Wedding Woes

Yes, have the conversation.

Dear Prudence,
My 15-year-old daughter is a freshman in high school and has her first serious boyfriend. They are both star athletes, honor students, nondrinkers, and really nice kids. I love it that they are starting this new adventure in the dating scene together. He is a year older than she is and occasionally drives her around town. He is black, and she is white. What, if anything, should I say to her about traffic stops? I want to warn her that stops may be inevitable and that she should keep her hands visible, be compliant at all times, etc., but I also don’t want to look like a crazy white mom who thinks this really good kid is going to get them into trouble. For what it’s worth, we live in a wealthy, mainly white suburb of Chicago, and his family is wealthy. He drives a nicer car than I do. Help me advise my millennial about 21st-century dating.

—Concerned Mom

Re: Yes, have the conversation.

  • Given how things are lately, it's worth the conversation. Even if it never happens, it's best to have warning.
    "People are weird. They may stop your bf because of the colour of his skin. Unfortunately this could happen. Be the good kids you both are and ensure hands are visible at all times."
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    mrsconn23OurWildKingdomSP29
  • I think it's fine to discuss this w/her daughter and to frame it as a white ally conversation.  I mean, this kid's parents have had the talk w/him; him being a good kid or not doesn't have anything to do with the reality of driving while black.

    Andplusalso, teenagers can be overeager.  She actually needs the white ally talk with a "don't make anything worse in this situation" talk too.
    mrsconn23charlotte989875
  • VarunaTT said:
    I think it's fine to discuss this w/her daughter and to frame it as a white ally conversation.  I mean, this kid's parents have had the talk w/him; him being a good kid or not doesn't have anything to do with the reality of driving while black.

    Andplusalso, teenagers can be overeager.  She actually needs the white ally talk with a "don't make anything worse in this situation" talk too.
    Oh yes, so true.  And very, "I know MY rights!" about stuff, especially since they're taking government and some really take it heart.  ;)  It's a good thing, but they can put themselves in a bad situation. 
    charlotte989875short+sassybanana468
  • Andplusalso it kinda makes me sad and angry this conversation has even possibly happen :(
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  • mrsconn23 said:
    VarunaTT said:
    I think it's fine to discuss this w/her daughter and to frame it as a white ally conversation.  I mean, this kid's parents have had the talk w/him; him being a good kid or not doesn't have anything to do with the reality of driving while black.

    Andplusalso, teenagers can be overeager.  She actually needs the white ally talk with a "don't make anything worse in this situation" talk too.
    Oh yes, so true.  And very, "I know MY rights!" about stuff, especially since they're taking government and some really take it heart.  ;)  It's a good thing, but they can put themselves in a bad situation. 


    Yes!  There have been a few times I've gotten a "warning" instead of a ticket.  Simply because I was polite, pleasant, and respectful.  I'm not saying some officers don't have an "attitude", but I'm sure not going to be the one who starts with it!

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  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    Why does she assume they haven't had the talk themselves, especially with it being a huge topic in the news and social media?  But I do appreciate that she wants to try.

    My brother is black and white.  When I was teaching him how to drive we had the talk. It was basically, life is unfair and the police are racist (in this city it's very true), you will be pulled over more, regardless of what seat you're in in the car.  Be smart, be respectful, and know your rights.
    image
    charlotte989875VarunaTT
  • Why does she assume they haven't had the talk themselves, especially with it being a huge topic in the news and social media?  But I do appreciate that she wants to try.

    My brother is black and white.  When I was teaching him how to drive we had the talk. It was basically, life is unfair and the police are racist (in this city it's very true), you will be pulled over more, regardless of what seat you're in in the car.  Be smart, be respectful, and know your rights.
    I think even if daughter and BF have discussed this, daughter still needs it from her parents.   I think it can only shore up what BF might've told her, give her some support from her parents that might matter right now, and actually be respectful of the fact that the black experience is different and the parents recognize this.  
    kimmiinthemittenshort+sassymrsconn23OurWildKingdom
  • VarunaTT said:
    Why does she assume they haven't had the talk themselves, especially with it being a huge topic in the news and social media?  But I do appreciate that she wants to try.

    My brother is black and white.  When I was teaching him how to drive we had the talk. It was basically, life is unfair and the police are racist (in this city it's very true), you will be pulled over more, regardless of what seat you're in in the car.  Be smart, be respectful, and know your rights.
    I think even if daughter and BF have discussed this, daughter still needs it from her parents.   I think it can only shore up what BF might've told her, give her some support from her parents that might matter right now, and actually be respectful of the fact that the black experience is different and the parents recognize this.  

