A news article released today by CNN shows a video of a police officer using a taser on a 17-year-old boy until he went into cardiac arrest. Have you ever watched something that makes you so mad you want to punch a hole into a wall? Yep, I was that mad. I have spent time thinking about why this video caused such a violent reaction in me. There are several….
First, this boy is white. Why does this make me mad? Because this story simply won’t get the media attention as most others do. The truth is, had this boy been black or of any other race, this story would be all over social media and crammed down our throats. That is just the simple truth.
You can argue that the boy was resisting arrest. I don’t believe that to be the only truth. He asked repeatedly why he was being arrested. No response or explanation from the officer. When is it ever okay to treat another human this way? To use a taser on them and then throw them onto a concrete sidewalk? Not a black boy. Not a white boy. A human. I believe had the officer explained to him why he was asking him to get out of the car, the outcome could have been much different. It is human nature to defend ourselves. You can argue that the boy should have just gotten out of the car, and I agree. I also believe that the media has taught our youth to fear police officers. And the more stories like this that receive media attention, the worse it will get. It is a vicious cycle.
We have created a world where people are afraid of police officers, those who are dedicated to help and serve us. Yes, I believe that some police officers are corrupt and should go to jail. Some of them have been granted power and authority they should never have had. But I also believe that those “bad apples” are the minority. There are “bad” people in every single ethnic background, gender, race, religion, etc. But not all should pay for the sins of a few.
The media will continue to highlight and focus on discrimination. People will become more and more afraid of police officers, and fear begets fear. Police officers will be in fear of getting sued or put in jail, therefore affecting their job performance. And really, can you blame them? Would you want to risk your life for the pay that they earn? Would you want to work in constant fear of being sued or spending your life in jail?
So why did this story cause such a reaction of anger in me? Simple. I have two older children, ages 21 and 18. I have talked to them many times about this very thing and how they should respond and react. I don’t care if they know their rights or what the law is, just do what the officer tells you to. Period. Do not give them the opportunity to hurt you. Because at the end of the day, knowing your rights isn’t going to keep you alive. Causing the officer to become defensive isn’t going to help your cause. Do everything right so that when it goes wrong you know you did everything in your power to prevent it.
Both of my boys are “brown”. Their ethnic background should be irrelevant, but it isn’t. Does it cause me to fear what could happen if they were pulled over? You bet your ass it does. In every possibly way.
I remember going to a race with my oldest son and his black friend. He leans in close to me and says, “Mom, I am not sure we should stay.” He explained to me that everyone was giving us dirty looks. Of course, I was went all momma bear daring someone to say something to my son. I paid money to be there and I was not going to let people run us out. But the truth was, it was the first time that I really understood what it felt like to be discriminated against for race on that level. I cannot begin to explain to you the way it makes you feel to be looked down on by that many people at one time. My heart ached for him and his friend. I have taught my boys to always do what is right, and to never use racism as an excuse to stop from them from doing anything they want to do, but my heart grieves for them because I know they will always have to deal with discrimination.
The last accident that Alex was in, the officer didn’t even bother to ask my son if he was okay. Didn’t ask if he needed medical attention. He only showed concern and offered politeness to the woman who hit my son. Why do I think that was? Because he assumed my son was a reckless teenage hispanic boy. He judged my son solely based on his skin color, gender, and age. I still sometimes contemplate filing a report, but won’t simply because I know there would be consequences and retaliation.
Will there be true equality in our lifetime? No. In our children’s lifetime. No. While the world is up in arms about transgender bathrooms, and folks that is a story for another day, we still haven’t addressed the issues that really matter. Whichever Presidential Nominee that is elected into the White House isn’t going to fix it. Demonstrations with violence and hate isn’t going to fix it. The only thing that can fix it is Jesus. Yet our government continues to push Christianity into the background, when it needs to be put it in the foreground.
I know this is a controversial issue, so I will ask that everyone who comments please do so with civility. I love to hear others viewpoints and believe it is the only way to truly learn and grow, but let’s keep ’em PG y’all!
My beautiful boys:
Love and blessings,