I know a lot of you have already heard me talk about this subject in person, but for those of you that haven’t…. Here we go. Get ready folks. This is going to be a rant.
I have never personally experienced profiling until I met Tyler. He would tell me stories where, on multiple occasions, police would pull him over for speeding when he was going 56 in a 55 MPH zone. He would have his car searched, unlawfully min you, be questioned to no end, and written tickets for nothing at all.
I have to be honest, I didn’t believe a word of it. I’m not saying that I don’t believe that profiling exists, but I do have a hard time believing that this could happen so blatantly in our country. That a 15-year-old boy, doing absolutely nothing wrong, could be targeted for looking different. So, in my head I’m assuming that this innocent young man was leaving out the part of the story where he threw his Bud Light tall boy out the window right in front of a cop.
Oh to the contrary, my friends. I have become all but paranoid of police when we’re out. I have never been leery of “the law.” In fact, I usually feel better when I see them. If something terrible or tragic happens, the guy (or girl) that could save my ass is right there to rescue me. Instead, now I look at them and think “Wonder if this jack ass is going to give us a hard time today?”
You’ve all seen Tyler. When we first moved to Tennessee, he got a job working for the Census. I told him myself that If I saw him at my door, I may not answer unless I was feeling extra strong and powerful that day. I’m just saying, he’s a 6 foot tall dude with long hair. Sue me for stereotyping. But it’s one thing for me to have a preconceived notion about the way someone looks. It’s quite another for a person in power, police officers for instance, to take advantage of that power by giving someone they don’t like the looks of a hard time.
Let me give you some examples:
Tyler and I are driving back from Oak Ridge where we are looking at adopting a cat. That would be our cute little black kitty, Molly, that we have now. I’m driving my Saturn and Tyler is in the passenger seat. I look down at the gauge and read 45 mph. No sooner did I ask “Have you seen a sign for the speed limit?” I realize there’s a cop behind me. Tyler informs me that the last sign we passed said 45. Okay, good.
I’m turning about 100 yards ahead and as soon as I make the right back toward Knoxville…. You guessed it! Flashing lights. Are you serious? Did I not use my blinker or something? I pull over in a parking lot and the officer comes to the car to inform me that I was going 56 in a 35. Really?! How? I just looked at my gauge. Okay, fine. Here’s my license, dick. But that’s not all he’s asking for. He asks for Tyler’s ID too! WHAT?!?!?!? Okay, wait a minute.
I can see the blood boiling into my sweet man’s face. We’ve never been in a situation like this before, so I have no clue how he’s going to react. I just know he has a deep-rooted hatred for officers of the law, so it’s not going to be good. Tyler leans forward and says “Why do you need my ID?” Okay, good. That’s a fair question. I’d kinda like to know myself.
The officer leans over with a shit eating smirk and explains to us that in the state of Tennessee, any person has to show identification when asked by the police. Really? What if you don’t have a driver’s license? And if you’re just a passenger? That’s the strangest thing I’ve ever heard! But Tyler was a champ. He handed over the info, knowing the cop would find absolutely NOTHING and have to let us go on our way with a speeding ticket.
Fifteen minutes later, the douche comes back with our ID’s and tells me he’s letting me off with a warning. Again, WHAT?! If I was really going 56 in a 35 you would write me a ticket so damn fast my head would spin. And even if you felt bad for me, (cause I’m so cute and innocent), you would still give me at least a written warning. But no. Nothing. How on earth does that happen?
This scenario is a little better and downright hysterical, in my opinion.
Tyler and I won a trip to Las Vegas to stay at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, courtesy of our good friends at Bud Light. That was just plain awesome. While we were there, Drowning Pool was playing at Wasted Space, a tiny little bar in the middle of the casino. I really like Drowning Pool, but I wasn’t ready to pay $80 to get us both in. Especially since Tyler only like super heavy, death metal-type tunes.
We’re casually walking through the casino and this dude with a clipboard stops us. “You guys going to the Drowning Pool show?” We just kinda look at each other. Is he going to sign us up for some stupid Hard Rock credit card or something? We respond no and he proceeds to put our name on the guest list. Now, once again, I’m used to being thrown little tidbits because I’m a girl, but we’re in Vegas. There are super models running around in thong bikinis everywhere, so that’s not at all what this is. I look at Tyler with his flowing, metal mane of goodness and realize that this guy thought Tyler would be into the show! Brilliant! We just got free tickets to a show because Tyler looks hard!
I’m still telling myself that it was a little bit due to my being cute.