Listeners Share Stories Of Profiling

New York is the flashpoint in the debate over racial profiling, but it happens in all different pockets of America. We asked our listeners to share some of their experiences.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

New York is the current flashpoint in the debate over racial profiling, but there are few places in America where race isn't an issue.

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MARTIN: We asked our listeners to share some of their experiences. Here are a couple of those stories.

ADAM WALKER: My name is Adam Walker. I'm currently in Beaumont, Texas. I'm born from a black mother and a white father.

MARTIN: Adam Walker married a white woman, and they had a baby girl. Years later, when she was 6 years old, Walker took his daughter to the park near their house. They were walking hand-in-hand when a police car pulled out in front of them. The officer got out and started questioning Walker.

WALKER: And he says, is that your daughter? And I tell him, yes, this is my daughter. And then he kind of calms down and tells me, well, we've had a report of a missing Hispanic child in the neighborhood here. And I tell him again, you know, no, this is my child. We live right here down the street. And he gets back into his car, and he just drives off. And from that point on, I just worried, like, what people thought when they saw me because I noticed I always get the looks - like, I'm with a white person's child. This has really affected how much affection that I give my child in public because of that.

MARTIN: Jim Garringer is a white man from Muncie, Ind. He was at a shopping mall in a toy store and couldn't find what he was looking for.

JIM GARRINGER: Then I started down one of the aisles, and I noticed an African-American gentleman and his son, and started down another aisle and saw them in that aisle as well, and worked to the third and the fourth aisle or thereabouts. And the father, who was standing just a few feet from me, said to his son - you know - put that toy back. We're going to leave. He walked past me and says, we're leaving. You don't have to watch us anymore. But yeah, I was completely stunned and yet I wondered if this gentleman, you know, based on his reaction, my sense was maybe this had happened to him before. And my heart broke for him.

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