[fbvideo link=”https://www.facebook.com/NBCNews/videos/1228861243800570/” width=”600″ height=”338″ onlyvideo=”1″]
I entirely despise how many Americans believe that creating a society where we live in a state of perpetual fear is the way to a better United States. Do you hate your neighbor that much? We’ve removed the idea of compassion and empathy to replace it with react first, think later. It’s maddening, as people keyboard politics from the comforts of their homes, looking at the world as though everyone is or should be living like them, exacting their moral + ethical code via Facebook comments.
Yesterday, at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina, a young teenage girl was assaulted by a school police officer. Violently. Aggressively, ripped from her chair as the police officer grabbed her from behind by the neck and yanked her out of the desk while dragging her across the room. And the room full of students with the teacher _ principle watching stood silent. I was not in the room, so I do not know if the silence was out of fear, agreement or both. Though either cause of silence bothers me. That we have been so entrenched with the fear of our lives, our bodies becoming the fodder of “well he shouldn’t have” “she didn’t…..comply, listen, OBEY.” Because unless I obey my body has every right to be assaulted and our children know that, as they sit in silence and watch someone face the exact thing they are afraid of. If the silence stems from agreeing that the young woman deserved this punishment, well…I’m not surprised considering the history of South Carolina and how Black people have been a second class citizen since the days of Charleston being the largest slave port in the country. The first state to secede from the Union, out rightly stating that they had the right to retain Black folk and negroes as slaves. Where hamburger and fries is given to the man who can walks into a church Bible study and shoots down nine innocent Black lives. But this young girl deserves to be dragged, because obedience is something little Black children need to know. Drag her down to the jail, make a lesson for all to see. We have not come that far in 2015.
It does nothing for me that the teachers and/or administrators of Spring Valley High, who were in the room at the time of the assault, are Black. Racism is not simply a matter of inserting more Black people into various institutions. It’s about confronting a deeply embedded system of oppression. Especially when as a society we continue to look at Black people as a monolith, where ones behavior is indicative of all. Out of that manifests the respectability politics of you must obey, respect, bow your head, and keep quiet in order to not be part of that repressed monolith.
You ask for more details, more context only to convolute the truth and remove the person from their basic rights. But here we are, with more details as the young man who recorded the video speaks about what happened in the classroom.
I do not need to ask you what if that was your child, because before you think about your own you should be able to have compassion for others. I do not care of the circumstances, even though I know they all play to the favor of my point, because I understand that no matter how you look at young Black girls and Black teenagers, that she deserved better. This is not the culture of community that I want to encourage, just to be suffocated out. We ask our communities to not be violent, then justify the violence against them, as we willing push our community back into living in fear of the master. Look down, bow your head, and cross your hands, less you ruffle the feathers of master the police.