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WWL: The Reality of Racial Profiling
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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Earlier this summer, the whole nation was talking after the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates


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49:06 minutes (23.57 MB)
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Earlier this summer, the whole nation was talking after the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates. There was a big discussion of “race in America”, then the “beer summit” – okay, so now what? The Gates scandal prompted an outpouring of sentiments on both sides of the racial profiling issue - those with horror stories of their own, and those that say it's blown out of proportion. 

Even in Connecticut, where there is a law that requires police to record the race of motorists in traffic stops, most police departments aren't complying.  The African American Affairs Commission is tasked with analyzing the data to determine if racial profiling does exist in the state - but they don't have the funds or resources, especially in the current budget crisis. 

Coming up, we'll explore the issue of racial profiling in the state and beyond. 


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Listener Email from David

It has been my observation that since Obama’s election, the “closet racists” have felt empowered to come out and express themselves. People have sent me some pretty shocking diatribes and what they perceived as “humor” in the past several months. Not all has been directed at Obama per se, but it seems to me that Obama’s achievement has been a trigger for a lot of pent-up bigotry.

Has anyone else seen this?

No, I haven't ... do you

No, I haven't ... do you have any examples of this bigotry?

Listener Email from Kris

Please keep covering this topic! I am a young white, woman living in New London, CT. The issue of racial profiling is very real here. There is no police accountability, the process of filing a compliant is totally ineffective. A young 20 yr. old black man was arrested a week ago for stating loudly and clearly that his being stopped was racially motivated.

Please keep the conversation going.

Listener Email from Marilyn

I find much of the discussion of "racial profiling" to be a  bit unbalanced. I am a white, physically disabled woman who  rides the bus. I avoid riding a certain bus line because an  unexaggerated 75% of the time I have riden that bus I have  been harassed, jeered, had my body parts ridiculed by  African-American and Latino men. When each of these  occurrences happened it was not done by a single person, but  by a group of men and sometimes women. I feel like prey for  the outpouring of their group hositility. I often wonder if  Pres. Obama's response to the Henry Gates incident  emboldened this behavior.
By my own experiences I fully understand how one can feel  intimidated and traumatized by someone wielding power. A  truly balanced discusssion will acknowledge that it can go  both ways.