Nothing like a direct experience to give one white person a tiny taste of what it feels like to be a black driver. It was 10:00 pm and I was driving in a low income, West Oakland neighborhood. I was getting onto the freeway. It had a red arrow- light but I was on a one-way street, turning into a one-way on ramp. No other cars were around. I made my turn. I was happily driving on the freeway and saw lights flashing. It never dawned on me that they could be for me. The lights persisted and then I heard a booming male voice on a loud speaker: “Get off at next exit.” He kept repeating this in case I didn’t understand. Then I thought: “Maybe I wasn’t supposed to make that turn since it was a freeway on-ramp. Yes, that must be it.” I got off at the exit and he kept yelling at me with a menacing voice. “Stay in your car and roll down all of your windows.” He took my ID and went to his car to check on me. I was terrified. Then he told me to get out of the car and he did all kinds of tests on me. He kept asking me if I was drinking. “No”. “When was the last time you drank.” “A year ago.” I wanted to say: “You are talking to me as though I am a criminal and I am not used to people talking to me that way.” I didn’t dare say a word; I was afraid I would be arrested if I made a false move. His voice finally softened and he said alcoholics get mixed up with red lights or something like that. I was shaking and he let me go.
P.S.: I am a little, old lady.