I think I may have had a small mental break down last week. I knew it was coming, I was all tight with emotion after some of the responses I received on an open letter I wrote to some New York school teachers who wore NYPD shirts to school on the first day of class– in a largely minority school. When I skimmed through the comments section, I noted an almost sheer disregard for the humanity of the men I referred to in the piece who were murdered by police in the streets. Men like Eric Garner, Michael Brown and John Crawford, whose unfair deaths justify the movement against police brutality. A movement intended to end discriminatory judicial practices. One that most certainly should not be opposed by teachers of minority students.
To many White readers, the issue was simple: the NYPD deserved support from teachers, even if they mess up a couple of times. After all, not “all cops are bad” and most of these guys were doing something wrong anyway. Keep reading »
Well, this is all sorts of fucked up. “Django Unchained” actress Daniele Watts, who is Black, claims she was “handcuffed and detained” by Los Angeles police last week, after she was approached and asked to show ID because she was kissing her husband, who is white, in public. Watts posted the following on her Facebook page:
Today I was handcuffed and detained by 2 police officers from the Studio City Police Department after refusing to agree that I had done something wrong by showing affection, fully clothed, in a public place.
When the officer arrived, I was standing on the sidewalk by a tree. I was talking to my father on my cell phone. I knew that I had done nothing wrong, that I wasn’t harming anyone, so I walked away.
A few minutes later, I was still talking to my dad when 2 different police officers accosted me and forced me into handcuffs.
Keep reading »
Some years ago, a young man that I was casually dating invited me to a birthday party with some of his friends who all moved to New York City, from Florida, to go to college. It was a scenario I had long grown accustomed to: I was the only Black girl amongst a group of non-minority people, laughing, drinking and talking.
Then this statement came out of nowhere and immediately wiped the smile from my face: “The best way to keep America safe is to just deport all of the Muslims,” a young White boy said in between sips of a beer.
It pierced my ears, momentarily paralyzing me. My eyes darted towards my friend to gauge his reaction to the words that pierced the air like an arrow launched from a bow, striking me in my chest. He seemed completely unmoved.
“Well, we don’t have to get rid of all of them, just the terrorists really,” he responded plainly.
We never spoke after that day. Keep reading »
Theodore Wafer, the Michigan man who shot unarmed Black teenager Renisha McBride on his doorstep last year, has been sentenced to 17 to 30 years in prison for second-degree murder.
In November, 19-year-old McBride had gotten into a car accident and knocked on the door of Wafer’s Dearborn Heights home in the middle of the night. Wafer responded by shooting the teenager through a closed and locked screen door on his front porch, killing her. Wafer had initially claimed that his gun went off accidentally; he had also claimed he didn’t know the gun was loaded. Earlier this month, a jury rejected Wafer’s claim of self-defense and convicted him of second-degree murder, manslaughter, and one count of felony firearm. [Yahoo; MLive]
A seemingly impervious narrative dominates today’s social discourse in the Black community where Black men are painted as more vulnerable victims than their female counterparts. This far-reaching myth typically arises along with discussions about gender inequality or sexism where claims are made that Black women face less hardship than their male counterparts, or even — as stated in Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele’s latest essay on The Root titled “Michael Brown’s Death Reopened My Eyes to My Privileges as a Black Woman” — are the recipients of privilege not bestowed to Black men. Keep reading »