Pretend You’re a Cop

A Facebook post from a few years ago I never shared on here:

One way I can tell I’m still have lingering racist ideas and have racist stereotypes in my subconscious is by placing myself in the shoes of a cop! If I stopped a white man I’d be inclined to be at ease and trusting. If I stopped a black man I honestly would be suspicious, cautious, and prepared for a hostile situation. Why? Why would I approach a black man differently?

One answer is that I’m racist subconsciously due to negative stereotypes and bias that has been woven into me by society that says, “All black men are violent, criminal thugs!” This unexplored bias I discovered tonight on my drive home by role playing myself as a cop is how racism is sustained and driven today; there is research done to support this claim if you want to see it.

Another answer is I’ve just barely scratched the surface of how institutional racism and racial bias has impacted me, a cis-gender, white, Christian male with immense privileges in this country even though I’m poor and have my own sufferings to deal with.

Unintentional racism is what I found myself guilty of tonight in this little thought experiment I did. I, a counselor, and clear advocate for ending racism, who has explored my own racist inclinations, found myself in a role play of being a cop mistreating, stereotyping, and discriminating black males. But yet, in the White narrative of America, a real cop isn’t capable of such an error?

No, no! White folks, we got a lot of heavy work and even heavier repenting to do when it comes to racism, racial issues, and racial reconciliation in this country!

Black brothers and sisters, please forgive me for such sinful, harmful, hurtful, and destructive thinking. Help me to keep listening to you and showing me ways to grow past these egregious ways of thinking I have.

“The good news is that racist and antiracist are not fixed identities. We can be a racist one minute and an antiracist the next. What we say about race, what we do about race, in each moment, determines what — not who — we are.”― Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist

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