    I'm not black and would certainly never say that I know what that is like.  But I was pulled over once because I am white and was driving in a "black neighborhood".  It was surprising and gave me a little taste.

    I was tutoring students for the ACT (similar to the SAT) at a high school.  I had just pulled out of the housing area with the school on to the main road, when a police officer pulled me over.  I was baffled.  I can be a bit of a speedster, lol.  But I had just made a turn on to the main road and wasn't even up to the speed limit yet.  This was about how the conversation went:

    PO (he was black):  "What are you doing here?"  That was the first thing he said when he got to my window.  Aggressive demeanor and a real attitude.

    I explained about my tutoring.  Hoping to score some brownie points.

    Gives me a side-eye and says, "What are you REALLY doing here?"

    I repeat my story, gesture to some school materials on my seat and offer to hand them to him.  Then he asks for my license and registration.

    I do my usual.  Tell him where they are located and then collect them and give them to him.

    He then asks if I had been there to buy drugs.  And if I had any drugs in my car.  And would I allow him to do a search.

    I'm noticeably shocked and assure him I was not there to buy drugs.  I've never even taken illegal drugs nor are they in my car.  And, yes, he can search my car if he wants to.

    He doesn't say another word and walks back to his patrol car with my license/reg./ins.

    He comes back a few minutes later.

    Now he was all friendly and smiles.  I'm guessing, when he saw I didn't have any record for drugs, he finally believed me.  He gave me back my items and said it looked like everything checked out.  He explained there are a few drug houses in the neighborhood I came from and usually the only reason white people are there is to buy drugs.  It hadn't even crossed my mind that my race was why he had initially pulled me over!  I was also shocked he'd even said that.  But mostly very relieved that I wasn't in trouble or getting a ticket.  It was...an interesting experience. 

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  • Maybe it's just me - I'd be far more concerned about having the OTHER "talk" instead... Like the "I'm too young to become a Grandma" one js...  
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  • short+sassy said:

    He explained there are a few drug houses in the neighborhood I came from and usually the only reason white people are there is to buy drugs. 
    See this pisses me off. Like, stop wasting people's time and tax payer dollars with a traffic stop fueled by racial profiling (any race) and zero evidence. If he KNOWS those houses are dispensing drugs, then go do your job and stop bothering other citizens.
    All of this.   But if my memory serves me correctly, he has no cause to search the car.   And you don't need to consent to the search without a warrant, right? 

    It's not the same as refusing a breathalyzer which is against the law.   My understanding is that unless there's something that's in plain sight the cop can see simply being in the neighborhood isn't cause to search the car. 

     
  • banana468 said:
    short+sassy said:

    He explained there are a few drug houses in the neighborhood I came from and usually the only reason white people are there is to buy drugs. 
    See this pisses me off. Like, stop wasting people's time and tax payer dollars with a traffic stop fueled by racial profiling (any race) and zero evidence. If he KNOWS those houses are dispensing drugs, then go do your job and stop bothering other citizens.
    All of this.   But if my memory serves me correctly, he has no cause to search the car.   And you don't need to consent to the search without a warrant, right? 

    It's not the same as refusing a breathalyzer which is against the law.   My understanding is that unless there's something that's in plain sight the cop can see simply being in the neighborhood isn't cause to search the car. 

     
    I think so, but I'm not attorney. Pretty sure you can say "I don't consent to any searches." But if you get a real powertripping pencil dick, I think they can make you wait until they get one. Or they'll just take forever to be an ass and show you who's really got the power (extreme eye roll). 
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    mrsconn23sparklepants41short+sassy
  • mrsconn23 said:

    Dear Prudence,
    My 15-year-old daughter is a freshman in high school and has her first serious boyfriend. They are both star athletes, honor students, nondrinkers, and really nice kids. I love it that they are starting this new adventure in the dating scene together. He is a year older than she is and occasionally drives her around town. He is black, and she is white. What, if anything, should I say to her about traffic stops? I want to warn her that stops may be inevitable and that she should keep her hands visible, be compliant at all times, etc., but I also don’t want to look like a crazy white mom who thinks this really good kid is going to get them into trouble. For what it’s worth, we live in a wealthy, mainly white suburb of Chicago, and his family is wealthy. He drives a nicer car than I do. Help me advise my millennial about 21st-century dating.

    —Concerned Mom

    This is good advice to give EVERY teenager who is either first driving for themselves or riding with friends.

