Do police over look crimes involving not only different races, but different economic classes?
I absolutely think it does. I was once pulled over because - as the officer said - the car I was driving was a piece of crap. I hadn't violated any driving laws, hadn't committed any crime - I was just driving a junker. Had I been driving a nicer car (i.e. I didn't look poor) I would not have been pulled over.
I would have to say "Yes". Police are human and all humans base their belief systems and prejudices on their personal experiences combined with what they were taught growing up.
As a means of survival, or "Survival of the Fittest", it is necessary, in theory, to make assumptions and biases as well as prejudices, to try to arrive at the "top" of the food chain.
Look at History: get familiar with the ongoings and tragedies since written history. The Bible is a good reference as well as ancient texts.
There has always been some kind of slavery or another (sexual, dangerous work, free labor, etc.) and until humans decide that we are all truly equal, with differences, and can accept each other as such, there will always be a call for prejudice, racial profiling, and hatred.
To get to your question, let me ask you a question: do you think that general laborers-working class citizens-and lawyers and judges are equal in status? Do they get the same breaks from a court, or cops when they get pulled over? Do you think that the people that make the laws actually follow them?
Honestly, I think the whole thing is a bureaucratic, who-you-know scheme. My last example is that of the recent arrest of the Black Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates. To me, he is way above my league (and I am white) but he was treated as a criminal without any reference to his actual human rights as a US citizen, regardless of his position within our society.
As a Minister (and I'm Human!), I firmly believe that if people were to try to understand the people they hate, and respect their differences while realizing that we are equal, the world could be a better place.
Obviously, we , as a human race, have a lot of work to do! I hope that this helps to answer your question. Feel free to read some of my Hubs as I often talk about these things. Great question!
P.S. Once, when I was 19 years old, I got pulled over by a Mass State Trooper because he assumed that I smoked "Pot" because I had "Greatful Dead" Bumper Stickers on my car. I strongly feel that people Judge others based on a list of criteria that they have accumulated in life.
I would not trust a cop with my lighter. I am speaking from personal experience. I would not like to generalize and say they are all crooked pigs but I can say that having nothing to do with them is a for the better. What they show you on the television, on "Cops" is what they want to sample to you ... turn the television off by the way - it is all lies to your vision.
not only the police but the d.a.and the judges and the entire justice system.
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