White Women Watching
One night I was driving home from yoga class when I was pulled over. I wasn't speeding and had no idea why I was being pulled over. I was immediately annoyed as this was killing my relaxing yoga buzz. The cop comes to my window and says, “Good evening, ma'am. Do you have any idea why it would say you have no insurance when I ran your tags?” I assumed “it” was a computer of some sort and resisted the urge to demand to know who “it” was and why “it” was stalking me. Instead, I rolled my eyes and said, “I better have insurance. The money has been coming out my account every month.” I then reached into the glove compartment and handed the officer my proof of insurance. He looked at it and said, “Everything seems in order. Give me a minute. I'll be right back.” He goes to his car for less than a minute and comes back with some story about typing in one number wrong. “Can you believe it?” he asks. “The other car was also a silver Buick.” He apologizes for bothering me and tells me to have a good night.
I don't buy his story. I'm totally certain he was looking for a serial killer driving a silver Buick. When he discovered he'd pulled over a middle-aged white woman in yoga pants, he foolishly assumed I'm not a serial killer. He then had to be super nice to me because I'm a middle-age white woman and I possess white privilege.
White privilege runs all through this brief encounter with a police officer. For example, I rolled my eyes and the officer was super nice to me. Sandra Bland – a black woman – rolled her eyes at a cop and ended up dead. I reached into my glove compartment without telling the officer what I was doing. Philando Castile – a black man – told an officer he was reaching for his license and registration and was shot multiple times. At no time during my brief encounter did I fear for my life. Because I'm a middle-aged white woman in yoga pants.
Not long after my encounter, a friend was stopped for a similar issue. She had recently moved and the whole thing boiled down to a clerical error with the insurance company. The cop told her he couldn't check it on the side of the road. He wrote her a ticket, told her she'd be notified with a court date and she could straighten it out then. She is black. Well, half black, actually. Which really sucks when you think about it. Having only one Caucasian parent completely disqualifies a person from possessing white privilege.
A few weeks pass and my friend receives no notice regarding the court date. She calls the number on the ticket to find out what she needs to do. She is told a notice was sent. She missed her court date and an arrest warrant has been issued for failure to appear. During the course of this conversation it's revealed the court notice was sent to the wrong address. Her recent move being what caused this mess in the first place. Despite this revelation, she is told she must immediately turn herself in to the police. She immediately freaked the hell out.
I told her to calm the hell down. “They're not sending a S.W.A.T. team to your house over a typo.” I was then informed by another black friend that they will totally go to her house and arrest her. I thought she was being overly dramatic. I was all like, “How are they going to send a cop to her house when they don't seem to know where it is?” And she was all like, “Oh, yes they can. They will find her and put her in jail.” I then noticed my poor wanted friend had begun visibly shaking and I realized we should probably not be debating this in front of her. I also realized I was looking at this whole situation from the vantage point of one who possesses white privilege.
Upon this realization, I offered to accompany her to the courthouse to straighten this mess out. Knowing full well they'd be less likely to screw with her in the presence of a middle-aged white woman in yoga pants. Especially a middle-aged white woman who knows when to adopt the appropriate southern accent and patronizingly call people “Hon.” Fortunately, the whole situation was cleared up without me having to go all middle-aged white woman and kick people around with my yoga-toned legs.
More recently, a middle-aged white teacher in yoga pants found herself in the position to stop somewhere between one and three possible homicides. On a Saturday afternoon, she is driving from the gym to pick up her husband who is waiting outside Costco with their groceries. It doesn't get much whiter than that. As she's driving along she sees three Hispanic teenage boys standing outside their car being questioned by cops. She immediately recognizes one of the boys as a student of hers.
She pulls up next to them, rolls down her window and asks the student if he's okay. He says he's okay and she starts to leave when she notices this young non-white man is wearing a hoodie with a giant marijuana leaf on the front. She says to herself, “Screw it. I'm stopping. I'm not about to leave this kid alone wearing his drug paraphernalia with these potentially homicidal cops.”
She makes a U-turn and parks behind the police. She steps out of her car wearing her yoga pants and holding a Starbucks cup. Or maybe it was a smoothie. I don't remember, but I'm sure it was something extremely Caucasian. One of the officers asks her to wait in her car. He assures her she can speak to the boys once they're done. The police now know they are being watched by a middle-aged white soccer mom in yoga pants. They have no choice but to properly do their job and refrain from murdering anyone.
While middle-aged white woman in yoga pants is busy stopping a murder, her husband calls to find out why she has yet to arrive at Costco. She explains what is going on, but he is somewhat distraught over the state of his recently purchased frozen foods. She's all like, “For Christ's sake. I'm saving lives here... maybe. Like, I don't know for sure the cops were going to shoot these kids, but I know for sure they can't now because I'm sitting here being all white up in their faces. Your Popsicles can wait. Check your white privilege. Then use it to get another box of Popsicles. You can totally go back into Costco and tell them they melted on the way to the car. They'll give you another box without even mentioning you left the store over an hour ago. You know what? Maybe you should wait for me. This sounds like a job for a middle-aged white woman in yoga pants.”
She waited around a while longer, but her husband got super anxious about his frozen foods. Freaking white people. She left to take care of the Popsicle situation before she got a chance to speak to the kids. I'd like to report the young man showed up at school on Monday and told middle-aged white woman in yoga pants she saved the day. But it was summer. School was out. However, I can report he was posting crap on his Instagram later that day so we're sure he's not dead and probably not in prison. You know, unless he hid his phone so well it went undetected during a cavity search. But that seems unlikely. So probably not in prison.
You may be wondering why middle-aged white women in yoga pants strike fear in the hearts of police officers. Don't know. Middle-aged white men may be wondering if they possess this very same white privilege. The answer is not really. While middle-aged white men have possessed this power for centuries, they've also been abusing it for centuries. I mean, a white man probably won't get shot by a cop, but he won't be presumed innocent of serial killing either. Because most serial killers are middle-age white men. Also, we're in the middle of the #metoo movement. Middle-aged white men aren't looking so good right now.
As middle-aged white women in yoga pants, we are sometimes unaware of the white privilege we possess. However, in these uncertain times it's more important than ever we recognize our white privilege and wield its power for good. I have conducted extensive research. By which, I mean the three minor incidents previously described in this post. Through this research, it has become clear to me middle-aged white women in yoga pants hold the key to ending police violence. Ergo, I shall be starting a neighborhood watch-type group to keep an eye on the police. It shall be called White Women Watching. Read the flyer below to learn more.
Join White Women Watching
Are you a middle-aged white woman who enjoys wearing yoga pants and hates police brutality? Do you carry a designer handbag even when you're wearing yoga pants? Does your phone have a sparkly pink case? Can you stare down an enemy combatant with a nasty woman face while simultaneously holding a phone in one hand and a latte or smoothie in the other? Do you pretend to be friends with the mayor or other officials of dubious power to intimidate those who would piss you off? White Women Watching can teach you to use all your Caucasian nonsense to save lives and end careers.
White Women Watching has been dedicated to our core mission of stopping the senseless murder of unarmed non-white citizens since last month. Somewhere between one and three possible police shootings have been stopped by Cheryl since the founding of White Women Watching. Join White Women Watching today and you, too, can be a Cheryl.
***White women who voted for Donald Trump are ineligible for membership in the WWW.***
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I voted for Jill Stein in 2016. Am I eligible for membership in the WWW?
A. No. The WWW needs its volunteers to be useful and voting for Jill Stein was, in a word, useless.
Q. Do I have to be white, middle-aged or a woman to join?
A. No. While only middle-aged white women can go on patrol, there are plenty of jobs for others. These include training, tips, recruitment and the purchasing of yoga pants.
Q. I'm not white, but I can pass. Can I go on patrol?
A. Absolutely. Nothing would be funnier than a Mexican woman with a sun allergy intimidating a possibly homicidal cop with white privilege. You may have to use an alias if your name sounds non-Caucasian. We recommend something like Cheryl Whitelady.