When a police officer stops a white woman for a minor infraction and asks to see her black passenger’s ID, is it justified? No, it’s racial profiling. And it’s illegal.
Passengering While Black/Brown (PWB). Or Is It Plain Ol’ LWB?
The police officer approached the idling car from behind in a Fargo, N.D., parking lot off of 13th Avenue South. He flipped on his flashers, opened his door and approached the vehicle.
The driver, a 17-year old white female, and her passenger, an 18-year-old black male, were scared.
Let’s call them Shelly* and Andrew*. They’re friends and classmates who had been to a high school soccer match earlier that evening, and afterward they decided to hang out at a local restaurant for a while. Now they exchanged confused glances as the white cop approached the driver’s side.
Shelly rolled the electric window down.
Minutes before, at around 10:20 p.m., the friends had been driving behind the squad car in the middle lane of the three-lane thoroughfare.
Continue reading “Racial Profiling in the Heartland”
You gotta love social media. It makes communication with your congresspeople so “right now.”
Here’s an example:
I probably shouldn’t have done it. The Tweeted response did absolutely nothing to elevate the national debate.
But – Damn! – it felt good.
And for just a few moments it took the edge off of my jagged frustration with Republicans in the U.S. Congress.
Continue reading “Social Media – Tell Your Elected Officials What You Really Think”
We got the car out. Finally. We were incredibly thankful to Mr. Jackwagon for rolling down his window and scolding us about the vehicles pulled off to the side with their hazards on. In blizzard conditions.
Dear Mr. Supreme Jackwagon:
You know who you are.
You’re the guy who just drove past me and four other people who were trying to get a car unstuck at the entrance to a side street right off of 17th Avenue South, Fargo.
In blizzard conditions.
You’re the guy who did not stop to help. You’re the guy who, instead, took the time to lower your power driver’s side window and yell, in a menacing voice as you drove on by, “Hey, you can’t just park your cars in the middle of the street!”
Continue reading “Blizzard Drive-By”
UND hockey has a rich tradition of excellence; nine national championships speak loudly to it. Maybe it’s time to support that excellence by vocalizing support for the team that’s on the ice, in the classroom and at the alumni center.
But There’s Sadness at Engelstad Arena
I’ve always been a fan of University of North Dakota (UND) hockey. My father was in school there when I was born, and my folks used to take me to games all the time. Through the years, I’ve been happy when the teams have had success.
There’s been lots of it. According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), “North Dakota is one of two teams with eight national championships. The Fighting Hawks have won a national championship in all but two decades since its birth.”
But if you’re familiar with UND hockey, you understand how those two sentences describe a sadness that’s hard to miss in the Ralph Engelstad Arena.
NCAA. Fighting Hawks.
Continue reading “UND’s Hockey Team is on the Ice”
Mr. Berg begs to differ. What do YOU think? Good, bad and ugly, all opinions are welcome.
What do YOU think about the Fargo Public Schools dress code and enforcement?
Mr. Keith Berg, Fargo, N.D., has taken exception to the assertions I made in the story in The Forum this past Saturday regarding gender-biased dress codes and dress code enforcement.
So, what do YOU think?
All opinions are welcome. I look forward to hearing from you.
It’s time for the North Dakota news media to come up with a different secondary identifier for the man who is a representative in the North Dakota House and a fine public servant. Period.
Gender Identity / Sexual Orientation is No Longer “News”
Martin C. Fredricks IV is the 4,444th openly heterosexual blogger to write about politics, government, climate change and the environment in the United States.
I provide this information because a story in the local paper this morning made clear how important my gender identity/sexual orientation is to helping my readers understand anything and everything I do.
The story was about North Dakota Rep. Josh Boschee’s intentions to run for minority leader of the N.D. House of Representatives.
In identifying the representative, the reporter wrote, “Boschee has served in the Legislature since 2013 and is the state’s first openly gay lawmaker.”
As I’ve done so many times, I mumbled to myself, “What’s the difference?”
Continue reading “Josh Boschee is a Fine Public Servant. Period.”
Being able to disengage mentally is crucial to mental health. Can you?
Sixty-seven percent of men and 25 percent of women are shockingly distracted. Or at least they’d rather be.
According to a series of studies by University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville, two out of three men elected to shock themselves rather than be alone with their thoughts for six to 15 minutes. SHOCK. THEMSELVES.
Continue reading “Shocking Distractions: A World Without Daydreams”
It’s World Cup time again. People around the world are going nuts, painting their faces, taking holidays to watch their national teams play in Brasil. Through it all, I’ve been thinking again about why soccer isn’t more popular here. Two words: the flop.
The USA and Soccer – It’s Not That Complicated
Game Four of the NHL Western Conference Finals featuring the Chicago Blackhawks and the San Jose Sharks. 2010. Chicago is up three games to none. Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith takes a puck in the mouth and loses seven teeth. He’s out of the game for only seven minutes – one for each tooth – then heads back into the fray.
Continue reading “Rub Some Dirt – or Ice – In It”
A bunch of bands have written songs that include North Dakota in some way. Flyover country? You decide.
Figures my favorite tune that mentions North Dakota has another state’s name in the title – “Dani California” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers:
“North Dakota man was a gunnin’ for the quota / Down in the badlands she was savin’ the best for last / It only hurts when I laugh / Gone too fast…”
But, hey, what the heck. Like they say, any publicity is good publicity, especially if you’re not the headliner.
Continue reading “In on the NoDak Acts”
Social is making us unsociable.
I’m not talking about the fact that so many of us now spend hours and hours on social media, looking at and reacting to status updates from friends, getting our news 140 (or now 280 if you’re among the elite) characters at a time or watching video with slack jaws.
Continue reading “Unsociably Social”