Saturday, February 10, 2007

white girl privilege, parts 1 and 2

Jan 27, anti-war protest, downtown LA: Finished the march, milling at the rally. Ready to go home, but disoriented. So, holding my double-sided sign: ("Another dyke against the war" / "C'mon, people, USE LESS OIL"), I walk up to a cop guarding the federal building:
"Scuze me, which way to Union Station?"
"Follow that street, it turns right into Union Station".

As I walk away, it hits me: I have just marched up the LAPD (the LAPD!!) at a protest rally and asked for directions. Because in my head, the police are here to serve. The police don't put 50 rounds in people like me when they reach for a wallet. I am such a white girl.

Last night it happened again. I needed walk off some insensitive comments from a tipsy friend. So the wif and I are walking through the quiet sidewalks of our neighborhood (me in a black biker jacket, the wif in a sweater), I'm ranting a bit, the wif's sympathetic. Headlights, we look up -- police cruiser. Passes right by, doesn't even slow down. Did they see we were women, or was it enough that we were white?


Anonymous said...

The first dyke I ever arrested (for beating her wif) was one of the loudest foulest sleazebags I ever arrested. I did my best to avoid them after that.

And they call US pigs...

Jackie M. said...

So, presumably, every other dyke in the world is going to be exactly like that one?

Jackie M. said...

A.D., I was going to say: I wonder if the LAPD would have an easier time not unconsciously profiling non-whites if non-whites on their beat were to make a conscious (conscientious?) effort to introduce themselves be cordial/neighborly towards their local law enforcement officials? Not that I think they ought to, I mean... I was just wondering if it's something proactive that could be done, something an individual could to do to change the outlooks of a few other individuals... the way you've been slowly changing your little corner of the worlds by being completely and totally out.

I'm pretty sure I saw a news article recently about a police department (gah, I can't remember where...) that had a program to send officers to neighborhood meetings as way of trying to build trust and open lines of communication. I have no idea if it's working, mind you... but I wonder if it could work both ways?

Not that any of white girls can really help with any of this. So now I'm not only useless, I'm a busy-body know-it-all, yay.

(And I have a story about a white guy who got himself beaten up for walking his dog off-leash. Or rather, for running when the cop came to ticket him, and getting half the force called out on his butt. And I thought, you ran? Why the hell would you run, you dip?

Such white girls.)