I hate that this is a truth in my life, but the fact is, I'm happiest my hair is all gray when I'm driving, and encounter a police car. I feel my gray hair renders me 'less dangerous', since it signals that I am an Old Man, therefore less dangerous than a young black man. And likely, the policeman/woman may not even be paying attention to me. But I still avoid eye contact, try to look relaxed, and pretend that I don't even notice that police car. All the while, I'm hoping I d ... on't draw undue attention, like having a light out on my car. I wonder what young black men think and do in this situation. Especially if they are dressed 'the wrong way', or maybe have long hair, like dreadlocks, or an afro. This is a sad state of affairs that two groups of people tend to view each other with suspicion, when there should be absolutely no reason to.
Anyone else remember the movie, 'Watermelon Man' directed by Melvin Van Peebles, and staring Godfrey Cambridge? Released in 1970, it's a story about a extremely bigoted white man who wakes up one morning to discover he's somehow turned black. After turning black, he suffers many indignities, but the one scene I remember most, is when he's running through his white neighborhood, trying not to be late for work. Because he is running, and black, everyone of the white folks assume he must have done SOMETHING illegal, or he wouldn't be running. It's a movie that will make you sometimes laugh, sometimes cringe, cry, or get angry. I actually think it is a classic of social commentary on race in America. I would say, 'at that time', but really, things in many ways haven't changed all that much. And that's sad. long black evening dressesSee More