I live in a part of town where I’m a racial minority.  I’m white, most of my neighbors are black.  Tonight as I was walking home from a friendsplace, a police car rolled up next to me and the officer rolled down his window.

I was totally vibing to a new song I’d discovered on my craigslist-purchased ipod.  I’m embarrassed to say what the song was.  But I was listening to it for the 10th time that day.

When I noticed the police car driving slowly along next to me, I took out my headphones to listen to the cop.

“Do you live up here?”



Here I should point out that I’ve heard of other white folks in my neighborhood being given a hard time for walking down the street- presumed to be in the neighborhood to buy drugs or sex- and I always imagined that if I were in their shoes I’d be witty, brilliant, and totally put the cops in their place.

“On W St.,”  I said.

Witty.  Biting sarcasm.  Oh well.  He was a cop.

“What’s your address?” the cop pressed further.

Here’s the part of the story where I should tell you how I put the cop in his place, pointed out his stereotyping behavior, and totally remade the social order in Richmond.

Instead, I told him my address.
He drove off.

Maybe next time…