SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Local Finance Manager Johnathan Nichols says he doesn’t understand why it seems so many minorities are untrusting of police officers. Nichols, who is white, says that every experience he’s had with a police officer has been “pleasant.”
“I see on the news that some people are angry at the police for mistreating them and that some people just dislike the police altogether and I just don’t understand that,” said Nichols. “The police are wonderful people who watch over us. They come to our house when we see someone that doesn’t belong in our neighborhood. They wave at us as we drive past in our Suburban on our way to church on Sunday. They come to our aide when we feel threatened by a gang of thugs sitting on the other side of the street while we try to enjoy our morning cup of orange juice on the patio. Police are just like us. Concerned, helpful, god fearing… white.”
Nichols confusion has increased after reports of recent tragedies involving police officers and unarmed, minority civilians.
“What I don’t understand is why people don’t just trust the police,” said Nichols. “If they don’t trust police then maybe they shouldn’t be doing things they aren’t supposed to do. Police only go after criminals. So if someone is being stopped by police all the time or being harassed, maybe they shouldn’t be doing things they aren’t supposed to do or maybe they shouldn’t look like they are up to no good. I know that is what’s at the heart of this whole situation, people being ‘profiled’ and all, but really, if you quack like a duck and are black like a duck, guess what? That’s right, you’re a criminal duck.”
To help Nichols understand, the local spokesman for the ACLU recommended Nichols spend some time in a community with a large percentage of African-Americans or Hispanics.
“We see people like Nichols a lot. Pretty much every city in this country has what we call ‘honkey towns’ where whites have isolated themselves from anything that isn’t part of their narrow world view and that isn’t… white,” said spokesman for the Salt Lake City ACLU, Dimetrius Williams. “In those honkey towns everyone they see is white and the cops are white and because these honkey towns tend to be full of middle-class people, crime is low. I am personally volunteering to pick Nichols up, drop him off in St. Louis and let him watch as people are stopped and questioned and even threatened by cops simply because they are black. I realize that Nichols still probably won’t change his mind but at least when he says something profoundly stupid he can get his ass kicked.”
While stopping short of accepting Williams’ offer, Nichols said he would consider talking to a minority about their experiences even though the conversation would not change Nichols opinions.
“I think that if I was to go somewhere else, like this St. Louis place, as Mr. Williams suggests, I will see things for how they really are… exactly like they are here,” Nichols said. “Salt Lake City is just like every other city in the world. Again, I’m going to bring up the fact that a person has to have a certain amount of integrity and honesty to be a policeman. And yeah, I said ‘man.’ I do think that women shouldn’t be police because it’s dangerous and because women would let their emotions get in the way of decision making. Women should be home, having babies and teaching kids the scripture. But that’s another argument there. Anyway, if I go to St Louis and I see the police ‘hassling’ someone, I’ll bet you $100… no, $1,000 that that person is up to no good. That’s how confident I am that the police only confront criminals.”
While Williams hopes that people like Nichols will see the world as it is, he has very little hope that he will see it in his lifetime.
“You and I both know how it is. White people don’t think racism is a problem and minorities continue to suffer indignities,” Williams said. “This Nichols guy is white, probably Mormon. He’s never left Utah. He’s only ever seen a black person on TV. If he sees a black man with his pants hanging low and a baseball cap on or a hoodie he poops his pants a little bit and calls the cops. The only way things are going to change is if people like Nichols understand that there is a problem and they won’t do that. Sorry to get all serious on you but it’s fucked up. I just hope the Hispanics keep up the population boom, they are having so white people become the minority sooner than later.”