    When I get pulled over and the officer asks for my license/registration/insurance, I tell them exactly where those items are so they are expecting me to reach into my purse.  And reach into my glove box.  While I'm sure that is all obvious, they're the ones with a gun and dangerous job.  So I want them to be aware of exactly what I am doing, at all times.

    I am sorry, but as a non-American, this just blows my mind. Like the officer ASSUMES you have a gun and are trying to kill them unless proven otherwise is such a f-ed up mentality.  
    As another non-American, I agree- I don't get pulled over often, but when they ask for license and registration, I just go for it without telling them where it is.  Sometimes I'm rummaging around in my car getting it before they get up to the window.  I've never had an issue and all the police officers are ridiculously friendly.  Or not friendly but just really polite.  I feel like I'd be in trouble if I got pulled over in the states.
    imageimage
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  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    banana468 said:
    short+sassy said:

    He explained there are a few drug houses in the neighborhood I came from and usually the only reason white people are there is to buy drugs. 
    See this pisses me off. Like, stop wasting people's time and tax payer dollars with a traffic stop fueled by racial profiling (any race) and zero evidence. If he KNOWS those houses are dispensing drugs, then go do your job and stop bothering other citizens.
    All of this.   But if my memory serves me correctly, he has no cause to search the car.   And you don't need to consent to the search without a warrant, right? 

    It's not the same as refusing a breathalyzer which is against the law.   My understanding is that unless there's something that's in plain sight the cop can see simply being in the neighborhood isn't cause to search the car. 

     
    In most, if not all, states refusing a breathalyzer is only illegal because it's a condition placed on obtaining your license. 
    image
  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    edited October 7
    kerbohl said:
    mrsconn23 said:

    Dear Prudence,
    My 15-year-old daughter is a freshman in high school and has her first serious boyfriend. They are both star athletes, honor students, nondrinkers, and really nice kids. I love it that they are starting this new adventure in the dating scene together. He is a year older than she is and occasionally drives her around town. He is black, and she is white. What, if anything, should I say to her about traffic stops? I want to warn her that stops may be inevitable and that she should keep her hands visible, be compliant at all times, etc., but I also don’t want to look like a crazy white mom who thinks this really good kid is going to get them into trouble. For what it’s worth, we live in a wealthy, mainly white suburb of Chicago, and his family is wealthy. He drives a nicer car than I do. Help me advise my millennial about 21st-century dating.

    —Concerned Mom

    This is good advice to give EVERY teenager who is either first driving for themselves or riding with friends.

    When I get pulled over and the officer asks for my license/registration/insurance, I tell them exactly where those items are so they are expecting me to reach into my purse.  And reach into my glove box.  While I'm sure that is all obvious, they're the ones with a gun and dangerous job.  So I want them to be aware of exactly what I am doing, at all times.

    I am sorry, but as a non-American, this just blows my mind. Like the officer ASSUMES you have a gun and are trying to kill them unless proven otherwise is such a f-ed up mentality.  
    As another non-American, I agree- I don't get pulled over often, but when they ask for license and registration, I just go for it without telling them where it is.  Sometimes I'm rummaging around in my car getting it before they get up to the window.  I've never had an issue and all the police officers are ridiculously friendly.  Or not friendly but just really polite.  I feel like I'd be in trouble if I got pulled over in the states.

    Same :(. I've been pulled over once for speeding and did not hesitate to rummage through my glove compartment for my registration or grab my license out of my purse in the back seat. Being afraid/concerned by the police officer has never crossed my mind.
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited October 8
    mrsconn23 said:

    Dear Prudence,
    My 15-year-old daughter is a freshman in high school and has her first serious boyfriend. They are both star athletes, honor students, nondrinkers, and really nice kids. I love it that they are starting this new adventure in the dating scene together. He is a year older than she is and occasionally drives her around town. He is black, and she is white. What, if anything, should I say to her about traffic stops? I want to warn her that stops may be inevitable and that she should keep her hands visible, be compliant at all times, etc., but I also don’t want to look like a crazy white mom who thinks this really good kid is going to get them into trouble. For what it’s worth, we live in a wealthy, mainly white suburb of Chicago, and his family is wealthy. He drives a nicer car than I do. Help me advise my millennial about 21st-century dating.

    —Concerned Mom

    The highlighted is good advice.  I can't sympathize with the writer's other fears.

