Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Do you think this was racist?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42445points) March 22nd, 2017

As I have mentioned, I dated a black guy for several years,in the 90’s, after my divorce and before I met Rick.
One Saturday “Jerry” and I went to a club. I probably had a little too much to drink. He never seemed to be drunk. We rarely fought or argued, but I got pissed off about something, and stormed out at around closing time, 2 a.m. I had a bit of a head start so he had to chase after me as I was storming along.
Suddenly we were surrounded by cops! It startled me, and scared the hell out of me. Eyes wide I edges behind Jerry and watched them from over his shoulder.
They wanted to know if everything was OK, and I did I need any help.
I said I was fine, and didn’t need help.
Then one said, “Well, all we saw was a black guy chasing a white woman. You can imagine how that looked to us.”
I didn’t respond but I wanted to say, “So, you wouldn’t have come to my rescue if it had been a white guy chasing me?”
Back at the car, I said something along those lines to Jerry and apologized for them. I really felt bad.
He said, “You notice they were all white?” I hadn’t, actually. :/

If it wasn’t racist, why did they even mention color?

I know. I know. I need psychotherapy because I remember this incident and I can’t seem to let it go!

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27 Answers

cinnamonk's avatar

I mean, do you really have to ask?

ragingloli's avatar

Of course it was. Textbook example. They even admitted it.

zenvelo's avatar

Good thing it happened the ‘90s. If it happened now, he would be dead.

You don’t need psychotherapy (at least for this), you just need to stand up against racism.

kritiper's avatar

Can’t say it was racist, but it was racial profiling.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I did want to say something @zenvelo, but under the circumstances I decided it was wisest to stay silent, at least to the cop who said it.

Do you think they would have just looked the other way if it had been a white guy chasing me down? Lord knows I could have used their intervention on more than one occasion when a white guy was chasing me!

longgone's avatar

Yes. No question about it.

Rarebear's avatar

Just to be contrary, it’s a reasonable response by the police officers to stop when they see a black man chasing a white woman at 2 in the morning. Just like it would be a reasonable response if a white man was chasing a black woman.

So no, I don’t think it was racist.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So they wouldn’t have intervened if it had been a white man chasing a white woman?

Rarebear's avatar

No, Dutchess, if Rick were chasing you they would have said, “go get her, Dude!” and gotten some popcorn.

Dutchess_III's avatar

LOL!. I think I could have outrun him! It was the close in that I would have had a problem with! He’s like, WAY strong!

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

What if she was casing him?

Zaku's avatar

Um yes. At least, the way the officer said it was. Whether or not they would’ve come to help if Jerry had been white, is a good question.

mhd14's avatar

Dear @Dutchess_III obviously it was racist however you have not responded – it was more racist….
More importantly why to fight outside, keep it with you and your BF. If you take it out people will respond as per their level of understanding.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I would think that most LEO’s worth their salt would at least check the situation out. Regardless of the race of the pursuing man, or the fleeing woman. A female seemingly trying to get away from a man deserves some attention. Once a threat is dismissed, then the officers should go on their way. Not say something stupid like the one in the q.

I would say that the incident was handled appropriately, and in itself wasn’t racist. The comment was definitely stupid,and racist…

Dutchess_III's avatar

@mhd14 We didn’t “take the fight outside” We were going to the car to leave. What do you mean I haven’t responded? Responded to what?

@MrGrimm888 I agree with your assessment. Right thing to do, wrong thing to say.

Zaku's avatar

“he had to chase after me as I was storming along.”
Late one night I was driving along with an old male friend when we noticed (a few hundred yards away) a man chasing after a woman in the otherwise-empty large parking lot of a restaurant with no windows facing the scene. It seemed like he might be harassing or threatening her. My friend suggested we go check it out, so we zoomed over there, but they started behaving peacefully by the time we got close, so we went about our way. Oh, they were both white, and we weren’t police.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thanks for that @Zaku.

JLeslie's avatar

Well, I would hope if they saw a scene like that, white or black, they would check to see if you’re ok. I’m guessing there weren’t many biracial couples where you lived back then, so possibly the police leaned towards assuming you two were not a couple, which might have increased their worry about the situation.

I don’t think it was necessarily racist, but maybe there was a lot of assumptions made based on prejudices or something along that line.

Just imagine if you were in danger and they ignored it if the guy was white?! That’s almost worse! Worse for us women.

I don’t think you should dwell on it, but I understand why it stays with you, and haunts you a little. Once you stated you were ok the cops backed off right? They didn’t do anything to rough uomyour boyfriend or intimidate him in a condescending way, right?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well “assumptions made based on prejudices” is what racism is.

Jesus. It doesn’t “haunt” me! It’s just an old memory of pretty much no consequence. I don’t remember what I read or saw that caused me to think of it, but trust me, I’m not losing any sleep over it.
No, they backed off when I told them everything was OK.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I think that’s what prejudice is. Racism and prejudice are often intertwined, but I’m not going to label someone racist because they have some stereotypes in their head.

I remember back in the day when people would say, “I have friends who are black, but I wouldn’t marry someone who is black and I don’t want my kids marrying someone who is black,” meant that person was a racist. Now, if you marry someone who is black, or even are black, and you have a stereotype that you voice about black people you’re still a racist.

I hear it on the TV shows I watch now people saying it doesn’t matter if Trump has a Jewish daughter and grandchildren he’s still antisemitic. I don’t believe he’s antisemitic.

It’s exhausting. The cops came over to make sure you were ok, you said you were and they were fine with it. They didn’t lynch your boyfriend. Racism in this country has been really ugly, but what happened to you, like I said, I hope they would have done the same if he was white for your sake.

It might have been racial profiling. I don’t know. I grapple with racial profiling, I’m not completely against it. I am against harassing people. Like the whole stop and frisk thing, I’m basically against that, but it’s borderline in my book if the person is truly doing something suspicious. I don’t want them frisked, I think just police presence is probably enough.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The way he said it, “We saw a black guy running after a white girl so you can imagine what we thought,”...it was like, for “them” it was only logical thing to assume, since he was black and I was white (still am!) It was just so…. odd. I got a glimpse of what Jerry had been dealing with all of his life. That was the most eye opening thing for me and probably why I even remember it.
It doesn’t haunt me and I certainly don’t dwell on it. I simply learned from it.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I agree the way they worded it sucked. But, again, I’m wondering if it was during a time, or in a place where whites and blacks didn’t socialize much together. I’m not assuming, I’m asking. Where I grew up it was very diverse, so it wasn’t unusual, but you’re out in a very white state. I don’t know where you were living at the time.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I told you it was in the 90s. In Wichita, Kansas.

JLeslie's avatar

I imagine it was very white there, but I don’t know.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, it didn’t have the population of blacks that the south has, but I don’t really have any place else to compare it to.

mhd14's avatar

@Dutchess_III while briefing the incident you written “I didn’t respond but I wanted to say” .... what does that means?
You were just standing. You would have stopped this before it started.

Dutchess_III's avatar

1) We were drunk. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t think provoking a cop was wise at that moment. I know it’s uncommon to exhibit restraint in this day and age, that it’s considered a badge of honor to get into it with the police in some way. I think it’s stupid.

2) I had my back to the cops and didn’t realize they’d surrounded us in a semi circle, until I I heard my bf say, “It’s OK. Just a lover’s spat.” That’s when I turned around and saw them. Shocked the hell out of me! Not sure how I could have stopped it before it started when I didn’t even see it start.

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