Because I was black?

When serving my first few years in the Air Force, I was driving my new 1969 Mustang convertible.  I was stationed at SAC Headquarters, so I was checking out Omaha, exploring the countryside.  Soon I noticed I was being followed by a patrol car.  He put on his lights and pulled me over.  I was not speeding and knew it; there was no justification for pulling me over, yet he did.  He checked my registration, ran it through the system, with no problem.

I said, “Why did you stop me?”  The officer then transparently made up a story, “Oh, a car matching your description was involved in a crime.”  I knew this was not true.  My car was a brand new Special Edition 1969 Mustang model, unusual jade green color, with a white top and interior.  The only one of its kind.  I had bought it out of the showcase window.

So, obviously, I was pulled over because I was black, or black and in a nice automobile.

A month later, I got married.  Nebraska had a high Polish population.  I married a beautiful Polish girl, Arlene.  I decided to take leave for our honeymoon and drive us to Buffalo, New York, where she had lived, and see Niagara Falls.

I was driving from early morning until late at night and crossed into Ohio.  While on the highway, a car behind me pulled up just behind me, in the adjacent lane on the driver’s side.  The car stayed there at my pace for some time – rather odd in general highway driving etiquette.  The headlights became rather blinding and impeded my vision.  I slowed a bit to encourage the rude car to pass; he slowed down.  I slightly sped up to move away, and quickly the car pulled behind me and put on alarming police lights, pulling me over.  It was a highway patrol car.

The officer asked sternly for my driver’s license.  I asked, “Why did you pull me over?”  He stated, “You were exceeding the speed limit!”  I said, “I wasn’t exceeding the speed limit, and you know that, as you were on my tail.  You were the cause of me speeding up to remove your bright lights in my eyes.  I didn’t know you were the police.  You had your bright headlights unsafely shining in my side mirror, so I tried to get you to move, as it wasn’t safe.”

He put my information into the system, and I was cleared...but then he said, “I’m taking you in for questioning.  Pull behind me and follow me to the highway patrol station.”

I was indignant at this treatment, but I went along.  Then I sat with my new bride, waiting and waiting in the early morning light for more than an hour!  We were in a room full of police busy with real crime.  Finally, a patrolman ambled out and confirmed that I was indeed on leave and had not gone AWOL.  That was what they were said they were checking.

There was simply no indication that I would be going AWOL, because I had out-of-state plates that checked out clean.  Obviously, the real reason was that I was black and my wife was a beautiful blond white woman.

Oh...I forgot one thing in this story.  While all of this is true, there’s one detail I got wrong: I’m not actually black.  So I guess it wasn’t for racial reasons, after all.

Often bad things happen to white people.  If the person is black, the reflex is more often than not to charge the same unfair treatment by police in racial terms.  Such indignities are endured by people of any and all colors.  The trend to hypersensitivity and the unnecessary black “victimization” theme is raising a generational culture destined to impede black progress as it raises paranoia.

Rusty Walker is a world-traveled independent political analyst, former educator, author, Vietnam veteran-era U.S. Air Force, from a military family, retired college professor, former Provost (Collins College, USA), artist, black belt in Shuri-Ru Karate, musician, and family man.  He is also a writer for Let Us Build Pakistan

When serving my first few years in the Air Force, I was driving my new 1969 Mustang convertible.  I was stationed at SAC Headquarters, so I was checking out Omaha, exploring the countryside.  Soon I noticed I was being followed by a patrol car.  He put on his lights and pulled me over.  I was not speeding and knew it; there was no justification for pulling me over, yet he did.  He checked my registration, ran it through the system, with no problem.

I said, “Why did you stop me?”  The officer then transparently made up a story, “Oh, a car matching your description was involved in a crime.”  I knew this was not true.  My car was a brand new Special Edition 1969 Mustang model, unusual jade green color, with a white top and interior.  The only one of its kind.  I had bought it out of the showcase window.

So, obviously, I was pulled over because I was black, or black and in a nice automobile.

A month later, I got married.  Nebraska had a high Polish population.  I married a beautiful Polish girl, Arlene.  I decided to take leave for our honeymoon and drive us to Buffalo, New York, where she had lived, and see Niagara Falls.

I was driving from early morning until late at night and crossed into Ohio.  While on the highway, a car behind me pulled up just behind me, in the adjacent lane on the driver’s side.  The car stayed there at my pace for some time – rather odd in general highway driving etiquette.  The headlights became rather blinding and impeded my vision.  I slowed a bit to encourage the rude car to pass; he slowed down.  I slightly sped up to move away, and quickly the car pulled behind me and put on alarming police lights, pulling me over.  It was a highway patrol car.

The officer asked sternly for my driver’s license.  I asked, “Why did you pull me over?”  He stated, “You were exceeding the speed limit!”  I said, “I wasn’t exceeding the speed limit, and you know that, as you were on my tail.  You were the cause of me speeding up to remove your bright lights in my eyes.  I didn’t know you were the police.  You had your bright headlights unsafely shining in my side mirror, so I tried to get you to move, as it wasn’t safe.”

He put my information into the system, and I was cleared...but then he said, “I’m taking you in for questioning.  Pull behind me and follow me to the highway patrol station.”

I was indignant at this treatment, but I went along.  Then I sat with my new bride, waiting and waiting in the early morning light for more than an hour!  We were in a room full of police busy with real crime.  Finally, a patrolman ambled out and confirmed that I was indeed on leave and had not gone AWOL.  That was what they were said they were checking.

There was simply no indication that I would be going AWOL, because I had out-of-state plates that checked out clean.  Obviously, the real reason was that I was black and my wife was a beautiful blond white woman.

Oh...I forgot one thing in this story.  While all of this is true, there’s one detail I got wrong: I’m not actually black.  So I guess it wasn’t for racial reasons, after all.

Often bad things happen to white people.  If the person is black, the reflex is more often than not to charge the same unfair treatment by police in racial terms.  Such indignities are endured by people of any and all colors.  The trend to hypersensitivity and the unnecessary black “victimization” theme is raising a generational culture destined to impede black progress as it raises paranoia.

Rusty Walker is a world-traveled independent political analyst, former educator, author, Vietnam veteran-era U.S. Air Force, from a military family, retired college professor, former Provost (Collins College, USA), artist, black belt in Shuri-Ru Karate, musician, and family man.  He is also a writer for Let Us Build Pakistan