Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Just An Unlucky Black Man?

Nice smile - shame about the slur!A South African journalist is calling NZ police racist, after he was searched on suspicion of selling drugs.
Vata Ngobeni’s covering the *yawn* Rugby World Cup for Pretoria News, and was in a Taupo bar after a match last Saturday.
An officer said he fitted the description of a man who’d been offering drugs. Ngobeni denied it, told the cops he was here to cover the rugger and showed them his SA driver's licence.
"I agreed and even offered to be searched across the road next to the vehicle, but they said they'd do so at the police station. And like a criminal, I was asked to sit at the back of an unmarked police vehicle with one of the officers and driven off to the police station." He was searched and his clothing checked before an officer apologised for the mistaken identity.
Ngobeni is screaming 'racial profiling', says he was targeted because of his colour. Police reject the racism claim, saying the situation was dealt with appropriately and professionally.
We know that police are not all angels. But by his own account Vata was not harassed, roughed up, beaten with a rubber hose, left to rot in an overcrowded cell, tortured…as often happened in his own country! And I doubt that any 'person of interest' anywhere in the world is allowed to sit in the front seat of a cop car!
So what this all boils down to…is playing the good ol’ race card. Obviously not exclusive to maori, it seems an option to be used by anyone with any degree of skin colour other than caucasian, when they feel hard done by. Ask ex-MP John Tamihere: he’s publically said it’s an ace he keeps up his sleeve for dire straits.
Look, if police have a suspicion, they act on it in the public good: that is their job. I was questioned recently when photographing old farmhouses: there’d been thefts in that area, and the cop wanted to know what I was doing. Fair, reasonable, no upset.
So why did Mr.Ngobeni feel "extremely violated”? Even though we’re smothered by Political Correctness, a person can not expect to be bypassed by police just because their skin is dark. Much as some fringe-dwellers may have you believe, brother, NZ is not an apartheid state! Vata: “Taupo's the adventure capital of NZ and I got more than my share of adventure. Thanks to the heavy and thoughtless hand of the Taupo Police, I am that unlucky black man in Taupo.”
Awwwwwwwwww...shame. My heart bleeds.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Surely this is a no-brainer?
Cops are told of a 'black man' in that bar selling drugs. When they get there, HE is the only 'black man' there. So of course he's going to be questioned!
It's not racial profiling at all. It's Policing:101.
This guy just wanted a piece to write about for his newspaper - ah well, maybe if his team was doing better...???