Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"I'm Coming Back As A White Man In My Next Life!"

So remember when I started this blog I said some posts would be deep and serious and some would be funny and silly?  Well this one would definitely fall into the funny and silly category!  Yesterday I had to go to traffic court for an "illegal" left turn ticket.  I plead not guilty a month ago and then went back yesterday to fight it.  As luck would have it the ticket was dismissed!  Woohoo!  This made my day for sure!!  What a great way to start the week.  Later that day the Hubby called me at work to see how traffic court went.  I said, "Dismissed baby!"  =)  He said, "What?!?!  If that had been me they probably would have taken me to jail!"  Okay, clearly he is exaggerating, but as you can see from past "driving while black" incidents he is a little bitter, and rightly so.....
http://themanyshadesoflove.blogspot.com/2009/05/dwbdriving-while-black.html  The next thing out of his mouth was, "I'm coming back as a white man in my next life so I can get out of tickets and not get pulled over all the time!"  I just laughed!  On the surface this comment was quite funny and we both got a kick out of the conversation.  Sadly though it is all too true that he would have been treated totally different by the cop and by the courts.  You would have thought that he was happy that I didn't have to pay the ticket since it's our money, but he was so stuck on what would have happened to him he couldn't get past that. Why do all black men automatically get treated differently by cops?  It's a curious stereotype that seems to never go away.  Will it ever?  I hope so because my husband should be able to drive down the street, pass a police car, and just drive on without thought of being pulled over once again for nothing.   So when I got home last night the "bitter humor" was still there and I gave him a hello kiss and then he said, "Whatever, no ticket white woman," and we laughed again!  I just hope when Jamie "comes back" in his "next life" he doesn't come back as a white man, he comes back exactly as he is today.  That is why I love him so much...bitter humor, and all!     

10 comments:

"J" said...

Sad to admit, it happens here too. however, with a twist.
If someone looks too trailertrashy (mullet, shiny pants, earring) the risk of being pulled over increases 10-fold, as does a very young Arab face in a far too expensive car. (more often than not the sign of a moroccan drug trafficer)
Soo, if You happen to be " Arab" looking, and drive a car that seems too flashy, racism undubitably kicks in...

The black guys with the lighter faces are mostly treated like any other white face though.

Dutch police differs wildly from American police though, in that the risk of getting shot at by Blacks is, for them, minimal or non-existent, so whenever You're pulled-over, You are mostly confronterd with a painfully polite police officer that , again very politely, starts to explain what You did wrong, no hand on the gun whatsoever, black guy in car or not....Most American police officers are considered Gun-mad cowboys overhere.

I met some of them when in the military on an international police-force day in Apeldoorn(a small city with a large garrison of s.c. "marechaussee"-->Military Police) and they left an impression of loud-mouthing, shoot-first-ask-later brawlers, on par with the russian blokes, and completely unlike any other Northern European Police-men. The americans on their part were baffled by the utterly courteous way police men overhere treated traffic violators and such....really a culture divide of immense proportions.

Sorry guys, but that is how whe are trained here:Be Firm, but Stay polite, don't provoke and don't get provoked. Reasoning will save You....Talking Your way out is considered more useful than shooting your way out..

Yup, Europeans sure ar gun-hating pansies(As one American commissioner told us MP's once...)but he then went on asking how conflict management worked in europe ,stating "It could be useful how to learn to diffuse a situation without shooting"

Our unfamiliarity with gun-crime, black gangs, latin gangs etc. is the reason a police woman in Amsterdam died, solely because she tried to inform someone(a caribbean guy..somewhat dark) that he ran a red light, and almost caused an accident. She walked towards the car, gun not drawn, because that is usually not neccesary, and the perp just started balling away at her. She died on the spot obviously. She just couldn't fathom someone being crazy enough to carry a gun, and firing away, just for a red-light-running .

Net result was, however, not that police became more cautious towards anyone with a colour, and would pull out their walthers more often. nope, It was treated as an unhappy coincidence with a tragic ending. Criminals overhere know that the risk of getting shot by police is minimal, so they seldomly take the risk of shooting anywhere themselves.

The shootings we had, were mostly by foreigners, and even those were handled in the utmost polite manner.

Bottomline:Our culture is less violent, so police, consequently is less apprehensive of peeps with a teint... It's not all roses&fairies though.

Amy said...

J,

How wild that our police and system are sooooo different from yours. I know you and I have had this "conversation" via my blog multiple times but it all goes back to the gun laws. Interesting. So many of the problems here in the U.S. with crime would not occur if guns were not so readily available. It's quite simple. However people are so concerned with their "right to bear arms" that they don't take into account what happens in the end when pretty much anyone can get guns. Sad.

A polite police officer?...I love it! When I got pulled over for my "illegal left turn" "my cop" was the opposite of polite. My daughter asked me why I didn't lose my cool with him because the guy was such a jerk. Here if you lose your cool with the police, let's just say it won't be so cool for you! =) Ironically we were married by a police officer who is also a minister. He is one of the good ones. =) Sadly my husband and I have had far too many bad experiences for no reason other than skin color with our local police.

Thank you again for your always enlightening comments!

Hope all is well...Amy

"J" said...

Maybe it is the way police officers are trained overhere?

