New York Times columnist Charles Blow was reportedly livid after his son, a student at Yale, was held at gunpoint by a campus police officer. Appearing on CNN, Blow was questioned about how he felt after learning that the cop who pulled a gun on his son was black.
Blow’s son, a chemistry major, was stopped after leaving the library because he matched the description of a suspect. During the CNN interview, Anderson Cooper asked Blow if it mattered that the cop who pulled a gun on his son was black.
“It doesn’t for me,” Blow answered, “because when we have the conversations with our kids, we don’t say, ‘Well, if you run into a white police officer, behave like this and this and this, and if you run into a black police officer, you don’t have to worry about that; do whatever you want to do, jam your hands into your pockets, jump around and talk back.’”
Blow continued, explaining that all police officers are regarded the same.
“We talk about the police in general. And I am very happy that when he turned around and saw whoever it was with the gun he didn’t behave any differently. He saw a gun and an officer and he followed the very same script. You know, a bullet doesn’t know the color of the finger that pulls the trigger. It doesn’t care. Bullets don’t have emotions, they have directions. I think we as parents have to remember that, it’s not so clearly delineated in terms of who your kid might run into as an officer.”
In the end, Blow says it’s about the culture of policing, not the race of the officer.
“It became more and more clear to me that it was more about culture of the police officers dealing with these young black men than individual officers dealing with these young black men,” he explained.