It’s the Holidays, most people like to relax and be with their families. However, while some of you are busy drinking egg nog or watching TV, some people are getting body slammed by a police officer who they called to help because their 7 year old son was choked by a neighbor.
1.) In Fort Worth, Texas, a Black mother called the police because she was told (by her daughter) that her neighbor choked her 7 year son for littering.
2.) The Black mother calls the police for help to investigate the allegations of the neighbor choking her 7 year old son.
3.) Police Officer shows up, speaks to neighbor.
4.) Then officer speaks to mother, mother recounts her story. Police Officer asks “why don’t you teach your son not to litter?”
5.) Black mother responds that he doesn’t know what she teachers her son and whether he littered or not that doesn’t give the neighbor the right to choke her son.
6.) Police officer responds,”why not?”
7.) Situation escalates from there. When Black mother’s teen daughter goes to get in between cop and mother (her back is facing away from the cop), he grabs her.
8.) Conclusion: Black mother and daughter (who had called for help) are arrested, neighbor alleged to have choked 7 year old, not arrested.
Yeah, not much to say. This is America. The sad thing is, there will be people who will blame the mother who called for help. I mean, just look at Fox News affiliate coverage of the video.
Fox News Video- (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWaTRUa-TAY&t=191s)
I want you to notice a few things about fox news coverage:
A.) They highlight the shouting and cursing of the Black people, but don’t highlight how the officer clearly asked her “why not?” (After she said he can’t choke my son for littering.) Even though the shouting/cursing didn’t occur until AFTER after the officer said “why not?”
B.) They show the mugshots of the mother and daughter and highlight the mother’s traffic tickets, but don’t highlight the neighbor (who was the one who was alleged to have choked the 7 year old for littering in the first place)
- All of this from Fox News is a subtle way to dehumanize, objectify and criticize the Black woman and daughter, even though, if we’re going just by the video, the Black woman and daughter were clearly the victims. So this is what Fox News does and has always done.
- Fox News doesn’t really care about the people who were victimized, they are just trying to make money
Conclusion: This is the type of thing that makes you want to leave the country. I vacillate between wanting to build empathy/relationships and forge unity between races/groups and part of me just wants to say “to hell with it.” It’s been 150 years since slavery and we’re still not seen as equal citizens, why waste my time?
I don’t know.
When you get into situations like this, just know that they want you, as a Black person, to get riled up and start cursing. They are looking for any old reason to pin the blame on you (even if there is none). So, even if your anger is completely justified, maintaining composure is important to the best of your ability. Don’t let them play that game with you.
I don’t know what the full solution is to this, but I do know one thing. As is tradition, people are denying that racism has anything to do with this. I have a simple fix, give the police officer an Implicit Bias for Race test and let’s look at the results, Then we’ll know at least whether he has a bias or not.
Another quick fix, every officer needs to receive racial justice training before becoming an officer, period.
1.) My role will be to educate as many Black people as I can, so we can arm ourselves with knowledge to intellectually, socially and economically challenge this structural racism. Education is key.
2.) If I didn’t know any better, I might very well go insane because of this racism, but I try to cope by writing and I remind myself that not all white people (including cops) are evil like this police officer in the video. I have to remind myself that, or I’d go crazy. I just wish some people would extend that same courtesy to Black people. We know good and well how some people lump us together. It’s not fair.