Driving While Black (DWB)

June 21, 2007

Yesterday, while driving home from work, I made a right turn and merged into oncoming traffic. All of a sudden, the car beside me flips on the lights and hits the siren. The policeman sped off. I assume he either thought I was about to hit him or he just wanted to mess with me. This incident brought back memories of two previous incidents involving our local law enforcement.

Incident One:

I usually take a back road home that goes by our local airport. On the route home, at a particular intersection, there is a Stop sign if you’re turning left, and a Yield sign if you’re turning right. I was making a right turn and slowed down just enough to safely make the turn. Because this was at night, I didn’t need to stop because I could see that there were no cars coming. This happened as a policeman was coming up to the intersection from the right. After I made the turn (without stopping), he made a U-turn and began to chase me down. I saw him coming so I proceeded to slow down and then he turned on his lights.

Once he got to my vehicle, and received my license and registration, he asked why I didn’t stop at the intersection. I responded that there was a Yield sign and there was no oncoming traffic. He said that wasn’t a valid excuse. I was supposed to stop. So I asked “when does yield mean stop? I don’t have to stop at a yield sign.” We went back and forth over this for a minute or so. Finally, he told me to drive safely and that I could leave.

Incident Two:

A few weeks ago, while going to work, I took a side street to avoid traffic. When I got to the stop sign, there was a policeman there. After he pulled off, I pulled up to the sign, stopped, and then pulled off. The policeman was going about 25 in a 45 zone, so I switched lanes and passed him. About half-a-mile later, he pulled up beside me at a red light. Once the light turned green, I pulled off and he switched lanes to get behind me and turned on his lights.

After he looked over my license and registration, he asked why I didn’t stop at the stop sign. I told him, “Sir, I thought I did stop at the sign.” He responded that I didn’t and then went on a tirade about obeying traffic signs and how it only takes three seconds for oncoming traffic to get up on you. He then asked if my loved ones would be grief-stricken if something happened to me. I answered “of course.” He then told me to make sure I pay attention and keep that in mind. Once again, I was let go with just a “warning”.

Now, my question is, if I ran a stop sign, why did he wait half-a-mile and AFTER a red light changed to pull me over. Maybe he noticed that I was black after he pulled up beside me at the light. Regardless, I had done nothing wrong in either incident. But once again, these two “protectors” decided to teach me traffic laws.

My wife was none too pleased when I told her what happened. Even though I was fine, but annoyed, she was pissed. It’s sad that this still goes on in 2007. But you know what the kicker was? When I got to work, I told my white co-workers that I was pulled over for DWB and explained that it meant “Driving While Black.” They all laughed because they assumed I was making a joke. I guess the serious look on my face told them otherwise.

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Oh To Be Young, White and Rich

June 8, 2007

Let me make sure I understand this. Having a “medical condition” can get you released early from jail? What kind of bull**** is that? I think we all know that celebrities are, for the most part, treated very favorably when it comes to our “justice” system. And I’m sure people will say, “Hey, Kobe and OJ got off.” But they weren’t convicted of any crime. And they sure as hell didn’t get out of jail early because they weren’t feeling good.

I wonder how much Sheriff Lee Baca was paid by the Hilton family to facilitate this fiasco. Someone might wanna check his bank accounts and those of his family. Or maybe there was a trust set up for him. I’m sure he didn’t do this out of the kindness of his heart. Because he sure ain’t feeling the love for the poor people that have legitimate medical conditions and are still locked up in LA County’s jail system.

The interesting thing is, Baca is regarded as a very good elected official. So maybe this boils down to getting his agenda for the greater good being helped along by looking the other way. If that’s the case, its really sad that it takes the release of a spoiled, rich heiress to get programs passed and funded that help make LA County a better place for everyone. Me, I would have put them in jail for an attempted bribe.


The U.S. Cares About Darfur?

June 4, 2007

Wow. Bush has actually taken a stance about the genocide in Darfur. Does it feel cold to you? Jim over at Black In Business has the speech posted online. Guess Denny Crane must have spoken to “W”.