Yale University campus police detained the son of New York Times columnist Charles Blow at gunpoint. The Revs. Irene Monroe and Emmett G. Price III discussed it.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Racial Profiling On Campus: 'Every Black Man Is A Suspect'

January 26, 2015

Rev. Irene Monroe and Rev. Emmett G. Price III joined Jim Braude and Margery Eagan for their regular Monday feature, "All Revved Up," on Boston Public Radio.  The two reverends talked about racial profiling on college campuses, as well as politicians speaking at religious events. They also offered another rating of Pope Francis in their weekly "Pope Watch."

New York Times columnist Charles Blow recently wrote about how his African American son was detained by campus police at Yale University. The police ordered his son to his knees at gunpoint. Is anyone shocked by these kinds of incidents now?

Rev. Monroe: It happens all the time. (...) While we're shocked that it happened on Yale's campus, (...) you see this also at Harvard. I'll always remember my first year at Harvard when Professor Allen Counter (...) got stopped. [It reminds me of] the way South Africans used their IDs as a way to identify themselves during apartheid. (...) Every black man [is a suspect].

Rev. Price: Is it appropriate for the guns to be drawn in the first place? If the police say, 'Stop where you are, make your hands available,' are the guns necessary for that?

Rev. Monroe: These kids panic. So, as much as you will tell your son (...) 'acquiesce to whatever the police say,' there are moments when some of us run. The fight-or-flight.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal spoke at Baton Rouge prayer rally over the weekend. Is it appropriate for politicians to use the church as a speaking platform? Should religious groups invite politicians to speak?

Rev. Price: When you politicize religion and spiritual beliefs we have a huge problem. (...) If Bobby Jindal was the kind of person as we described [Pres.] Jimmy Carter, then it wouldn't be an issue. (...) The prayer rally is sponsored by the American Family Association, who the Southern Poverty Law Center has classified as a hate group.

Rev. Monroe: How do you feel about having a governor like this? What if you're Jewish? What if you're atheist? (...) Rick Perry did something quite like this, a tent revival [in 2011].

Will the GOP and evangelicals always move in lockstep?

Rev. Monroe: I think what they're realizing is that they're a political liability. (...) They need to craft a different platform and not replicate the one that didn't work in the last election.

There was much news in the past week about Pope Francis, including his trip to the Phillipines. What rating does he get this week for Pope Watch?

Rev. Monroe: A tepid — not a robust — three. (...) [Francis said], 'Women have a lot of things to say to us in today's society. Sometimes we're too chauvinistic.' I almost fainted.

Rev. Price: The heavens have moved!

The Reverend Irene Monroe is a syndicated religion columnist who writes for Huffington Post and Bay Windows. The Reverend Emmett G. Price III is the author of The Black Church and Hip Hop Culture, and a professor of music at Northeastern University.


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