Yesterday I saw the above YouTube video of Philadelphia police racially-profiling two young Black men. The encounter brought back a lot of negative feelings for me because I’m extremely familiar with the cops arbitrarily stopping me because there was a POSSIBILITY that I MIGHT fit the description of a perp on the loose. I’ve been detained, had my time obstructed, and suffered physical abuse at the hands of police officers who felt an intense desire to embarrass, violate, and belittle me based on nothing more than my outward appearance.
The experience is so intrusive and left me feeling so helpless and left an indelible mark on my psyche for the rest of my life. But, surprisingly, that’s NOT the worst part of being stopped and frisked because it unfortunately becomes expected and somewhat predictable. But the only thing worse than being racially-profiled is having non-Blacks berate you for not acting cordial enough when your rights are viciously violated right in your face.
When I saw the video, I scrolled down to the comments section to read what other people thought of the clip. I expected to see paragraphs full of outrage written by people who couldn’t believe what they were seeing or people who were sick and tired of having to witness the same BS day in, day out. But the comment section was filled with a very familiar refrain that makes my stomach turn every time I hear it ooze out of a non-Black person’s mouth: “Those guys deserved what they got for acting belligerent.”