    My daughter's first serious boyfriend was black, while we are white upper middle class.  They were together for four years, both in college and later in the working world.  He was a lovely young man, and I was surprised when they broke up.  The drove all over Virginia, Maryland, DC, Delaware and eastern Pennsylvania without any issues.


    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • mrsconn23 said:

    Dear Prudence,
    My 15-year-old daughter is a freshman in high school and has her first serious boyfriend. They are both star athletes, honor students, nondrinkers, and really nice kids. I love it that they are starting this new adventure in the dating scene together. He is a year older than she is and occasionally drives her around town. He is black, and she is white. What, if anything, should I say to her about traffic stops? I want to warn her that stops may be inevitable and that she should keep her hands visible, be compliant at all times, etc., but I also don’t want to look like a crazy white mom who thinks this really good kid is going to get them into trouble. For what it’s worth, we live in a wealthy, mainly white suburb of Chicago, and his family is wealthy. He drives a nicer car than I do. Help me advise my millennial about 21st-century dating.

    —Concerned Mom

    I had this conversation with my parents in the 90s because I had black friends (male and female) who I went out with all the time. Unfortunately it seems in 30 years that this is still a conversation parents still have to have with their kids because of who their friends are. 
  • banana468 said:
    short+sassy said:

    He explained there are a few drug houses in the neighborhood I came from and usually the only reason white people are there is to buy drugs. 
    See this pisses me off. Like, stop wasting people's time and tax payer dollars with a traffic stop fueled by racial profiling (any race) and zero evidence. If he KNOWS those houses are dispensing drugs, then go do your job and stop bothering other citizens.
    All of this.   But if my memory serves me correctly, he has no cause to search the car.   And you don't need to consent to the search without a warrant, right? 

    It's not the same as refusing a breathalyzer which is against the law.   My understanding is that unless there's something that's in plain sight the cop can see simply being in the neighborhood isn't cause to search the car. 

     
    I think so, but I'm not attorney. Pretty sure you can say "I don't consent to any searches." But if you get a real powertripping pencil dick, I think they can make you wait until they get one. Or they'll just take forever to be an ass and show you who's really got the power (extreme eye roll). 

    My assumption and understanding is the same as @southernbelle0915's.

    Though, in my specific case, the officer asked me if he could search my car.  He didn't demand/insist on it.  I did give him permission to search my car, though he did not actually do it.

    I would say about half the time I get pulled over, the officer asks if they can search my car.  I know there is nothing about me that says "drug user", so maybe it is a regional thing?  I always say "yes" because, whether fair or not, I feel like it would draw suspicion on me if I don't.  However, I've never had an officer actually search my car.  Just ask if they could.

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  • banana468 said:
    short+sassy said:

    He explained there are a few drug houses in the neighborhood I came from and usually the only reason white people are there is to buy drugs. 
    See this pisses me off. Like, stop wasting people's time and tax payer dollars with a traffic stop fueled by racial profiling (any race) and zero evidence. If he KNOWS those houses are dispensing drugs, then go do your job and stop bothering other citizens.
    All of this.   But if my memory serves me correctly, he has no cause to search the car.   And you don't need to consent to the search without a warrant, right? 

    It's not the same as refusing a breathalyzer which is against the law.   My understanding is that unless there's something that's in plain sight the cop can see simply being in the neighborhood isn't cause to search the car. 

     
    I think so, but I'm not attorney. Pretty sure you can say "I don't consent to any searches." But if you get a real powertripping pencil dick, I think they can make you wait until they get one. Or they'll just take forever to be an ass and show you who's really got the power (extreme eye roll). 

    My assumption and understanding is the same as @southernbelle0915's.

    Though, in my specific case, the officer asked me if he could search my car.  He didn't demand/insist on it.  I did give him permission to search my car, though he did not actually do it.

    I would say about half the time I get pulled over, the officer asks if they can search my car.  I know there is nothing about me that says "drug user", so maybe it is a regional thing?  I always say "yes" because, whether fair or not, I feel like it would draw suspicion on me if I don't.  However, I've never had an officer actually search my car.  Just ask if they could.

    I must be an asshole. No one has ever asked to search my car but if they did I would say No, they have no reason/ probable cause to if it is a traffic stop. I have nothing in my car but if they are going to be an asshole and make me wait around then I am going to be an asshole and make them find nothing.
    Most of the time I don't have time for this, but if I did, you bet I'd say no and make them waste their time. I would time it and write a strongly worded letter to the police chief about wasting tax payer dollars and citizen time. It's "serve and protect" not start a power pissing contest. 
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    banana468
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