There are moments in our existence when we must come to terms with, and accept, a most pitiful trait or behavior. This would be one of those moments--for myself, at least. I am guilty of racial profiling. There I said it. Yes, in this culture of ours, a strange society of closet deviants, it is nearly impossible to escape the warped, pervert morals that have been instilled in us way back, during our social training (K through HS). Social Training was monumentally successful in the task of implanting into our minds, stereotypes and racial profiles of all kinds. So effective that I often find myself approaching African American gentlemen, dressed in urban attire, as a means of acquiring contraband as banned by the CSA. This usually occurs when I am in foreign cities or towns, which can be 1000 miles away or just six.
Nevertheless, Society taught me their profile, their look, their style is a symbol, a cross on a pharmacy, which tells those who know what to look for that drugs, or at least a connect to drugs, is available. Society has also taught me that the same person is the kind who would do immoral things to me; maybe rough me up, or maybe even shoot me! Getting stabbed is also an option: a horrifically horrible option, but an option nonetheless. Choosing what way to go would be best in another article for a slightly later time, so let's continue with this very serious confession to the vile thoughts that taint certain regions of my mind.
This stereotyping has made encountering members of other races particularly uncomfortable--that is until I speak to them. Nine times out of ten it is often the case that the stereotype that I have been programmed to keep in mind is rarely one-hundred-percent accurate. And 3-out-of-10 times that person will assist me in finding what it is I am looking for. Roughly forty percent is the success rate for stereotyping, at least in my experience. Not to mention, that 1-out-of-10 who fits the stereotype has never done me wrong, which leads to believe that most people aren't out harm other people, even if their circumstances make it so they must do illegal things to survive. I guess I'm lucky.
Then again, what about the people with bad luck? You know, the folks who have managed to bump paths with walking stereotypes on a fairly regular basis. The ones who have been mugged by a black thug; hired a pack of day laborers to landscape their property; seen an asian or a woman cause a car accident; or witnessed a white person do whatever we do.
Well, maybe it just happens to be the case that the people with bad luck are really people who believe wholeheartedly in stereotypes. Maybe they are subconsciously on the lookout for a living, breathing stereotype to cross paths with just so they can justify their own beliefs. There's some saying, 'You can't find it if you aren't looking for it." After all, it always seems that the people hunting Bigfoot are the only ones to come across the mythic beast. And maybe my forty percent isn't all that accurate because I'm not trying to prove that stereotyping is effective. I do my best to give every person I encounter level ground to stand on. I once stopped to talk to a black woman on a dead end street in Newark, in Bloods territory, while in a blue car.
"Hey white boy," she said as she sauntered over to the passenger side window.
My cousin insisted that I keep driving, and I did. I stopped for such a short period of time that I was only able to crack a nervous smile, wave, and say, "Have a good one."
The woman seemed upset, yelling, "I'm trying to talk to you," as we drove off, passing the various groups of three that lined the street at one in the morning.
I listened to my cousin's plea to keep driving because we live in a world where bad people do exist, and the people on that street happened to fit the profile. After we drove off, I said to my cousin, "I feel like such a racist." And I did. It's a shame that I had to write those people off as evil doers out to bring harm upon me, merely for making a wrong turn after taking a ride to smoke a blunt. I wish we lived in a world where I could've stopped to chat, because maybe then I would have gotten to smoke another blunt with some unexpected new friends. But no, our society has ruined that possibility for me--and you, too.
Don't worry though, those allegedly immoral minorities surely have plenty of negative perceptions of us, the white devils. For one, they are brought up learning not to trust us because we tend to turn on those who are not our own at the first sign of bad news. Not to mention the whole slavery thing. But blacks aren't the only ones who were imprisoned by whites. Nope, we even imprison our own just because some people think differently. And that is something everyone of every race should realize, at least now, in hindsight of human history. Race is no longer a reason to be hated in this modern time (with the exception of a few places that got skipped by evolution).
In this interconnected world that we live in, our biases and unfounded hate have shifted. Instead of ganging up on different races, people of all races in one country can come together to hate those in other countries because of what they believe. Baby steps, right? All we need is solid proof that aliens exist and then we can have world peace once and for all.