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October 31, 2007

Sowell on Driving While Black: Lose The Persectuion Complex

Pretty much true.

For what it's worth, I got pulled over speeding in Connecticut from Boston to NY a couple of nights before Thanksgiving. The roads were pretty dense with traffic and, per my custom, I was speeding, but speeding less than most people in the left lane.

The cop was black. I got a ticket, despite many cars flying by 10 or 15 or 20 miles an hour faster than me.

Yes, I did immediately decide he gave me the ticket because I was white. Despite the fact that there was a better reason: I had out-of-state plates.

Furthermore, whether or not I was one of the stealth speeders, I was, in fact, doing almost 80 on 65 road.

It's a pretty common response for everyone to spring to the defense of bias and selective enforcement when they get pulled over by a cop, or ticketed for, say, having an open container while walking down the street. Sometimes there may be bias involved. Most often, I'm thinking, there's not, and it would behoove us to keep in mind that whether there are worse offenders out there or not, we wouldn't have gotten hasselled if we weren't in fact breaking the law.

And yeah, as Sowell notes: Attitude has a lot to do with whether you get a ticket or a warning. Or just a semi-friendly reminder. You don't have to kiss a cop's ass, but dealing with the situation in calm way makes the cop's night easier, and in turn, hell, he might make your night easier too.


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posted by Ace at 03:36 PM

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