Larry Sykes and Police Profiling

What most white men don’t realize is that racial profiling exists to a great degree at any city or state in America; that’s because white men are pre-dominantly in charge of most police departments and ill-equiped to tackle race issues. Larry Sykes recently lamented about police profiling after getting stopped for what amounts to being a confusing license plate.

Toledo police conducted an investigation and found Sykes’ claim unfounded. But racial profiling isn’t so cut and dry as online commentators suggest. Some have called Sykes a racist. First of all, by definition, only white men and women can be classified as racist in America.

A principle part of racism is the power component. Sykes does not fit the classic definition of racist, because he functions in a white male dominated society; moreover, the police officers in question were white as well. Technically, Sykes can be a lot of things: a bigot, biased, discriminatory. But he isn’t racist. When I read such bold claims, I think about how far Toledo has to go as a community in terms of race relations

To say racial profiling doesn’t exist in Northwest Ohio is a logical fallacy. If you listen to a minority, specifically young black men and young latino men, everyone of them will say the same thing: police profiling exists in Toledo and has for years.


3 thoughts on “Larry Sykes and Police Profiling

  1. I was not able to find the definition implying or stating that only whites can be racist. Here is one that I did find:

    racism, also called racialism , A South African beach during the apartheid era. [Credit: E. Andrews—Impact Photos/Heritage-Images]any action, practice, or belief that reflects the racial worldview—the ideology that humans are divided into separate and exclusive biological entities called “races,” that there is a causal link between inherited physical traits and traits of personality, intellect, morality, and other cultural behavioral features, and that some races are innately superior to others.

    Regarding Mr. Sykes and his license plate, I read in the Blade today that he was lacking the front plate. I drove around for many years in cars without a front plate. I learned without the intervention of police that it is required in Ohio and put them on. As a numbers guy, some data on gender, race, not having a front plate and getting pulled over for that or not would be interesting.

    Can you fill us in on this?

    • Well the theory, as I wrote before, is that there needs to be a sense of power attached to racism. So, for instance, Chinese people can be racist in China, White people racist in America. Think about this…even in, say, South Central LA, black people are still under the veil of white privilege. Who built the home? Who provides the electricity? Who paved the streets? There’s nothing in America that hasn’t been directly influenced by white men. That is why a black man cannot be technically racist.

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