Black men in the U.S. have for decades been viewed as threats instead of doyin richardshuman beings. According to the recently released Equal Justice Initiative report, lynchings were justified in this country at least in part because black men were seen as bestial creatures who could not control their desires for white women. Still, how far would you go to be viewed as docile by white people?
In an article titled, “Fear of black men: how society sees black men and how they see themselves,” NPR’s Michel Martin asked African-American men what it’s like to walk around knowing people are afraid of them.
Blogger Doyin Richards of “Daddy Doin’ Work” says he goes so far as to sing “Frozen” songs so that white people view him as a father and not a threat:
Sometimes if I am walking down a street or something, I am whistling Frozen songs just to prove that … ‘Hey I have kids, I am not a threat to you. I just want to go home to my family.’ So often people just view this as, ‘Oh gosh, you’re just whining,’ or ‘they are just making excuses or pulling out some mythical race card that doesn’t exist.’ This is a real thing.
Professor Paul Butler explained that it’s not just white cops who racially profile, but African-American officers as well:
[I was] walking home in my beautiful upper-middle-class neighborhood in D.C., when the cops start following me —kind of like this cat and mouse thing. They are in their car, and you know, every time I move they move. And we get up to my house and I just stop on the street and say ‘what are you doing? And then they say ‘what are you doing?’ I say ‘I live here.’ They say ‘prove it.’ They made me go to my porch, and then when I got there I said, ‘you know what, I don’t have to proof nothing.’ I knew this because I am a law professor. They said, ‘we are not leaving until you go in the house, because we think you’re a burglar.’ I say ‘you’re doing this because I am black.’ They said, ‘no, we are not, were black too,’ and that was true. These were African-American officers. Even they were racial profiling me, another black man.