James Blake and the Myth of an Unarrestable Black Man

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2015-09-13 02:40Z by Steven

James Blake and the Myth of an Unarrestable Black Man

The Daily Beast

Tomás Ríos

Bill Bratton said race ‘had nothing at all to do’ with tennis star James Blake’s wrongful collaring and arrest. The numbers tell a different story.

What does a non-white person have to do for the police to leave them alone? The ready answer is that you have to be more famous than former tennis star James Blake.

Blake was leaving his Midtown Manhattan hotel to make corporate appearances at the U.S. Open when five white, plainclothes New York City police officers tackled and handcuffed him on Wednesday.

The real answer, of course, is that not being white means there is no escape from the consequences of not being white.

Among those who buy into the mythic moral righteousness of our police forces, there is a belief that people of color need only be perfect little humans to cancel out the realities of a racist society. Go to college, smile, pull up your pants, don’t smile at white women, and the prescription for transcending race goes on and on.

It seems not even James Blake—who attended Harvard, overcame scoliosis and a broken neck to become a world-class tennis player, and is now a cancer research philanthropist—can be that perfect. The numbers on incarceration make that much clear…

Read the entire article here.

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