Questlove Recounts Multiple Racial Profiling Experiences

News

/ August 15, 2013

In light of the recent ruling of New York’s stop-and-frisk laws and the controversial George Zimmerman verdict, Questlove opens up about his personal experiences with racism. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the Roots’ drummer revealed that he was a victim of racial profiling between 20 to 30 times over the course of his life.

“There’s nothing like the first time that a gun is held on you,” Questlove told Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now, as he recalled his first stop-and-frisk in Philly. “We’re 16, mind you, like 16, 17-years-old. I remember my father telling me, like, ‘If you’re ever in this position, you’re to slowly keep your hands up.'”

Q also said he was stopped by police a few weeks ago, after leaving his regular DJ gig at The Brooklyn Bowl. Perhaps the worst experience of was an instance he recounted in Orange County in 2010. While campaigning for President Obama and picking up a housewarming present for his manager with actress Jurnee Smollett, Questlove hopped on the phone in his car and within minutes, was surrounded by five police cars.

“That was the most humiliating experience,” Questlove said. “We had to get out the car. They made us spread on, you know, the car. It is absolutely probably the most humiliating, lowest, lowest feeling a human being can have. Twice this happened in front of dates. And all I kept thinking about was like, man, like, nothing’s more emasculating than to be emasculated in front of a girl that you like. You know, like there’s just no coming back from that.”

Read the full story here.–Andrew Asare

Photo Credit: Getty