Racial Profiling

Last week, I stumbled into a peaceful protest in St. George’s square during my lunch break. The protest was in honor of Lunga Goodman Nono, a blind guitarist who was forcibly removed from the square the day prior. Goodman was sitting, playing his guitar on the corner (as he has since 2008) when a police man asked him to leave. apparently Goodman has a scheduled time that he can play in the square ( 12.45pm to 2pm on weekdays, and between 10am and midnight on weekends). When Goodman violated, a group of cops assaulted him ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=emI9p4gsFYw ). I don’t know how necessary it is for me to distinguish Lolo Goodman’s race, but just to clarify, he is black, and many capetonians are questioning wether he was targeted by police because of racism of ableism. In removing Goodman from the square, they break his guitar, his only source of income. This sort of racial profiling is reminiscent of the recent Treyvon Martin case, in which a young black boy was shot by a policeman in Florida whilst walking home at night. As most American readers will already know, the policeman who clearly used racial profiling to target Treyvon, was ruled not guilty earlier this week. In reaction to this inputs ruling, I have seen Americans make Facebook status updates declaring the case “insane” and “cruel.” This case can be described by both of those terms, but fact of the matter is that the way Treyvon was profiled is the norm.  If you visit this link, you can watch a video depicting a social experiment that shows how prevalent racial profiling is amongst Americans http://www.upworthy.com/know-anyone-that-thinks-racial-profiling-is-exaggerated-watch-this-and-tell-me-when-your-jaw-drops-2?g=3 . Horrifying. Now, back to South Africa, a country with a population that is 80% black (CHECK). Lolo Goodman is still targeted for what seems to be his race, but here, the cops have been suspended, and large protests have been formed in hopes of amending the limiting busking laws. I would be proud of the United States if the Treyvon Martin case was used as a platform for social change, but I fear that most Americans will just forget this severe tragedy.

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