Chris Rock's 3 Selfies Speak Volumes About Driving While Black

April 6th 2015

Laura Donovan

Big-time comedian Chris Rock has a lot to be proud of, but on the road, he's once again reminded of subtle racism permeating America.

The celebrity recently took to Twitter to post a selfie of getting pulled over by the cops, and sadly, this has happened at least three times over the past year:

In February 2015:

In April 2014:

Many have pointed out that Rock didn't explain to us why he was pulled over, but perhaps the federal data on traffic stops does. Last year, The Washington Post published statistics from a Justice Department report, which found "relatively more black drivers (12.8%) than white (9.8%) and Hispanic (10.4%) drivers were pulled over in a traffic stop during their most recent contact with police." The ACLU defined this as "Driving while black" in the late 1990s. Black drivers have just about the highest chance of getting stopped by police officials, only slightly below Native Americans on the list:

Driving report


The findings reveal white people have a higher chance of getting pulled over for speeding than their black counterparts, but nearly five percent of blacks were given no reason for being singled out, compared to just 2.6 percent of whites. Black people have a higher chance of being pulled over for vehicle dysfunction and record checks:

Reasons for getting pulled over by race


According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Justice Statistics, black drivers are twice as likely as white drivers to be arrested during a traffic stop. A 2005 study from Florida State University also found that white police officers "were statistically more likely to let armed white suspects slip while shooting unarmed black suspects."

In his career, Rock has done a thorough job incorporating the subtle racism he's experienced into his comedy routines. In 2008, he mentioned the astonishing fact that only a handful of black people resided in his wealthy New Jersey neighborhood, and all of those folks happened to be famous as well. 

"My house cost millions of dollars. … In my neighborhood there are four black people. Hundreds of houses, four black people. Who are these black people? Well there’s me, Mary J. Blige, Jay Z, Eddie Murphy," Rock said.

Rock's big joke is that he, Jay Z, Eddie Murphy, and Mary J. Blige had to become the most successful black individuals in their fields of choice to live in this community, yet Rock's white neighbor is just a regular old dentist.

In 2012, long before the word "selfie" even came to be, Rock did a comedy act titled How Not to Get Your Ass Kicked By the Police: