In response to Nathan Zoschke’s Jan. 16 forum article titled, “Don’t shoot me: my police encounter as a drive-by shooting suspect”
This is from my perspective as a African-American woman regarding your article. I look forward to dialogue with you, from one generation to the next
I just finished reading your article and found it somewhat disheartening that you found this experience amusing.
Unfortunately this is a common occurrence in the urban core for African-American males, who are just as innocent as you and your father. “Oh by the way, once the police realized you and your dad were white, they simply had to follow protocol,” as was mentioned in your ear.
Regrettably, the perception is, all African-American males, “Do the drive-bys, shootings, or they’re the suspects.” Unfortunately, for most of suburban America, if they have never had a personal or working intimate relationship with African-American males, this, too, is their perception.
This was an opportunity for your column to yes, address your personal experience as you did however, there is a bigger picture here. Would the tables been turned if you and your dad were “black?”
The issue, is that of identity, and the assumption all black men are criminals.
I live in the southeast (a few blocks from Troost [Avenue]) part of the urban core and not far from the area where the shooting occurred. There are two UMKC professors residing a few doors down from me who are White and are having a pleasant experience getting to know me and my culture as neighbors (most are males).
They don’t appear to believe what they’ve seen or heard about my brothers. Nor are they fearful of the gun shots.
There are gun shots are all around us as a community. I don’t see them hitting the petal to the metal and getting the heck out of dodge as you expressed you and your father did. Common sense thing to do if you’re afraid.
Crime does happen and yes there are those in my culture (as in other cultures) that commit these types of crimes. This I will not deny.
So please, Master Media, (present reader excluded) demonstrate a balance.
Show the good when you illustrate the bad! I hope that your father will use this experience as a opportunity to dialogue amongst his community and articulate how it felt to be publicly embarrassed while innocent.
Furthermore, that he suspects that this is what African- American men experience on a daily because of perception and at the hands of police officers.
May I suggest Nathan, February is Black History Month, that you use your column as a instrument of change that dismisses the myth that all black men are criminals and it is this population of individuals that uses guns to create havoc in our society. Arizona, Columbine, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma Bombing and Kent State (1960’s) etc. should serve as examples of this untruth.
Guns and gun shots will be with us always!
-Treby Blacksheare, UMKC Student