As a white male in a white culture, it is difficult, if not impossible, to understand what it feels like to experience profiling.
When I was in my 20s, I was driving my Corvette on Interstate 285 when I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw a state trooper with his blue lights on. I immediately checked the speedometer and saw that I was doing exactly 70, the posted speed limit. I was aware that officers were likely to look for young men driving sports cars and single them out. I suspected they might even make false charges.
When I pulled over, the officer approached and I asked what the problem was. He curtly said I was doing 93 in a 70 mph zone. I said I was not. In the next two minutes, I was frisked, put in the cruiser and listened as a paddy wagon and wrecker were summoned.
As I sat meekly in the rear seat of the cruiser, I asked the officer why he was responding in this manner. He said, “They don’t pay me enough for you to call me a liar.” It turned out that two miles earlier, I had accelerated onto I-285 through a speed trap and was clocked at 93 mph. I had not been profiled; I had broken the law.
My heart goes out to the family of Trayvon Martin, but the charges of racial profiling are unsubstantiated. I hope the Martin family will find healing in the verdict handed down by the court — the assurance that the legal system worked and it was found that there was no evil intent.
No one will ever know exactly what happened that night, but we can all agree it was tragic. One victim is enough.
The six citizens on the jury found reasonable doubt and acquitted George Zimmerman. Like the state trooper, we don’t pay them enough to call them liars or make accusations that they got it wrong.