Colleges and Universities Have a Racial Profiling Problem

Posted By on November 16, 2019


Just in the last 30 minutes Lieutenant
Governor Donna Lynne released a statement about the racial profiling of two Native
American teenagers. Right ma’am we’re still in the process of investigating,
just to make sure we’ve cover all our bases. She was minding her own business in the common area of a dining hall. What’s the problem? I live here. Investigating? What are you guys investigating? We went on the tour at CSUand for taken aside by campus police. I was working on an all night
project. I was a journalism student. A Smith College employee called the police on me. Remove yourself from our premises in the next five minutes, please. Because the authorities have been called. Too many times, we see the same story in the news. A Black or brown person is walking down the street, driving their car, sitting in a cafe, living their life, when someone calls the
cops. And college campuses are no exception. Somebody called the cops on us because we were quiet. And I was shocked I was like, what are you talking about?
That doesn’t even make any sense. Many colleges and universities identify
themselves as inclusive spaces that want to attract a diverse student body. But
we’ve seen one story after another of people being reported to the campus
police as suspicious because of the color of their skin. Recently the police were called on me
when I fell asleep in the common room of my graduate dorm at Yale University. I
mean I felt harassed, I felt insulted, I felt demeaned. But I was reminded that
this is what it means to be Black in America. Calling the cops because someone looks suspicious based on the color of their skin is a
nationwide problem and it must stop. For me to have to call my mother
to tell her what happened and for her response to be, “I’m just glad you’re alive. I could have been burying my child today.” The act of calling the police
on a person of color — on a Black person — who has not committed a crime in your
presence is an act of violence, because you’re basically setting that person up.
With law enforcement the last person I’d want to be is a woman of color.
And we all know why. I cannot explain the trauma that comes along with this
interaction — the emotional damage, the anxiety. I think at the time I really — I
blamed myself. Like just just talking about it chokes me up — to like have to
sit there not know whether you’re gonna live or die in any second because
somebody else feels threatened by you, by the way that you look. The ACLU is
working on a national initiative to ensure that people of color can live
their lives without fearing they’ll be targeted by unjustified calls to the cops. And we’re starting with college campuses I shouldn’t have to live in fear for the way I look. I shouldn’t. That’s not fair. And I don’t want other students at
prestigious white institutions to feel the same way. The first step to change is
educating people that what they deem suspicious can often be influenced by
racial bias and that this bias can lead to serious harm. Kind of just a systemic hostility to people of color in quote-unquote “spaces
that they should not be in.” If you’re calling the cops on someone of color ask
yourself, “Would I be calling the police if this person were white?” There will
still be some people who make racist calls to the police. Police and emergency
dispatchers must receive proper guidance and training to stop themselves from
weaponizing the biases of those who call them. We’ve drafted a model policy for
campus police departments to properly screen and respond to bias-based calls
for service. This is a starting point not an endpoint. Change on college and
university campuses will help pave the way for adoption of similar policies in
city and county law enforcement agencies, and will educate communities beyond
college campuses. We shouldn’t have to explain why we’re here, why we’re going
about our daily lives. We are constantly under surveillance and we’re constantly
having to prove that we are, you know, allowed to be where we are. I’d say if
there was anything that we could do in order to change that for the better,
anything in the way of racial sensitivity training, anything in the way of scenario
training, that’s probably what I would have liked in that situation, is just a
little bit of compassion.

Posted by Lewis Heart

This article has 11 comments

  1. This is total BS. My son applied to colleges in the state (commifornia) and was denied because there was no room for him. Racial profiling? Yeah if you have any white or are a citizen forget getting into a cal state/univ. thats Ok. Kavanaugh and ginsburgs replacement will start striking down Commifornias anti American rules.

    Reply
  2. If someone ever called the cops on me and I found out who it was, I wouldn't make a social media plea about it. I'd find them and when nobody is looking, I'd poison them, or just plain snuff them out blindside approach. Then I'd make sure not to leave a trace.

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  3. Why doesn`t the ACLU defend conservatives when they`re banned from speaking on college campuses? Or do you concur that speech you don`t agree with should be banned?

    Reply

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