This has to be a first: A black man in Canada was pulled over because police were called on him for reading a book.
Oh, and he was reading C.S. Lewis.
Last week, Louizandre Dauphin, a 33-year-old former high school English teacher, decided to relax by reading Mere Christianity and another book by pastor Timothy Keller at a nearby wharf. After he left, a police officer pulled him over.
In an Instagram post about the incident, Dauphin writes, in part:
Before any more Canadians get too comfortable on their high horses, let me share with you what happened to me about an hour ago. This week has not been easy for me. Amidst a number of personal and professional struggles, my mind has been occupied with the latest string of black males killed by the police over the last few days. So, instead of stewing in my apartment, I decided to take a drive to the Stonehaven Wharf and sit by the water on this cold, rainy July day and try to pacify my mind by reading the works of Timothy Keller and C.S. Lewis.
Thankfully, [the police officer] is kind and respectful and asks me the usual questions; where I’m from and where I’m going.
He smiles and says that a few citizens in Janeville called the police because of a suspicious black man in a white car was parked at the Wharf for a couple hours. My response, “Really? I was just reading a book.” He smiles, shrugs and replies, “Well, you know, it’s a small town.”
So, a black male, sitting in his car, reading a book is suspicious activity. Good to know. At this rate, I may never leave my home again.
Dauphin tells The Washington Post that his pull over is proof that Canada isn’t immune to the same racial profiling that exist in the United States.
The story has spurred some discussions and some criticism of Dauphin for overreacting.