Black and Guilty

Why didn’t he go straight home? Why didn’t she put her phone away or leave the classroom, why did he run from the officer? All and more questions that have been used to rationalize or justify excessive force by officers and power crazed civilians who have  assaulted or killed innocent individuals. In the American public eyes, a Black victim has to be inhumanly unfathomable to be humanized; any character flaw is used as justification. Unlike White perpetrators who do horrific crimes; society tries to rationalize it by stating they have mental issues, maybe a poor upbringing, and other tactics the media goes to in order to show some humanity within a criminal. Interesting how Black victims are not afforded the same analysis.

The Child In Question

A lawyer for the 16-year-old student at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina who was seen in a viral video being flipped over in her desk by a school resource officer, says the girl suffered injuries from the attack, according to the New York Daily News.

The lawyer, Todd Rutherford, told the News that his client suffered injuries to her face, neck, and arm. He also noted that she lives in foster care.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced Wednesday that the deputy, Ben Fields, who worked at the school as a resource officer, has been fired. But the sheriff placed the blame for the incident squarely on the shoulders of the child, essentially saying ‘she started it.’

The girl who was arrested was known as the quiet type and non-responsive daily. She didn’t speak to anyone, from what the students stated. There goes the verbal combative non-sense people were trying to spin it to. She is in orphan, so what do excuse makers have to say now?

Here is what classmate Niya states:

I commend Niya for defending her classmate and not blindly following authority. Niya doesn’t know the student who was violently thrown like a rag-doll personally, but she knows the difference between wrong and right apparently.

Lastly, arrested for disruption in class; are you freaking kidding me? What type of asinine crap have we allowed to seep into the American psyche, where arresting kids for being disruptive in class is okay? People were mad at attorney general Eric Holder (who I am indifferent towards) when he said, “America is a nation of cowards”. He was right to an extent, there are many cowards in American society who allow this police state to not only do harm to adults, but now our children. On top of that, the cowards try to extract the brave accolades of other Americans who had courage like Martin L. King as a reason of why the nation isn’t filled with cowards.

For most students, the pipeline begins with inadequate resources in public schools. Overcrowded classrooms, a lack of qualified teachers, and insufficient funding for “extras” such as counselors, special edu­cation services, and even textbooks, lock students into second-rate educational environments. This failure to meet educational needs increases disengagement and dropouts, increasing the risk of later court ­involvement. (1) Even worse, schools may actually encourage dropouts in response to pressures from test-based accountability regimes such as the No Child Left Behind Act, which create incentives to push out low-performing students to boost overall test scores. (2)

Black people on American shores have always been seen as innately criminal. This assumption of criminality traces back beyond before the very birth of this country. Even after Americans won their independence in the Revolutionary War, blacks who tried to escape from or fight their way out of enslavement were seen as thieves, stealing their own bodies from someone else.

The assumption of black criminality bears out in a variety of ways. Blacks only make up about 13 percent of the American population, but account for nearly half of the country’s prison population. Blacks are six times more likely to be incarcerated than whites, and they are sentenced for longer periods and put to death at higher rates than whites who commit the same crimes. The penal system aspires to be a state-sponsored reform program, but prison doesn’t exist in its current form as an attempt to rehabilitate black people so much as to remove them from society altogether.

Maybe it was the bystander effect, as to why others beside Niya, stood up for her classmate. I not only have a problem with the officer, but the school administrator and the teacher.

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