Powerful stuff today, via The Atlantic, from former MLB player and current ESPN baseball analyst Doug Glanville.
The athlete-turned-author-turned-broadcaster details a very unpleasant recent encounter with a wayward patrol cop, who assumed the black man shoveling snow in front of a certain West Hartford residence must be hustling for bucks. From Glanville’s piece:
After getting legal advice from my neighbor and my wife, I ruled out any immediate action. In fact, I was hesitant to impulsively share my story with anyone I knew, let alone my media friends at ESPN or the New York Times. I hoped to have a meaningful, productive conversation with West Hartford leaders – something that might be hard to achieve if my story turned into a high-profile controversy. Instead, I asked my neighbor to help me arrange a meeting with the West Hartford officials. I arrived at Town Hall, I was flanked by my neighbor and my wife. They came as supporters, but it helped that they were also attorneys…
In a sense, the shoveling incident was a painful reminder of something I’ve always known: My biggest challenge as a father will be to help my kids navigate a world where being black is both a source of pride and a reason for caution. I want them to have respect for the police, but also a healthy fear – at least as long as racial profiling continues to be an element of law enforcement. But I also want them to go into the world with a firm sense of their own self-worth.
Lots more in the essay, including the reaction of Glanville’s mother and how this incident reminded him of something that happened to him as a kid at summer camp. Read the full piece here.
[Photo courtesy: dougglanville.com]