10/27/2015

Stop Choosing Silence

I am heartbroken.

Infuriated.

And speechless.
Columbia South Carolina Police Brutality
Screenshot: MSNBC.com
When I turned on the TV this morning, cell phone video from Columbia, South Carolina’s Spring Valley High School made me forget about the coffee I had just brewed.

My jaw hit the floor.

I cannot stomach nor can I erase the images in this video of a CHILD being dragged and manhandled by a power-tripping deputy assigned as a school resource officer.

I cannot wrap my head around people who turn their cheek and attempt to justify his behavior.

"The girl wasn't listening..."

"He was just doing his job..."

Unless there was a dire threat, there is no need for a child to be slammed on the ground in such a manner.

These are our children. OUR CHILDREN.

Even if the student wasn't listening to her teacher's requests, an administrator's request, or the deputy's request, this type of defiance does not justify a man's decision to physically assault her.

Newsflash: Teenagers have a right [albeit frustrating] to be insubordinate without a risk of being assaulted.

As the wife of a man who has spent much of his professional career in law enforcement, as the friend and family member of multiple law enforcement officers who do a good job, and as the MOTHER to children who could very well find themselves in this type of situation because of their skin color, I AM OUTRAGED.

We all should be.

And while I feel my blood curdling every time this video is looped on a TV screen or shared on social media, I recognize my level of outrage and heartbreak are merely a fraction of what people of color experience every single day.

"Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly..."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Parents, please teach your children to record these interactions on whatever device they have available. I find relief in knowing at least three students were taught to record these types of interactions on cell phone video. (See student Tony Robinson Jr.'s account here).

And if you're having trouble understanding how people of color are mistreated by police, look at the stories of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and ask yourself whether you'd be okay with the situation if it was YOUR CHILD.

It's time to stop choosing silence and start demanding justice.

Related content:
Goodbye, Home
These Are Our Children
To The White Momma Of A Black Child

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