Appearance, not race, dictates reactionary climate

saggingStephanie Baylor ,

I am a twenty-something white woman who lives in a city where rape is a gang initiation. I also have a concealed carry permit to defend myself. I think about the gun in my purse when I see a “gangsta,” be he caucasian, african-american, mexican, or asian. A “gangsta”, per the urban dictionary, is “a sociopathic member of the inner-city underclass, known primarily for being antisocial and uneducated. Also known for ready access to illegal drugs and weapons, and staggeringly poor marksmanship.” In appearance, a “gangsta” dresses to mimic prison or gang fashions, often showing at least 6-12 inches of underwear, wearing extremely baggy clothing, and a gold cap or two. I will be in trouble when “gangstas” learn this profiling technique and start wearing Banana Republic skinny chinos with Gap sweaters and hipster glasses. Our fashion is, more often than not, an outer representation of who we identify with or how we see ourselves. The day appearance profiling ends is the day a man in goth attire is hired as a kindergarten teacher, or when Julia Roberts gets the same service in a hooker outfit as she does in a conservative dress.


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