Author: Victor Ochieng
Racial profiling has reached its highest peak; now even famous black males are getting arrested simply for being black. The most recent case of blackness being a crime, is of a former NFL player who was arrested while house hunting. Cases of people calling the police on black people, doing normal day-to-day activities, have been on the rise lately. Some of these instances include the Starbucks incident, black folks barbecuing in a park and now this one, of an NFL player house hunting. Racism is literally killing our nation and people don’t seem to get alarmed by it.
The NFL player’s spokeswoman passionately defended him saying, An over reactive neighbor called police after she saw Kellen walking around a mobile home.”
Kellen Winslow Jr, the former NFL player went house hunting for his mother-in-law while black. The tight end player was arrested by the San Diego County Department under suspicion of burglary. And despite trying to make known his name, so that the officers would give him the benefit of a doubt, his efforts fell on deaf ears. He later was released after he posted bail. The player, whose father is a famous personality with a Hall of Fame career, went through the unfair racial profiling on Thursday.
His lawyer said in an interview, “He would have no need to burglarize or steal anything from anyone at a trailer park. He looks forward to being vindicated once this matter is fully investigated and adjudicated through the court system.”
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has been known for racial profiling for a while now. According to a report by the San Diego University, the police department has been stopping and searching Blacks and Hispanics more often than they do whites. Unlike in states like Philadelphia where racial profiling is being fought against by the Mayor and the city’s police department, the San Diego Police Department has a record for having serious racial profiling problem.
The Department has been under scrutiny as racial profiling complaints surfaced. The Senior Policy Strategist at the ACLU of San Diego/Imperial Counties spoke about the issue saying, “We believe the San Diego Police Department’s culture, practice and policies must be continually monitored to help identify and dismantle those who contribute to bias policing and racial profiling.”
Jasmyne Cannick, who is a Los Angeles social justice activist and journalist, stated that Winslow’s case is one amongst the many cases of neighbors or bystanders calling the cops on African-Americans. “You could be doing the most harmless thing and people will call the police on you. Black people — we’ve moved up in the world. When people move up they move out to nicer neighborhoods. In those neighborhoods they get looked at as if they don’t belong,” Cannick said.
The problem with racial profiling can only be brought to an end once the root cause of disunity in the nation is addressed. Reconciliation can only come from healing and that starts with acceptance and selflessness. A broken America is a disadvantage to both the white Americans and the Black Americans alike – the sooner everyone embraces that, the sooner the healing process begins.