I had to have my "civil" training when in the military police, and we were confronted with very good actors that acted out all kinds of "hairy' street situations. It went as far that we could ask the actors(who had very special training for this kind of work) WHAT situations we were afraid or unsure of, so we could get used to flammable conflict situations. Your grades were dependent on how much you kept your cool and reasonable attitude. And let me tell 'Ya, those actors were soooo good, they could tear the blood from under your nails, as we dutch say, make one really,REALLY MAD!. We've had officers in training completely flipping out after an actor in an acted out situation tried to be as obnoxious as he could.

Great fun! (Not so much for the officer in training though..He would be teased about it to no end by us..heh..) But it DOES make for some quite stoic policemen&women..

All in all, police/MP is generally(though we do have our "authoritarian @.holes too) more relaxed here, because it is not so dangerous outhere. In most cases You'd be getting drunks out of bars as Your most exiting task.. Worst injury? a bloody upper-lip from a drunk falling over towards me with a glass in his hand...Still have the scar :LOL:

The Netherland are a bit quaint in that aspect ,and we like it that way.

On America: I understand that there are some states that have pretty strict gun-laws? I wonder how the police acts&reacts in those states..

On the other hand, "The Evil Big Black, Gun-Toting, Ghetto-Gang-Banger" is soo ingrained in people via popular media, video-clips, sensationalist news articles(I'd almost call it "propaganda") etc. etc. that I am really afraid that those carved-in stereotypes will be staying among us for a bloody long time.

Overhere, all we get to see from "Black culture" in America is stuff about Gangs&Guns&Hoochies..Thank MTV,TMF and their ilk for that..

One redeeming factor though: During the elections, 68% of Dutchies sat glued to their TV-set, keeping their fingers crossed for Obama, we even had some election parties of ourselves without any American expats present..odd huh?....

jessica said...

Hey Amy, I was doing it again-reading and not commenting. Sorry sorry! Reading this one, and the DWB, and then of course talking to my hubby about it, I just can't believe that crap like this happens, especially where we live. But then, it's not happening to me. I'm glad and impressed that Jamie has a sense of humor about it. "No ticket white woman"!! LOL!

Amy said...

J,

Graded on keeping your cool....now that is wonderful! It really makes a statement about doing things the peaceful way whenever possible. We could take a lesson over here from your training and your gun laws.

Obama parties without any Americans...now that is fantastic!

Jess,

Thanks for commenting! I have to agree with you, I still can't believe the racism by our police still happens here either! When Jamie and I first started dating "a hundred years" ago I remember telling him that he was exaggerating when it came to his "cop" stories. Well then when I started "living" it first hand with him I couldn't believe it!!! I also had an issue with him being so non-chalant about it because I felt like he should fight and speak up and change things! He laughed and said, "It always has and always will be this way. You will never fully get it unless you are a black man." Sad huh? I guess that is partially why I have this blog. I am speaking up for him. =)And yes I LOVE his sense of humor too. That is him in a nutshell! Hugs...A.

The Exception said...

I guess I have had better luck than Jamie. Every ticket I got was WELL deserved. I have had a few dropped as well when I got to court. I am usually armed to the hilt when I am on the road and never had a problem packing heat. Some people who know me may say it is because I deal with a lot of law enforcement officials in the dealings with my job but these guys don't know who I know or that my father is a police officer. Like I said, I guess I am just lucky.

Rhea said...

Thanks for the great, insightful posts, Amy! I always read but rarely have time to comment lately -sorry! Always thinking of you all with love!

Amy said...

Daryl,

I have known Jamie 18 years now and I don't know of one time that he has been pulled over for a real reason! Can you believe that!? Crazy.

Rhea,

So good to hear from you and glad to know that you are reading! We love and miss you guys! Hugs to the kiddos!

Anonymous said...

Tell Jamie, even better than coming back as a white man in his next life, he should come back as a white WOMAN, with blond hair would be even better! As a blond-haired white woman, I have been pulled over numerous times for speeding, and at the age of 36, I have only gotten ONE ticket! I was doing 85 in a 55 back in 1995. 30 miles over the posted limit could have gotten me taken to jail I suppose, but all I got was a $110 ticket. I was driving a brand new red Camaro at the time, can you say, "LOOK! OVER HERE! PULL ME OVER!" Anyway, I got a kick outta your story, and all of my male friends, past and present, just shake their head at my ability to bat my eyes, toss my hair, smile, and get off the hook! LOL! (Not really, I don't bat my eyes or toss my hair, but the smile seems to be enough!)
Ray has told me a few of his DWB stories, and he just laughs about it. One time, there was a white guy in the car ahead of him with his music thumping LOUD. Ray was behind him and didn't even have his car stereo turned on. Guess what, the cop following them pulled Ray over. He should have noticed when he got out of his police car that he could no longer here the music, as the actually perpetrator had driven on down the road. When the cop got to Ray's window, Ray was laughing and said, "You thought that was me with the loud stereo, didn't you?" The cop was embarassed, apologized, and hopped back in his car to try to catch the real noise polluter!
-Heather

Amy said...

Heather your comment is hilarious! Jamie as a blond white woman, now that WOULD be a picture! LOL!!!

How funny (not really) that Ray got pulled over instead of the guy actually playing the music. Of course he would assume it was Ray...wow!! Thank you for sharing your story...nothing like a good giggle first thing in the morning. So glad to hear things are still going so well for you two....best wishes sent to you both.

Amy