Before the trade, I already knew that Etan Thomas dabbled in poetry. Yet I had no idea he was so politically active. He is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. For those unaware, The Huffington Post is a liberal news website similar to the conservative Drudge Report. So if your political views lean to the right, you might not be too interested in Etan's political views.
As a few of you might know a Harvard professor was arrested in his home while the Cambridge Police responded to a reported burglary. The meat of this news story is that Professor Gates is a black man caught up in another alleged case of racial profiling. This has been covered extensively by the national media (including some interesting coverage on NPR). President Obama has even gotten involved trying to use this moment as a teaching moment.
In Thomas's opinion on the subject he shares a few personal gems from his own experience:
Personal experiences such as being stopped and dragged out of my car while I was in high school by members of the Tulsa Police Department and made to lay on the ground while on my way to one of the biggest games of the season because the officers thought they saw my face in a lineup or on a mug shot. It turned out they had just seen me in the papers playing basketball, but I definitely didn't receive an apology. Or while I was in college being put in handcuffs by the Syracuse Police Department, in the snow mind you, my freshman year along with one of my teammates because they thought we had stolen the car we were in. They actually had the audacity to tell us to stay out of trouble afterward, but no apology. Or after I was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks, being stopped by the Dallas Police Department and told that my Navigator would be impounded if I could not provide proof of a job that would allow me to purchase a car of that magnitude. Again I received no apology. Or driving through Virginia on my way to one of my teammate's house and being stopped by the Virginia Police Department and asked what business I had in that neighborhood, detained for hours and later told that I "fit the description" of something that happened. Still no apology.
Thomas summed up his article with the following thoughts:
This is my point: no matter what our past experiences are, it is not intelligent, nor is it fair not to see people as individuals. Furthermore, if a policeman is to prejudge a situation and not have the ability to view it on a case-by-case basis, he has no business being a policeman.
To read Thomas's complete article click here.