Guest Blog: Officer Slam, a Different Perspective
We have an addiction of which we are not ashamed. It involves no needles or controlled substances, no dealers or criminal exposure. We are addicted to writing and nothing gives us greater pleasure than to post meaningful content on some public policy issue or hot button topic. We are after all a social media driven public policy think tank. As such, we are nothing if not opinionated.
However, Blackacre was not created as a vehicle for our expression. It is instead a platform which permits the uncommon common man to weigh in on significant public policy issues. Our mission is to provide a megaphone for those who might otherwise be voiceless.
We therefore endeavor to to find allies, inspire action, change priorities and democratize the making of public policy. Finding and publishing submissions by guest bloggers is crucial to this purpose, even if we disagree with the article.
Fortunately, last week’s post “Officer Slam” about the violent encounter between a white police officer and black female high school student in South Carolina struck a nerve as we received a number of heartfelt comments and responses. One said reply is this weeks post from guest blogger Yvonne Andrews. We have known Ms. Andrews for almost ten years and can attest to her intelligence, insight and tireless effort to make the world a better place.
And we encourage others to follow suite. Not every submission will make the cut. However, as long as the piece is thoughtful, pertinent and respectful, we will post the essay as offered. So without further adieu we present today’s guest blog, “Officer Slam, a Different Perspective.”
“Far too often we as Americans find it difficult to distinguish the difference between “racial prejudice” and basic civil & criminal law enforcement to determine what is factual. Having lived our entire lives within the confines of these United States, we are taught from birth the institutional dynamics of a nation struggling to correct our history of slavery, gender rights and civil rights; while striving to attain equality for all. Although Americans continue that struggle today, we are often perplexed when viewing clear civil & criminal violations of law involving anyone in the aforementioned populations.
The continuous probing investigative questions into why the aggressor was aggressive, as well as the woes of the discredit and discourse into a victim’s actions are interesting at best, but totally irrelevant. It does nothing to explain why it was necessary for a trained police officer to flip the chair over, throw this your girl to the floor then drag her 15-20 feet across the room.
The unfortunate truth is that we are so blinded by our social economic hyperbole of our institutional prejudice that we can’t see what is clearly before our lying eyes. On the most basic level this was not about race or “Black Lives Matter” it is about an out of control aggressive person making an assessment that this life did not matter enough to figure out an alternative method of handling the problems and that to simply grab her and forcible coerce cooperation was a good option. Now the fact that utilizing this type of aggressive solution with women and black people is less likely to result recourse obviously does send a message that some female lives and some black lives don’t matter.
But my point is, if you saw the same incident occur and were unable to ascertain the sex or gender of the victim would it change your opinion? What if at the conclusion of the incident you saw that the victim was Ronald Regan, George Busch, Ophra Winfrey or perhaps your child or parent….how much discerning information would you need to determine if the body slam was appropriate?
I fear that we are sending a dangerous messages, why not just give all nursery school staff the option of flipping, dropping & body slamming every screaming baby in the nursery if they don’t follow our instruction to sit down and be quite.
Interestingly enough the movements of equal rights for women and minorities was initiated because each group felt they were not receiving equal representation and protection of the law. Those battles were won as laws were passed to significantly limit, if not eliminate blatant discrepancies based on race and gender. However if it can be determined that an individual from the aforementioned groups is demonstrating character flaws previously associated with stereotypical behavior of the group; perhaps that individual is not worthy of the equal protections afforded individual Americans. While others demonstrating the same character flaws are simply “having a bad day” or perhaps “youthful indiscretion”… it’s time to stop the madness.
In closing I have always dreamed of a living in an era, when people could distinguish between reality & fact without seeing color, gender, political angles or potential settlements. At a miniscule level, I realize that a strong minority has reached that point; however no provisions were made to shelter us from the pleas of those who insist on holding onto the past. Like flags of the confederate army wavering from private homes, speeding automobiles and public monuments; some dissensions and everything it represents die a hard, slow death.”
Yvonne Andrews, Contributor and Guest Blogger,
Blackacre Policy Forum