In the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Attilio “Buck” Favorini comments on the magical prestidigitatorial power possessed by persons of color to propel police and wannabe police to perceive stuff what ain’t there.
For Jordan Miles it was a vanishing bottle of Mountain Dew.
For Jonny Gammage it was a date book and a cell phone.
For Amadou Diallo it was a wallet.
To you and me these innocent items suggest the contents of a shopping bag emptied on the kitchen counter or the things that move from our pockets to the night table before we turn out the light. But you and I are not enforcers of the law, duly sworn or self-appointed, who repeatedly mistake such objects for a frightening arsenal requiring lethal retaliation or, at best, a mauling never to be forgotten.
Read the whole thing.