Dorothy Bland is the Dean of the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism and the Director for the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas. She’s also black. And she’s been the victim of vile racism in the upscale community of Corinth, Texas where she lives.
She’s the Dean of a journalism school so you can bet she didn’t take this laying down. She wrote an editorial in the Dallas Morning News.
Flashing lights and sirens from a police vehicle interrupted a routine Saturday morning walk in my golf-course community in Corinth.
I often walk about 3 miles near daybreak as part of my daily exercise. However, on Oct. 24, I delayed my walk until late morning as I waited for the rain to stop. I was dressed in a gray hooded “Boston” sweatshirt, black leggings, white socks, plus black-and-white Nike running shoes. Like most African-Americans, I am familiar with the phrase “driving while black,” but was I really being stopped for walking on the street in my own neighborhood?
Yes. In the words of Sal Ruibal, “Walking while black is a crime in many jurisdictions. May God have mercy on our nation.”
Shameful. Damn racist cops. She goes on and lets us know that this won’t ruin her life.
Although I am not related to Sandra Bland, I thought about her, Freddie Gray and the dozens of others who have died while in police custody. For safety’s sake, I posted the photo of the officers on Facebook, and within hours, more than 100 Facebook friends spread the news from New York to California.
“You are now in the company of Henry Louis Gates and others with the same experience,” wrote one of my former students from Florida. “We must stop racial profiling.”
For anyone who doesn’t think racial profiling happens, I can assure you it does happen. For a sanity check, I stopped by the mayor’s house and asked him, “Do I look like a criminal?” Mayor Bill Heidemann said no and shook his head in disbelief. I appreciate the mayor being a good neighbor, but why should he need to verify that I am not a menace to society?
I refuse to let this incident ruin my life.
Good for you Dean Bland.
And fortunately for Dean Bland, the police car had a dash cam and it recorded the whole incident, sound and all. When she sues the city and the police officers she’ll want to use this dash cam video in her case she’ll be awarded … well, you be the judge.
Wait a minute! Did I get the wrong video? Ummm, nope. It’s the right video. I guess Dean Bland is maybe looking at the world through racist colored glasses.
The Police Chief of Corinth commented on the Dean Bland’s editorial.
I appreciate the opportunity to respond to Ms. Bland’s comments. My officers, a field training officer and his recruit, observed Ms. Bland walking in the roadway wearing earbuds and unaware that there was a pickup truck directly behind her that had to almost come to a complete stop to avoid hitting her.
The driver of the truck looked at the officers as they passed and held his hands in the air, which implied “aren’t you going to do something about this?” The officers turned around and drove behind Ms. Bland.
They activated their in-car video camera, which shows her again walking in the roadway impeding traffic. They activated their emergency lights — no siren was ever sounded — they exited their patrol vehicle and contacted Ms. Bland.
They immediately advised Ms. Bland about the pickup truck and the fact that it was safer for her to walk against traffic so she could see the cars and jump out of the way if necessary. The interaction between Ms. Bland and the officers was very cordial and brief.
Ms. Bland had been observed earlier by these same officers, but she was not in the street and impeding traffic, so she was not contacted.
So, in summary, I’d really like to see the cops sue Dean Bland. In my opinion, she’s a lying racist. Who could have guessed?