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Written by: Vida Michelle Orellana/Contact: Graciasgod@yahoo.com –

If you are Brown in America, you are familiar with racial profiling. For most, it is a subject initially taught at home. In time, it becomes something in life that is learned, accepted, and experienced.

For most girls, however, the experience has been second-hand through whoever the male influences in your life may be: it could be your father, brother, boyfriend or coworker. Until lately, that is. Numbers among female profiling, also known as gender profiling, are on the rise. Not only are Black and Latina women more frequently stopped than any other racial group, (80%), they are also the largest growing number among prisoners in the United States.

What would you consider excessive? Would four times in the last 6 months be considered a lot? That is almost once a month. Remember that means stopped, asked for your license, registration, insurance, “checked out”, questioned, and ultimately let go WITHOUT a ticket or any citation. That’s right, no ticket. This by the way, is a true story.

Although not getting a ticket feels like a reward, what about the 20 minutes you spent of your life, pulled over? Then there is the ever so enjoyable everyone driving by, slowing down, and staring at you. Or even worse, it creates the opportunity for a misunderstanding; because, as we all have heard — those happen sometimes with the police. Truth is, if you are pulled over more, your chances for a run-in with the police are higher — right? Unfortunately, and like many others, this is how it happened for Frankie Perkins, a Black mother of three who was on her way home one evening when she was stopped by police, and choked to death by officers who believed, incorrectly (it was later found) that she had swallowed drugs.

The House version of the End Racial Profiling Act of 2011 – which adds gender to the list of prohibited grounds for profiling along with race, religion, ethnicity and national origin — promises to address and bring more awareness to this growing problem.

In the meantime, know your rights, be patient, and check out the #10 Frisk Commandments by Jasiri X.

Never carry a gun.
Make no sudden moves.
Never trust the police. (Fear of the set-up)
Comply and Pray to God you survive.
Never talk back.
If you think you can jet, dead it. (If you get caught you may not survive the beating)
Stay in places well lit, and populated.
Any weight (drugs) you carry are a risk.
Film/record the police if possible.
Know your constitutional rights.

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