privilege" in America.
One of the troubling realities of this nation is that many (NOT ALL) of the thousands of people who choose to become officers of the law bring ingrained prejudices with them; and it affects not only the way they percieve people they encounter, but the frequency, discrepancy, intensity and sensitivity with which they apply the laws they are sworn to uphold.
This nation will never evolve while law enforcement is applied on the basis of skin color. Check out the links above because we'll be exploring this in much more detail in future posts.