No matter what the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial is, the nation has finally put a spotlight on racial profiling that may finally make a difference. But, for now, there are still necessary tactics that must be taken to keep us safe.
Black men are the #1 target of racial profiling in the U.S., so it comes as no surprise that there would be an actual conversation on the procedure taken when encountering the police. During a CNN panel on “N Word vs. ‘Cracker’: Which is Worse?”–which is a result of Crackergate during the Zimmerman trial– actor Levar Burton, known for his show “Reading Rainbow”, where children learn about the world through books and virtual field trips with Burton, he demonstrated the protocol that is necessary when being pulled over by police.
“This is a practice that I engage in every time I’m stopped by law enforcement and I have taught this to my son, who is now 33, as part of my duty as a father to ensure that he knows the kind of world in which he’s growing up. So when I get stopped by the police, I take my hat off and my sunglasses off, I put them on the passenger side. I roll down my window, I take my hands and stick them outside the window and on the door of the driver’s side because I want that officer to be as relaxed as he can be when he approaches my vehicle.”
Now that’s not a lesson he shared on the Reading Rainbow, but it’s unfortunate that he probably shared that message with his son when he was at the age of the children that watch his show.
Check out the report.