Frankly, I didn’t want to write about the Spring Valley High School incident. Of course, I am appalled at the video of a Black girl being tossed in the air by a very muscular White school resource officer like she is in the middle of a wrestling ring instead of a classroom. But, this abuse of Black people has become like a tired script: we all know what’s going to happen, so the fire in the pen may have cooled a bit as I struggle to remain hopeful.
As soon as I saw the video I knew that the following things would happen:
- Many White People Would Question the Validity, Accuracy, or Completeness of the Video.
In most cases, video, which typically records exactly what happens in life, is strong evidence in court cases and in public opinion in determining the truth. However if the case involves race and a white person acting poorly against a black person, suddenly some White people will start saying things such as, “we don’t know what happened before the officer acted this way.” “What about angle of the camera. You can’t see what the girl was doing. She may have had a weapon that we can’t see.”
- People Would Start Raping the Victim’s Character
Essentially the belief is, “if we, White people treated you badly, you deserved it.” Richland County Sheriff, Leon Lott, stated at the press conference on Tuesday afternoon, ““If she had not disrupted that school, disrupted that class, we would not be standing here today,” Lott said. “So it started with her and it ended with my officer. What I’m going to deal with is what my deputy did.”
I have been waiting for the victim’s rap sheet, 3rd grade reports card, interviews with teachers who were scared of her. Let me be clear: Black and White people alike participate in this victim bashing. There are several Black people, who feel as if they will never be the victim of any brutality because they know how to act appropriately (big ass side eye).
- We will hear from the same indignant people.
The Same Righteous People would post on social media, white people would act as if the incident didn’t happen, and the rest of Black people would stay mute because they don’t want their White Friends to think that they are militant or anything.
- The Perpetrator Will get treated as if he is innocent until proven guilty.
Paid leave –enough said; although I hear that he has since been put on unpaid leave (Sarcastic “Yay!”).
- News stories will try to not make Race the central issue.
You will see and read stories about having officers in school, teens rebellious nature, the stress of teaching, etc. No big news station will ask the real questions: Would this same thing have occurred if the student were a white girl? Why were the students so unfettered? Why was there an officer working at the school who had already been sued for using excessive force?
When the Richland County Sheriff was asked if the incident was motivated by race he let replied that officer Ben Fields has been dating an African American woman for some time. News flash: having a Black friend, sleeping with a Black woman, loving rap music, etc. does not mean that you can not be racist. Hello? Do you know how many slave masters had children by the very women they enslaved and would then go on to use and abuse those women and their very own children?
- Black leaders and folks like me will write, cry and scream that there needs to be change (it will be one of my lowest circulated and read articles)
I’m writing about Empire tomorrow. That piece will be read, shared and liked more. I’m not saying that I don’t understand. I think we are all tired and feeling a bit hopeless.
- A lot of us will forget and move on. Nothing will change until the next incident, the next violent act occurs, and then I guess I’ll write another article.
Should police be present in high schools?
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more