Americans have long been urged to discover the vast greatness of America by car. What many discover especially when driving while black, is the rules of the road are not paved with equality.
See The USA in Your Chevrolet
The upbeat, all-American optimism expressed in the vintage jingle “See the USA in Your Chevrolet,” have some American’s singing a very different tune .
As the bitter debate about how our police forces treat non white citizens escalates, it has exposed a truth many minorities already know.
Driving in the USA whether in a Chevrolet or a Honda can be fraught with problems if you are African-American.
One need only look at the recent tragedy of Sandra Bland to see that the freedom of the open roads are a lot more constricting if you are Black.
It can drive you crazy
“America’s the Greatest land of All…”
Nothing is more quintessentially American than driving on the open road.
It is the tangible expression of America’s love of freedom and mobility with it’s offering of possibilities and adventures unfolding.
A Different Kind of Adventure
But for African-Americans the possibilities and adventures of the road can take a more ominous tone. Racial disparities in police stops are well documented.
Cops stop and search Blacks drivers at rates higher than whites.
Police are more likely to threaten or use force against Blacks at a traffic stop or elsewhere. Blacks are more likely to have their vehicle searched during traffic stops.
The freedom of the road that whites take for granted, is a privilege.
Even a minor traffic infraction can turn threatening if you are Black.
Pulled over for changing lanes without using her turn signal, the police confrontation with Sandra Bland escalated into an overly aggressive encounter ending with her dead in a jail cell days later.
Clearly the rules of the road are different if you are driving while black.
Copyright (©) 2015 Sally Edelstein All Rights Reserved
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