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  1. Kemetstry

    Kemetstry going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    For affluent Blacks, wealth doesn't stop racial profiling
    Tanzina Vega, CNN | 7/14/2016, 6:09 p.m.

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- When Ronald S. Sullivan starts teaching his class at Harvard Law School each semester, he asks his students how many of them have been spread eagle over a police car. Every year, it's the same answer: Two or three black students and maybe one other person of color raises their hand.
    "These are the kids who made it to Harvard Law at the top of their class," Sullivan said. "The common denominator is color."

    Many of the high-profile killings of black men at the hands of police, including Eric Garner, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, have involved minor infractions like driving with a broken taillight or selling loose cigarettes. Most of these men have also been poor or working class.
    But high-earning professional black men say, they too, face challenges when dealing with police -- though sometimes the slights are less violent and more subtle. Wealth "helps, but its not a complete insulator," Sullivan said. "Race is still seen as a proxy for criminality."

    Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, one of three black Republicans in Congress, revealed Wednesday that he had been pulled over seven times over the course of one year. "The vast majority of the time, I was pulled over for nothing more than driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood or some other reason just as trivial," he said in a speech on the Senate floor.
    Dr. Brian H. Williams, a black trauma surgeon at Parkland Memorial Hospital, who treated the police officers shot in Dallas last week, told CNN that while he has tremendous respect for police, he also fears them at the same time.

    "Clearly when I'm at work dressed in my white coat, the reactions I get from the individuals and officers I deal with on a daily basis is much different than what I would get outside the hospital in regular clothes," he said. "And my fear and some mild inherent distrust of law enforcement that goes back to my own personal experiences over my entire life, as well as hearing the stories from friends and family that look like me that have had similar experiences."
    For Eddie Hailes, general counsel at The Advancement Project, a civil rights group, those types of interactions with police produce anxiety and shame. "I have achieved a certain level of academic achievement, but I want to be respected... If I have to die, I'm going to nobly die," Hailes said.

    And the psychological stress can take a toll. "It's an ongoing daily battle among professional black men that white men don't have to deal with."
    Perhaps the best known example of that battle was when Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct while trying to get into his Cambridge, Massachusetts, home in 2009. The charges were dropped several days later.
    President Obama tried to quell the growing national debate around racial profiling that resulted from the arrest by inviting Gates and the officer who arrested him to have a beer at the White House. But that beer summit did little to erase the fact that blacks continue to be treated differently than whites by police.

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