Friday, September 23, 2016

The Story of My White-Woman Police Stops

(1) Mid 1980s: In Austin, on Guadalupe, for driving a cheesy Ford Pinto and changing lanes too quickly. (The officer let me off with a warning.)

(2) Mid 1980s: In Austin, out wading in a lake after doing mushrooms with a couple of Middle Eastern guys that my friend had picked up. (I don't remember what I said; something about enjoying the night and the lake. The officers let all of us go.)

(3) Late '80s: In Austin, after an evening of partying at my own home with lesbian friends, I drove a couple of these friends home after one butch friend had said she couldn't drive because she would get stopped for how she looked. I was drunk myself and went the wrong way down a one-way street. When the cop stopped me, I honestly don't remember what I told him. (He let me go.)

(4) Late '80s: In Austin, I was driving a carload of straight friends home and didn't obey whatever traffic law. The cop that pulled me over asked where we were going. I responded that we were going home to play a board game, which we were. (He let me/us go.)

(5) Early 1990s: In Austin, on loop 183, I was driving too fast and changing lanes too quickly and not stopping quickly enough. (I had a new stereo in my car and had been listening to Doris Day too loudly and so didn't hear or see the officer behind me. When the officer came to my window, he wasn't old enough to understand the appeal of "Doris Day," but he let me off anyway after I explained.)

(6) Early 1990s: I'd been at a party in the western hills of Austin and didn't quite know how to get back to town. At a stoplight near town, I was finally feeling my oats and got into a "drag race" with a guy next to me. That guy got stopped, and then I got stopped. (I didn't get off. I passed the drunk-driving tests on the side of the road, but ended up getting fined over $300 for speeding.)

The point being not a Confessional but rather: White people get into scuffs with police all the time, just as black people do. What, though, turns minor "scuffs" into major confrontations is people like Sandra Bland, for instance, freaking out and cursing at police; people refusing to get out of the car; people with actual guns in their cars making shady moves; people running, etc.

Some of us get stopped by police on occasion. 99.9% of us don't get shot.

No comments: