There was an interesting case of a young women who blew through a stop sign at 60 mph and when she was stopped by police and questioned, volunteered an interesting defense.
A woman seen speeding through a stop sign at 60 mph (97 kph) told officers they shouldn’t arrest her because she’s a “very clean, thoroughbred, white girl,” police said.
Her eyes glassy and bloodshot, Lauren Elizabeth Cutshaw was slurring her words and a Breathalyzer showed her blood-alcohol level at 0.18 percent, according to police in Bluffton, South Carolina.
Cutshaw, 32, told the arresting officer she shouldn’t be jailed because she was a cheerleader, a dancer and a sorority girl who graduated from a “high accredited university.”
Taken to the police station in handcuffs, she described herself as a white “thoroughbred” and “went on to say ‘I’m a white, clean girl,'” the officer wrote in his report.
“I asked what that had to do with anything?” wrote the officer, who also is white.
She replied, “You’re a cop, you should know what that means,” and, “You’re a cop, you should know based on the people that come in this room.”
There is a lot to unpack in this story in trying to understand what she meant but I am going to give it a shot.
Her being intoxicated may have caused her to be confused in her choice of words. The police found marijuana in her car, which suggests that when she said she graduated from a “high accredited university”, what she really meant to say was that she graduated from an accredited university while high.
It is possible that when she said that she was “very clean”, it did not mean that she had just showered but that she meant to say “pure”. That combined with her saying she was a ‘thoroughbred’ likely means that she was conceived as part of a careful breeding program that selected her parents for certain qualities. That would make sense since those in the racing world do speak of ‘pure thoroughbred’ racing horses, and it looks like she also was bred for speed.
When we speak of white privilege, it is usually that white people are entitled to certain privileges and assumptions about them that enable them to go through life without encountering the many hassles that people of color routinely face. Many white people are oblivious to the fact that people of color are subject to constraints that do not apply to them and that sense of entitlement is taken for granted and does not have to be made explicit. It is rare that someone has to actually tell police officers that they should know that being white entitles them to these privileges.