Week 53: Tinted windows

11th January 2021

On Wednesday morning I was reading this article on the FT which talks of Neomi Bennett who refused to leave her car when a stranger tried to open the door as she thought she was being robbed.

She was dragged from the car, handcuffed and held overnight before being charged and convicted of obstructing a police officer. The search had been instigated, Ms Bennett was told, because the tint on her car windows was too dark.

How was this ever appropriate? How does anyone go from legally sitting in a car to spending a night in custody? The answer is unsettlingly: being in a car whilst black. Neomi is also far from alone from being accused and harassed for that crime.

The day ended watching a mob of white supremacists walk carefree into the Capitol building. Watching that play out and the apparent lack of security had me incensed. Even Joe Biden was able to see the difference to the Black Lives Matter protests.

I have spent the following days though, wondering how many more points like this we will need to get the general population realise their own white privilege. How long before we can admit security services are racist, and work to counter that. Back here in the UK the PSNI were even forced to apologise just before Christmas because of their institutionalised racism. Though depressingly even that report tried to claim it was “not based on race or ethnicity”.

1 in 20 people in some areas of London now have Covid-19 yet they are still having to throw Covid deniers photographing empty corridors out of hospitals. I despair.

Sorry for the news heavy week notes, it’s just somewhat consumed my week.