If we were color blind we would identify each other as one race, and we wouldn’t have to stereotype and make assumptions. If officer Darren Wilson or George Zimmerman were color blind, would they have made the same choices? Stereotypes that police and others make affect more than a person’s pride, these stereotypes are taking peoples lives and livelihoods.
This is a Community Voices submission and is moderated but not edited. The opinions expressed by Community Voices contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TC Daily Planet.
In my local area of the Twin Cities one victim to racial stereotyping is Navell Gordon who was at the center of what was dubbed the Pointergate controversy. In early November KSTP ran a story accusing the Mayor of Minneapolis of flashing gang signs. She was in a picture with a young man and the person in the photo was later identified as Navell Gordon. Gordon was actually with the Mayor and the Chief of Police going door to door encouraging people to get out and vote.
Even though what KSTP reported was false, Gordon still has to live with this gang label. Gordon was discriminated against by KSTP who have yet to clarify the fact he is not a gang member but a paid employee, a canvasser with the non-profit organization, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC). NOC now has to pull Gordon from door knocking, worried that someone who watched the KSTP story might still assume that he’s affiliated with a gang. How did someone go from door knocking – trying to help his community – to being labeled a gang member? Moving forward into the New Year lets realize the power these stereotypes have. Lets try to see more change and less color.