In the U.S., many White people take for granted the ability to drive and to get where they want to go without incident. But for drivers who are Black, male and non-native, driving in the U.S. can be an extremely perilous undertaking.
Two recent pieces by NPR journalists Leah Donnella and Nell Greenfieldboyce explain the unique dangers that Black immigrants and Black men face behind the wheel. Donnella’s piece underscores the ways that economic and social integration in many U.S. communities depends on one’s ability to get around by car, as well as the significant barriers and risks that Black and Brown immigrants face as drivers. Greenfieldboyce’s report focuses on recent research into what leads traffic stops of Black men in the U.S. to escalate. This research demonstrates the importance of being able to understand and respond to law enforcement – cultural lessons that are as vital to survival as learning the rules of the road. A piece by Russell Contreras of Axios similarly points to the rising rate of police brutality against drivers perceived and profiled as Latino.
Listen to or read each of these segments and consider what you can do to advocate for improvements to the transportation and law enforcement systems in your community. On the road as elsewhere, safer and more equitable conditions benefit everyone.