Tuesday, October 27, 2015
I used to work with high school students when I was an undergraduate in my 20's. As teenagers, they can be frustrating to work with and, on occasion, I'd have to have a few tough conversations about discipline and respect. But at the end of the day, it never occurred to me to put my hands on any of the students under my watch, in part because that's their parents' job, and also in part because of the legal liability that would result, but largely because it would have been flat out wrong. This video of the police officer assaulting a high school student -- and let's be clear, this is an assault -- takes wrong to a whole new level. I think the saddest part about the video is the palpable sense of helplessness in the eyes of the other students in that classroom. That's the sense that you get when you are forced to watch the living embodiment of how Black lives actually do not matter. I've been reading Ta-Nehisi Coates' book "Between the World and Me" lately and it talks a lot about the impact and control that racism has over the body of Black people. This is a prime example of that. If this can be done to our bodies without repercussion, then how do we go about feeling secure in our bodies?
As a parent, we all hope that our children behave as angels 24/7. But if my daughter should contradict her teachers or refuse to leave a classroom after being told to do so, I would also hope that somebody in this cop's position would think twice before putting their hands on my child in this way. Because as ugly as this video is, I can only imagine how ugly it would get for this officer and his family after I'm done.
Apparently this student had been told to leave the classroom for being disruptive and refused to go. With that in mind, what are your thoughts about this video: