Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"Everyone Who's Ever Shot Me Was Black and Wearing a Hoodie"

I'm tired of ripping off Atrios so much, except that's what he does (so well). In fact, that's what the best bloggers do, Atrios is just my favorite at it. We call it "redirecting." Getting your attention, and that's not a bad thing.

This piece by Brian Beutler -- a journalist who worked for Talking Points Memo before moving to Salon -- is about getting shot. It's the clearest argument I've yet found for ending stop-and-frisk, or at least for putting the lie to nonsense that it isn't racist. Read it. Here's a tease:
A half-hour after last call, on our walk home up 16th Street northbound toward Mount Pleasant where we lived at the time, we impulsively decided to grab a late night snack at a 24-hour diner we used to frequent in Adams Morgan and hung a left up Euclid Street — a dimly lit one-way street with a violent history.
Just as an aside, I have, like a lot of whites, an irrational fear of black people at night. That's funny because when I was nineteen and reasonably young and stupid, a friend of mine and I decided in the middle of the night to cross half of San Francisco to go see a friend who lived near Haight-Ashbury. I suppose we thought he might have drugs.

We encountered two sets of people during that walk, both black. during the first encounter, one of the guys admired my gold rings -- it was the sixties, you know, Ringo and all that -- before giving me a couple of Kools.

During the second encounter, in the dark heart of the Fillmore with papers swirling in the slightly foggy wind, we ran into two black derelicts who asked us for a dime. When they discovered we were broke, they forced their last nine cents on us, insisting we'd do it if it was the other way around.

That was 45 years ago. Did I say my fear of blacks was irrational?

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