If you want to see how racism manifests itself in modern everyday life, you must see the viral video of the plainclothes NYPD cop who went off in a rant against a South Asian driver from Uber.
It will make you thank God for video.
If you haven’t seen the video yet, I link to it on my aaldef.org/blog page:
It’s modern race ugliness at its best. By New York City’s finest.
Patrick Cherry was, until this incident, a plainclothes detective assigned to a high-level FBI anti-terrorism unit. That makes it significant. I wonder if he profiles people very much or if his antennae is up higher when he sees a South Asian or Muslim?
Cherry’s since lost his badge and gun and has been reassigned.
A wrist tap for public racism, really.
Cherry, in a shirt and tie, is seen on the video giving one hellacious tongue-lashing to the South Asian driver.
Cherry is seen saying the driver committed some traffic violations.
The passenger witness sitting in the back seat, the guy who filmed it all, said it was Cherry who committed the infraction and was upset that the Uber driver was angry at the unidentified cop.
That’s the kind of thing that makes an out-of-control undercover cop see red.
Cherry’s rant was more than hostile. I wouldn’t talk to a bill collector the way Cherry talked to the driver.
The driver talked with an accent and was clearly being deferential and respectful, but Cherry, standing outside looking in, wouldn’t have it. He mocks the accent, purposefully misunderstands the driver, and flies into such a rage, he slams the car door.
If you ever want to see modern intolerance and racism in action all you have to do is look at that video.
If you ever thought in our “post-racial” society, we were past all that, well this is what racism looks like today.
It normally happens when the powerful get on their high horse, and then use their authority advantage to pile on mercilessly.
Seeing the video reminded me of every bad bullying boss I ever had.
Most people are subtle these days. Rarely do we see it in full raging action like we saw it in Cherry.
So we should be thankful of Cherry for opening our eyes. They are still here. With all their hate.
But forgive him?
Not so fast.
Yes, he has apologized in an exclusive report on WNBC-TV. And an apology is nice. Is it sincere? We know he wants his job back. He’s sincere about that and his bureaucracy. So it just may be too soon for an apology.
Even Lent takes at least 40 days before we get to Easter.
We need a full investigation.
Did the plainclothes Cherry show his badge? He said the flashing lights on his unmarked car should have been enough to indicate he was a cop. But when did or why didn’t Cherry show his badge? And what of the traffic citations Cherry said the driver committed? In the end, Cherry merely says the driver was “discourteous and impolite.”
No, Cherry needs to sit this out while due process runs its course.
He needs to think about the severity of his outburst in public.
The video tells us, if we really understand diversity, we better learn how to talk to different people, even when in anger.
For sure, we don’t need an angry cop like Cherry back on the anti-terrorism beat anytime soon.
Emil Guillermo writes on issues of race, culture and politics for the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (www.aaldef.org/blog) Like him at www.facebook.com/emilguillermo.media ; twitter@emilamok