So what is the more reasonable scenario?
A prominent, elitist Harvard professor with a racist chip on his shoulder, who sees a Klansman standing behind every cop, comes home to find he can’t get into his house because the door is jammed, or what ever. After several minutes fiddling with the lock he finally gets into his house. But, as he is turning on his lights, a police officer is standing at the door asking to see some ID because he received a call that this house looked to be being robbed. “What are you talking about? I live here. Doncha you know who I am? This is nothing but racial profiling. You think because I am a black man I am breaking into a house, you racist. I bet your mama is a bigot, too.” And then after several more minutes of this raging, disrespectful tirade, the professor is arrested for disorderly conduct.
It is my experience that if you act like a jerk, you are going to be treated like a jerk.
I have been confronted by cops on several occasions for a variety of things like loitering, running a stop sign, being somewhere I wasn’t suppose to be, and even when there were what I thought to be misunderstandings, never did it occur to me to “press” my rights with the cop by calling him an idiot.
There was one time, early in my college days, that I had long hair. I had that pothead, hippy look. On a particular occasion I was meeting some folks out in the rural part of a county in Arkansas to do some camping in the woods. I couldn’t find the meeting place, so I was driving slowly up and down the rural highway looking to where I needed to turn. I got pulled over by a state trooper, who must of thought I was drunk or high, and I can tell you right now he was one of these small town, tobacco chewing, red neck troopers who just loved to hassle long haired hippy potheads. I’m talking “Bull” Conner.
He got me out of the car. He asked me a bunch of questions about where I was going, whose car I was driving, why did I have MO plates instead of AR plates. I got padded down. With out asking, he told me to give him my keys. He opened the trunk. My dad, who was an electrician, had left some pieces of pipe he had cut from a recent job. The trooper looked through the ends (presumably for dope). He smelled them (presumably for dope). He put me in his car while he ran a check on my driver’s license. At this point I was beginning to fret about being brutalized in the county lock-up.
Finally, he let me go with a ticket for expired tags. I can’t explain it, but I had that feeling this guy was wanting something to stick so he could take me in. Yet, all through the demoralizing experience, I never called him a hick, or a bigot, or even said anything nasty about his mother. I just said yes sir, no sir, and answered his questions clearly and as accurately as I could. And I bet, if I had acted squirrely, I would have been calling my parents from the jail in Bradford, AR.
I guess in my mind, a distinguished Harvard research professor who is big friends with Oprah and the president of the United States, would have a higher regard for the law and law enforcement.
Then again, maybe I am expecting too much from these folks.