Person Account From the Perspective of an

person account from the perspective of an African-American male to examine the racial relationships within his community. There were three sources used to complete this paper.

As an African-American male in modern America I was raised to believe that hard work and dedication would pay off in the way of success. While I still believe that to be true I also know that I have overcome obstacles that others may not have to face. Years ago racism was something that was proudly displayed in public. Today it is politically incorrect to be a racist, therefore those who are racist simply hide it beneath the folds of their skirts, or the back pockets of their trousers and touch it every so often for comfort. When they think nobody is looking they bring it out and hit the minority over the head with it, quickly slipping it back into hiding, with the belief that no one around saw their actions.

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL DISCUSSION live in a town that has approximately 18,000 people. We are part of a much larger city but as I was growing up I rarely ventured outside the boundaries of my town. People in that town look like me in that they, for the most part, have two arms, two legs and a head and two arms. The difference between my look and the rest of the town is that it is a predominately white town. Demographically the population is probably 93% white, with two percent being African-American and five percent being Mexican. Hey look like me in that there are a large number of college aged students in my town, though that population also follows the demographic curve and are predominately white.

A interviewed the county clerk and asked her why she felt there are so few African-Americans in our town. She said that her personal belief is that African-Americans are predominately living in the large city that my town is a suburb of. She reminded me how family oriented Blacks are and that it made sense that most Blacks would prefer to live near family members and that would mean staying in other towns. Our town really only has three black families when all of the cousins and relatives by marriage get sorted out.

Leaders in my community are also predominately white. We have one African-American councilperson and the rest are white. The leaders of the community pride themselves on not being racism at least not in open forums but the town recently found itself in trouble when the police chief was accused of allowing his officers to practice racial profiling on the street and to choose who to arrest and who to simply give tickets too based on the color of their skin.

There was a big town meeting called where it seemed that every African-American in town attended. The mayor was there and with him he brought every department head and the police and the fire chiefs.

The mayor addressed the audience and said that he was sorry there was a perception in "certain parts of town" that there was a race issue within the police department. He was there to assure everyone that was not the case. One woman, (my aunt) stood up and said what do you mean by a "certain part" of town and he said with a straight face, "The Black side of town. When the laughter and the angry responses died down the mayor said he did not mean it the way it sounded. He meant that it was the Black community that believed they were being profiled and the majority of Blacks do live in one area of town.

That showed me that the Mayor and his department heads may not believe that city hall has a racial biased but it does.

The police chief said that he would not believe his men and women were racist. He did say that the area of town in question is known for drug dealers and prostitutes, therefore would automatically receive heavier patrols and would continue to do so.

My mom's neighbor stood up and said "Tell your men that all Blacks are not druggies or pimps chief," There was a standing ovation to that comment but the chief maintained his insistence that racial profiling was not occurring in the town.

When I approached the chief following the meeting he was open and willing to talk with me about the meeting. I asked him if he got reports from many people that his officers were practicing racial profiling why didn't he believe it. He said that no one has filed a single formal complaint to that nature and the minute someone does he will do an internal investigation immediately.

A understand his hesitancy to investigate without a formal complaint being filed, just going on hearsay, but I also understand what it is like to be treated differently because I am Black and I can see why the people who are targeted hesitate to bring even more police attention to themselves by putting their name on a formal complaint against a named officer.

We also recently had a lawsuit filed by a Black woman who worked for the county trustee. She said the trustee not only treated her differently than she treated whites who worked for her but she applied the same double standard to the taxpayers. The suit alleges that she has witnessed the trustee give tax breaks to white people who came in, but the Blacks who came in with the exact same problems were given no breaks. She also alleges the trustee has said statements about "Your kind of people" and that she regretted hiring a "colored" person.

While all of these examples point to a serious racial issue within the top tier of my town I also believe that there are many others who work for and lead the city that are not racists.

The textbook does contain information about people like me as it addresses many of the nation's deep rooted racial issues.

The local media does represent people like me but unfortunately the focus is usually in the criminal element of that. We have people committing crimes all the time. Whether it is shoplifting, or car theft, or public drunk there is always someone getting arrested. When the media reports it they report it as a Black or a Mexican but when the person is white they fail to say white person. I don't know why it is this way and one time I asked a local reporter who was in the area covering a different story. He said it is not to be racist, it is because if the race is not mentioned the viewers automatically know it is a white person being talked about. If the person is not white then it is denoted in the story as a descriptor.

That makes perfect sense. The only thing that I don't understand about it is why there is a need at all to tell the viewers any race unless it is about someone who is still wanted by law enforcement.

The media also represents African-Americans in the sports arena. Because we have several high school athletes who are Black they do get into the local paper quite often. When that happens, their race is not noted and they are portrayed in a very positive light. I often wonder if this practice is why people are still afraid of African-American males. If they only time they hear someone is Black is when it is related to crime, and Black is not mentioned when related to a star baseball player it is easy to understand how Mr. And Mrs. America could get the impression that Blacks are all about committing crimes and breaking the law.

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