She called out the glaring shortcomings of a system that allows her, every single time, to walk free for crimes that would've cost a person of color their life.
Television screenwriter Krista Vernoff recently tweeted a valuable and effective lesson in recognizing white privilege. The Grey's Anatomy showrunner recounted all the times she's encountered police officers after committing a crime only to be let go with nothing more than a slap on the wrist—if that. Vernoff called out the glaring shortcomings of a system that allows her, every single time, to walk free for crimes that would've cost a person of color their life. She also urged fellow white netizens to take a long hard look at the privilege they've enjoyed all their lives, reminding them that not everyone has the luxury of calling their crimes "mistakes."
When I was 15, I was chased through a mall by police who were yelling "Stop thief!" I had thousands of dollars of stolen merchandise on me. I was caught, booked, sentenced to 6 months of probation, required to see a parole officer weekly. I was never even handcuffed, Vernoff tweeted. When I was 18, I was pulled over for drunk driving. When the Police Officer asked me to blow into the breathalyzer, I pretended to have asthma and insisted I couldn’t blow hard enough to get a reading.
Trying to explain what it was. Cops yelled “GUN” and “let me see everyone’s hands!” so we all put our hands up. Both cops put their hands near their guns but never unclipped their holsters. If I were black I don’t believe I’d be here today.— TOM (@tstandlickwl_20) June 15, 2020
The officer laughed then asked my friends to blow and when one of them came up sober enough to drive, he let me move to the passenger seat of my car and go home with just a verbal warning, she continued. When I was 19, I got angry at a girl for flirting with my sister’s boyfriend and drunkenly attacked her in the middle of a party. I swung a gallon jug of water, full force, at her head. The police were never called. When I was twenty, with all of my strength, I punched a guy in the face -- while we were both standing two feet from a cop. The guy went to the ground and came up bloody and screaming that he wanted me arrested, that he was pressing charges.
true story. and drunk white boys. I was one of them. I was drunk at 19 and stole. a road sign. my punishment by the cops that pulled my buddy and I over was to write an apology letter. ridiculous looking back— PatHarwood4 (@Harwood4Pat) June 15, 2020
The cop pulled me aside and said, “You don’t punch people in front of cops,” then laughed and said that if I ever joined the police force he’d like to have me as a partner. I was sent into my apartment and told to stay there. Between the ages of 11 and 22, my friends and I were chased and/or admonished by police on several occasions for drinking or doing illegal drugs on private property or in public. I have no criminal record, Vernoff revealed.
Wow, I was pulled over at 24 with expired registration, inspection, insurance and license on Thanksgiving Day on the way to my mom’s house for dinner. I was arrested, fingerprinted, car impounded & had a mandatory court date & paid $400+ fines.— Sweet Tea 🍹 (@sugarcane_tea) June 16, 2020
If I had been shot in the back by police after the shoplifting incident - in which I knowingly and willfully and soberly and in broad daylight RAN FROM THE COPS – would you say I deserved it? she asked. I’m asking the white people reading this to think about the crimes you’ve committed. (Note: You don't call them crimes. You and your parents call them mistakes.) Think of all the mistakes you’ve made that you were allowed to survive.
Breeona Taylor was asleep in her house when she was executed for the crime of accepting a package of clothes for her ex-boyfriend. Have you ever had packages delivered then gone to bed?— Willing to discuss (@buffsblg) June 15, 2020
Defunding the police is not about “living in a lawless society.” It’s about the fact that in this country, we’re not supposed to get shot by police for getting drunk. The system that lets me live and murders Rayshard Brooks is a broken system that must change. Stop defending it. Demand the change, Vernoff urged.
I’m so sorry.— Krista Vernoff (@KristaVernoff) June 16, 2020