Nashville Mayoral Candidate Explains Joys Of Racial Profiling To Room Full Of Black People
Meet Ralph Bristol! Ralph Bristol is a former conservative radio host running for Mayor of Nashville, following the resignation of former mayor/bodyguard boner Megan Barry -- and he is not here to make friends. At least not with black people. At a candidate forum on Thursday, in an audience that was largely black, while standing next to three black mayoral candidates, Bristol tried to make a case for racial profiling as a way to keep their families safe. Shockingly, the audience was not particularly receptive to this argument.
The Tennessean reports:
"Profiling is absolutely necessary," Bristol said when asked for his views on the topic. "Sometimes race might play some part in that."
"Obviously, that was unpopular," Bristol continued after the crowd at Meharry Medical College had time to collect themselves, "and I am not afraid to say unpopular things if the experts tell me that a particular characteristic is part of necessary profiling in order to prevent crimes against your families. I'm willing to offend you in order to protect your family."
You know who probably doesn't think that racial profiling protects their families? The families of people who have lost their lives due to the actions of racist cops. Also the people in that audience.
"Oh my God. Oh my God!" one woman in attendance could be heard saying as the crowd was still in abuzz. "Did he really just say that?"
Bristol later tried to ameliorate things in a Facebook post largely devoted to how he also didn't want to increase the budget for Nashville schools, even though 50% of Nashville teachers quit in less than three years, largely because they do not make enough to live in Nashville.
I SURE GOT EVERYBODY TALKING ....about racial profiling. The Nashville Scene zeroed in on that part of last night's forum, as did the Tennessee Star.
The Scene also mentioned that I was the only candidate to rule out tax increases for schools.
Raise your hands if you want tax increases for schools.
Now, raise your hand if you want our schools to do a better job with the $10,000 per student we're giving them now.
I thought so.
The Scene did get one thing wrong though. I didn't ENDORSE racial profiling by police. I simply won't rule it out, which shocked the audience.
In the part they report as "inaudible," I said "rarely should it play..." and didn't get a chance to finish that thought..."rarely should it play a part, but ruling it out altogether would endanger your families."
This is one of those in depth discussions that the police and community need to have - together - and in public - so they can discover they both want the same thing - safer communities and fewer people in jail, or worse.
Finally, my thanks to Jeff Carr for preferring my honesty to the same old "nice nasty" that African Americans have been getting from politicians for too long.
How the audience interprets that honesty is up to them, and to me - when I get more than 15 seconds (30 minus the audience's 15) to deal with the most sensitive issues.
I'm gonna take a leap and say that any reaction to "racial profiling" other than "that is fucked up and racist and should not happen" is an endorsement. Unless cops are psychic and are out there proving it by winning the James Randi challenge, they cannot tell if someone is a criminal just by looking at them. They certainly cannot tell that by their race, and when they think they can, that is called racism. Duh. Racism doesn't keep families safe, it does the exact opposite.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse