LeVar Burton goes out of his way to make sure police know he’s not a threat after pulling him over. The Reading Rainbow host does this because, as he explained, he lives in America.
Due to the Paula Deen controversy and the overt racial tones of the George Zimmerman trial, a whole new round of “is it okay to use the N-word” debates have come about, and those lead into deeper, long-time-coming discussions about America’s problem with race relations.
On CNN Monday, Burton was part of a panel discussing both the “N-word” and the white racial epithet “cracker,” but the conversation shifted to the deeper and more complex topic of racial profiling.
Burton explained that he has a very specific thing he does every time he is pulled over. The gentle-voiced celeb explained he takes off his hat and his sunglasses and sets them down in the passenger seat and then puts both of his hands out of the driver’s side window, resting them on the door.
He does this to make the officer “comfortable” and to show him that he is not a threat. This is such an important thing to do, in Burton’s opinion, that he taught his 33-year-old son to follow the same procedure.
“I do that because I live in America,” he said, almost lamenting.
From the title and the description of the clip, LeVar Burton’s tip for avoiding death-by-cop could be a funny viral video, if the issues behind it just weren’t so real and disturbing.
Anyway, you can watch LeVar Burton’s police tip below: