Star Chris Rock Complains About Racial Profiling

Written by Graeme Wood


Chris Rock can rightly be proud of the success of his latest movie ‘Top Five’, in which he stars as well as wrote and directed, the movie currently stands as grossing $25,317,291 in domestic box office alone and opens here in the UK this May.

Rock meanwhile has been posting ‘selfies’ to Instagram after being pulled over by police three times in the last two months. He has vowed to post more selfies every time he gets stopped in order to prove that he isn’t making this up and that he may be victim of racial profiling by LA Police. “Stopped by the cops again, wish me luck”, read the latest selfie posted over a week ago. The first incident of him being stopped took place in February

The Washington Post recently published a break down of police pull over statistics which concluded Rock4that African-American drivers are pulled over an estimated 23 percent more than white drivers, though Native American drivers are reportedly pulled over the most of all. Racial profiling has been a contentious issue for decades but Rock’s highlighting of it with his ‘selfie’ campaign signifies the age of digitally documented incidents.

The ‘100’ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ actor Isaiah Washington responded on Twitter to Rock’s claims sharing his own encounters with police that had prompted him to sell his $90,000 Mercedes SUV in exchange for a Toyota Prius. The actor concluded that Rock should “#Adapt”, a suggestion which didn’t go down well with some of Washington’s followers and there followed an online backlash. The actor later appeared on ‘CNN Tonight’ to respond to criticisms and told CNN host Don Lemon; “There’s something happening in his community or wherever he is on that road or coming in and out of whatever that terrain, they’re looking for something. They’re policing something. And the timing, either good or bad, I think the timing for us to have this conversation it’s a good timing and bad timing for all of us. Because they’re looking for something. Obviously, they’re not looking for Chris Rock.”

“Obviously he hasn’t broken any laws. And what you drive shouldn’t matter…but if you are at war, which we all know that we are, there is a sentiment in the air that is highly toxic, highly negative,” he continued. “And what I was doing by that tweet was doing exactly what I wanted it to do, is excite a conversation that if we’re looking at this term ‘black’ and we’re looking at this term ‘driving while black’ maybe we really need to look at the term ‘black’ itself and start having a different kind of holistic conversation.” Washington then suggested that in going forward Rock should meet with his local police officials to take a stand against his recent run-ins with authorities.

Rock had this to say regarding ‘black progress’ in a recent New York Times interview; “When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it’s all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they’re not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before.. So to say Obama is progress is saying that he’s the first black person that is qualified to be president. That’s not black progress. That’s white progress. There’s been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years. If you saw Tina Turner and Ike having a lovely breakfast over there would you say their relationship’s improved? Some people would. But a smart person would go, “Oh, he stopped punching her in the face” It’s not up to her, Ike and Tina Turner’s relationship has nothing to do with Tina Tuner. Nothing, it just doesn’t. The question is, you know, my kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children. There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let’s hope America keeps producing nicer white people.”

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