Black Men Still Profiled Even when Successful

One would think that if a Black man achieved a certain level of success, he would be exempt from racial profiling but Dr. Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., professor at Harvard Law School says it is actually quite the opposite.

Ogltree who spoke at a reception for the National Summit on Black Male Achievement: Toward a Definition of Black Manhood, on Friday, says that successful Black men who are profiled are more likely to protest when they are being profiled and they are also more likely to tell their stories of mistreatment to other Black men.

Ogletree shared how professional Black men such as attorneys, physicians, and others are often stopped by policemen for driving luxury cars or being in neighborhoods that make police see them as suspicious. Ogletree also noted that profiling was not only done by Police but also by employees at retail stores and even by employers.

Professional Black men share their stories of racial profiling so that other Black men can know what their experiences were and to shed light on racial profiling that is not always obvious, said Ogletree.

In Ogletree’s 2010 book, “The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. And Race, Class, and Crime in America,” Ogletree talked about Gates, who was arrested by Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley on July 16, 2009, outside Gates’ home. Gates had just come back from China and was attempting to enter his own home. The front door was jammed and while Gates forced it open, a neighborhood woman called the police. Ogletree’s conclusion was that “Crowley saw Gates’ face, not his pedigree.”

The Gates story drew a lot of media attention which was fueled by President Obama’s comments on the case.


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