A mother of two boys from New Mexico claims her sons were racially profiled when university police at Colorado State pulled them from a campus tour group to question them about their identity. Was this a racist act or prudent safety concern?
Both Native Americans, Thomas Kanewakeron Gray, 19, and his brother Lloyd Skanahwati Gray, 17, had driven to CSU from New Mexico for a schedule campus tour at what their mother said was their “dream” university.
“I’m probably being completely paranoid with everything that’s happened.”
An unidentified woman contacted the police. She had accompanied her son and husband on the same tour. She said she called 911 to express concern after the two young men joined the tour after it had started. She told the dispatcher the boys were acting strangely. They arrived late to campus and joined the group in progress. They refused to share their names with the tour group leader. The woman thought they weren’t being honest when the university official asked what they planned to study.
She told dispatch their clothing also made them appear suspicious due to all the “dark symbols on it.” The woman reported, “I think they’re Hispanic. One said he’s from Mexico.” In addition, she said one of the boys kept his left hand in his oversized sweatshirt the whole time. The woman told the dispatcher she might be incorrect, “I’m probably being completely paranoid with everything that’s happened.”
“Are they White males?” the dispatcher asked.
Unfortunately, with everything that has happened at public schools and universities across America, it’s understanding why parents are nervous. The dispatcher revealed a similar bias. She asked the female caller, “Are they White males?”
Stale Complaint of Racial Profiling
The boys’ mother, Lorraine Kahneratokwas Gray, said she believes her sons were victims of racial profiling and is furious. She claims she feared for the safety of her sons after learning about the encounter. She posted a Facebook comment comparing the treatment of her sons to several national instances where police officers shot and killed unarmed African-American men. When her boys called to tell her what happened, she directed them to “leave immediately.” She believed they weren’t safe there and wrote, “I am lucky my sons are both alive.”
As President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said, “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself.”
The boys weren’t White, as considered by the female dispatcher. This illustrates the racial profiling Caucasian men face due to the recent mass shootings by disturbed White males. The caller incorrectly thought they were Mexican. Actually, they are Native Americans from New Mexico.
They were late — apparently on Indian Time — and refused to identify themselves. They told officers later they were shy. According to the police report, Officer Hoisington stated nobody would have considered them suspicious had the two young men simply provided their names when asked and explained why they were late.
My Facebook friend, Wonetah Einfeldt, was infuriated by the report. She wrote, “Fucking racist bitch trying to whisper. this is a shame. we’re just calling cuz they look different then us the whites.” [punctuation added for clarification purposes]
The caller appears to speak in a whisper with the dispatcher during the audio recording of the 911 call. Maybe she was close to the group and didn’t want to alarm anyone. Ms. Einfeldt’s comment shows how quickly People of Color jump to conclusions — as quickly as some White people do as well. All groups are over-reacting in America today.
Some argue the treatment of the two brothers is comparable to other recent national incidents involving minorities, such as the arrest of two Black men at Starbucks in Philadelphia who were handcuffed and taken to jail after the manager said they had refused to buy anything or leave. The only similarity between the two pairs of young men is their failure to follow civil and accepted social norms.
The mother should have scolded her boys for arriving late and being rude.
As Scott wrote regarding the two Black men at Starbucks, if you dress like a homeless bum and refuse to buy something, it’s likely you will be asked to leave. This is a common policy across America — no shoes, no shirt, no purchase, please leave! It’s a good lesson for the Millennial generation.
The two Black males claimed they were meeting a friend to negotiate a real estate deal. Dress for success if you want to be taken seriously. In addition, people who arrive late for a scheduled function owe the facilitator an apology and explanation. Walking in late and unannounced, while dressed extremely casual, is bad form. Rather than blaming university police and officials, the mother should have scolded her boys for not arriving on time and being rude.
Economist Scott also demonstrated recently how New Mexico is a Shithole place for teachers, students and families. One reason for the failing system is it is rare that parents support teachers or school administrators today. Not only do they refuse to properly fund education or pay teachers a living wage, parents do not accept responsibility for the inappropriate action of their children.
The typical response is to blame the teacher or administrator regardless of the facts, as Ms. Lorraine Kahneratokwas Gray did in this case. Her boys were not racially profiled; they were not in danger at any time. The action of the concerned mother was justified due to the behavior of the discourteous boys. The action of the Starbucks’ manager was also justified due to the conduct of the homeless-looking young men. They could have prevented any misunderstanding by simply purchasing a coffee.
We have become a nation of 325 million strangers. The Left engages in Identity Politics, which as Scott has written, further divides us, while the Right hopes to return to 1950. Both strategies miss the mark. The key is to end our fear — as fear remains our national enemy.
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