From [HERE] After the blue and red police lights flashed behind his car, Louizandre Dauphin figured he may have added another “prohibited” item to the list of things you can’t do while black: Reading.
Dauphin, 33, a former high school English teacher, had decided to relax last week with a few books at Stonehaven Wharf, a parking lot for fishing boats that’s frequented by tourists to the Canadian province of New Brunswick. He sat inside his Volkswagen Golf hatchback watching the waves and poring over “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis and another book by theologian Timothy Keller.
As he drove home afterward, Dauphin recounted on Instagram, an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police pulled him over, saying someone nearby had called authorities “because … a suspicious black man in a white car was parked at the Wharf for a couple hours. My response, Really? I was just reading a book.”
He snapped two photos that he’d later use for the Instagram post, which says Canada experiences some of the same racial tension that has made headlines in the United States.
In the post, he tells his countrymen “not to get too comfortable on their high horses.” He hashtagged the post #DangerousNegro.
Dauphin, the director of the department of parks, recreation and tourism in the small New Brunswick town of Bathurst, told The Washington Post that he didn’t feel threatened by the officer, who seemed bemused about the situation before letting Dauphin go without incident. Still, he said, the encounter and a handful of previous ones show “we’re not immune to situations like this.”
“There’s still intolerance and suspicion,” he told The Post. “I’ve been pulled over for driving in my own neighborhood. I’ve gotten asked where I’m from and when I tell them I’m from my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, the question is where are you really from? As if I can’t actually be from here.”
A spokesperson for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police wouldn’t provide details about the call that prompted the officer to stop Dauphin or name the constable involved.
“There was no arrest and no charge in that incident,” said Constable Derek Black, media relations officer for the RCMP in New Brunswick province. “We received a report of a suspicious vehicle. We stopped the vehicle, spoke with the driver and the report was unfounded.”
Since Instagram post went viral, Dauphin has posted a more detailed post on Facebook.
I do not know the true motivations behind the individual who called the police to report my presence at the Stonehaven Wharf, but I struggle to understand why my actions of driving my vehicle to a public space, reading a book, and never once exiting my vehicle was cause for a level of suspicion which prompted this individual to call the police. Be it my vehicle (a white Volkswagen Golf) or the colour of my skin, which I believe was a contributing factor, there was something that prompted an individual to consider my presence threatening enough to warrant attention by the police. If all are truly welcome at this location, why would a person acting in a non-threatening manner have the police called on them? And, after such an incident, why would this person feel any motivation or desire to return to that location? I never once identified this person who called the police as racist, but I do suspect there is some degree of bias, fear, and ignorance-based suspicion which lead to the reality that the police were alerted to my presence at the wharf.