My visceral reaction watching footage from the pool party in McKinney, Texas was “this is exactly why I don’t want to live in a predominantly white neighborhood”. McKinney is a Dallas suburb that is roughly 75% white. News reports have now confirmed that the unwarranted assault of the young black girl in the video was initiated by a white woman making racially-charged comments. Her presumptuous verbal (and physical) attacks implied that that neighborhood should have been “whites only”, which meant the pool should have been “whites only”. I don’t have the mental stamina to address that; mainly because I’m just glad that this didn’t turn deadly.
But – that is a huge fucking problem!
We’ve become so complacent to hearing a specific narrative. I think we’ve reached a point where it’s sickeningly normal to see this level of overzealous reaction by police officers. When we see a video like what happened in McKinney, there’s a sigh of relief that no one is dead. Make no mistake about it. Had the officer’s colleagues not interceded when he pulled his gun out, someone’s son or daughter could have been killed. That’s why people are angry at the escalation apparent in the video. [Thankfully, the officer has resigned from his supervisor position with the McKinney PD]
I have a problem with police officers – professionals who are trained to remain in control – cursing at children. I have a problem with police officers yelling like crazed lunatics at children. And I have a big problem with a police officer putting their hands on a minor with the level of force exhibited in the video. To watch a white man do that to a young black girl makes my blood boil. He forcibly threw her on the ground more than once for what amounts to “her mouthing off”. Do we not say “there is never any reason for a man to put his hands on a woman”? However, tons of law enforcement apologists are saying throwing an under-aged black girl on the ground is legitimatized. She wasn’t armed. We know that as undisputable fact because she’s wearing a bikini. We know that the cop’s life wasn’t in danger because he grabbed her. And we know that she didn’t commit a crime. Taking all of that as facts we see with our own eyes, how is that some people are comfortable saying a young black girl deserved this? Never in a million years would mainstream America say that a black male cop doing this to a wiry white girl would be justified. That officer would be viewed as black man first and a cop second. But when it’s black skin being assaulted, all of that sensibility goes out of the window.
The other thing I want to address is I’m really tired of the media making the white people who shoot these expose videos out to be the hero. Yes, it’s great that Brandon Brooks has reminded us about the antiquity of racism that still exists in Texas. It’s great that he made the comments highlighting the realization of his own white privilege. But what is he going to do about this as he grows up? What is his family doing to have tough conversations about race with their neighbors and social circles? In 10 years, will he go the way of a Freedom Rider or just be another “I don’t see race”, arm-chair activist liberal? While it’s appreciated that there are some white people
passively supporting this social shift in guerrilla journalism, their actions shouldn’t be applauded when there’s no follow-through.
This generation is unique in the sense of their views aren’t being shaped solely by their environments. The world and its differing views are at their disposal. Teenagers can choose what side of the fence they stand on at an earlier age than their parents and grandparents. This is only a good thing if they choose to become active participants on the side they choose.
Finally, it’s telling how the cops never addressed Brooks or asked him to stop filming. The guy who filmed Eric Garner’s murder last July? He’s sitting in jail right now. So what can’t be overlooked is the contrast of white privilege in this one video; young Brooks recording and uploading the video and the white gentleman in the video who did nothing to stop the officer from assaulting the 14 year old girl. Privilege is privilege no matter how you view.
At least white privilege didn’t get a young, black, unarmed person killed this time.