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Gene Royer

Gene Royer is a staunch conservative. He is also a Policy Governance ® consultant and writer. He is the author of School Board Leadership 2000 - The Things Staff Didn't Tell You At Orientation and his international practice is based in Houston

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    by Gene Royer

    April 29, 2003

    Last Saturday morning about 6:30 I called my little buddy Ulysis, who comes from El Salvador, and told him I was ready to help him pull that engine out of his old Dodge pickup if he'd tow it over here.

    But he was hesitant. "I can't leave right now, Mister Geno," he said. "There is a big bunch of policemans down the street from me, and I'm watching it on TV."

    I quickly turned on the television set; and sure enough, about two blocks from his house, a gunman had entered a supermarket and was holding people hostage. According to the reporter: About 5:00 a.m., a "lone-gunman" had "allegedly" entered through the employee entrance because the store was not yet open. Once he got inside and pulled his gun, he discovered that the safe was locked and that the manager--who was the only one who knew how to open it--had not yet arrived.

    Someone slipped away to call the cops who arrived with high-powered rifles. A stand-off then ensued, as they surrounded the place and decided to wait him out.

    I asked Ulysis why he couldn't leave. "Look, this is all taking place two blocks on the other side of your place. You can drive straight west to my house and miss it."

    "No, Mister Geno, I don't want to miss it. I want to stay and watch to see if it's a brother or a Tejana."

    "A brother? I thought your family moved to San Antonio."

    "No, I mean a black man...a bro'. You know?"

    It took me a second, but I caught on. "Oh," I said, "you mean the robber. What makes you think it's either one of those. It could just as easily be a white guy."

    Ulysis laughed out loud. "Oh, no way, Mister Geno," he said, clucking his tongue at me over the phone. "A white boy would not try to rob a store when it was closed. Gotta be some dum' brother or a stupid Mexican who just got here."

    At that time, the local news gave way to the morning cartoons, and the cops had not been able to talk the robber into coming out so they could shoot him. Ulysis arrived about 8:00 with the truck in tow, and we pulled the engine.

    Later in the morning we heard a news brief which said it was a young black man about 19 years old.

    "See. Did'n I tol' you so?" Said Ulysis. "I said gotta be some brother or a Mexican."

    I shook my head in consternation. "Ulysis, do you know you are guilty of racial profiling?"

    "What?" "Racial profiling. Do you know what that is?"

    Ulysis scratched his chin and thought about it for a moment or two. "Is that where they go get food stamps?"

    ęGene Royer Houston TX 2003

    © 2002 Tocqevillian Magazine