The discussion of "race relations" has again become a hot topic throughout the land. The tragic shooting of one Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman (I think we can skip calling Zimmerman "the alleged shooter." Don't you?) has brought the usual fruitloops and those in the race baiting business out from under the shed again. There have been a few surprising twists along the way though. The media has portrayed Zimmerman as a "white" Hispanic (to make him appear to be really white?); there are allegations of selective editing of 911 tapes and video by our nations' media outlets; even Martin's mother can't help but get in on the act by "applying for a trademark" on her son's name. The whole thing has been pretty ridiculous. It doesn't appear (at this time) that the "race war" will commence anytime soon and that has to be a great disappointment to the Martin Bashirs' and Soledad O'Briens' of the world. Shame.
Much was made of Jerry Rivers mentioning that the "hoodie" often means punk (and possibly dangerous punk) to a lot of people. Now of course, kids tend to emulate the lowest common denominator in fashion (hence the very loose "come bugger me" pants that are in vogue) but for the most part they are just kids being kids. But one can not argue (unless one is a stupid fuck) that the hoodies, prison bitch pants, etc. can also be a sure way to spot a real honest to goodness gangbanger punk.
As a "retired" Houston cab driver, I can tell you that I always was quite careful who I picked up off the street. Did I profile? Yes. There have been too many cabbies shot over a few pitiful bucks and the perps are usually young black or Hispanic males. Does that mean that I did not pick up minorities? No. One can't make a living out of driving a cab in Houston if one is afraid of someone for only the color of their skin. But one has to use proper judgement or they will become a victim.
I am sure there are some fruitloops who would holler "you are a racist" over this. Fine. I cordially invite them to spend a couple months behind the wheel of a cab (no bullet proof glass in H town). If I was a betting man I would wager that most would begin to "profile.". Forthwith!
Most cabbies that I have run across would certainly fall into the "liberal" camp. No doubt about it. I would imagine that those who vote Democrat reaches near 95 percent. Just a guess. Do you not think they "profile?" I know they do. My "trainer" (a black man) when I first got started told me what to look out for (as if I already didn't know). I would say he profiled (and then some). It is interesting that a great many cabbies "pack heat" (as they say) regardless of the illegality (in Houston) of doing so. Just in case one makes a mistake in their profiling.
Even in NYC (where they do have some driver protection in the car) they are not afraid to come right out and say it.....
Fernando Mateo of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers has told his drivers, "Profile your passengers" for your own protection. "The God's honest truth is that 99 percent of the people that are robbing, stealing, killing these guys are blacks and Hispanics."
Fernando Mateo is himself black and Hispanic.
It is not necessarily racist to use common sense to protect oneself. Or maybe it is. No matter. If you don't use that "common sense" you may end up being carried by six. It is a dangerous enough job as it is. One not for the faint of heart and certainly not for one who will let idealism get in the way of sound judgement.