Thursday, October 29, 2015

Unwarranted Assault & Praise

 And now the rebuttal to this one-sided article.
Today I read an article that made me wonder about the humanity of the American people. You should read it before coming back to read my rebuttal. 

And now my rebuttal. 

Here's the crazy thing, I never once looked at this as a race issue but as an adult to kid issue. But as I read this article twice, the writer only referred to the young girl's race and never once the officer's. So are officers white by default? Clearly not so. But what makes her race relevant but not his? This kind of tactic is subliminal. As a former English teacher who studied rhetorical devices for a living, it's clear what the writer is doing. Fear-mongering at its most subtle. By talking about the girl's race as her descriptor and tying it to entitled and mouthy teens, the author has stoked the flames of the black female stereotype. 

We have no idea what the empty word "disruptive" means. Having worked in a classroom for a decade, I know that what some of my colleagues call disruptive is just poor classroom management. But now, according to this article, black entitled teens will make people not want to be a police officer. Couldn't have anything to do with the lousy salary, poor action of peers, and the current state of people today in general. And most officers find it an insult to be assigned to a school anyway. And some of them are absolute dicks to students. I've seen it myself.

Yes there still are "Officer Friendly"s around but there are also lots of "Officer Powertrip"s too. People fail to realize the role being human plays in the way people behave in the world. These same people want you to know that how your kids behave in front of you is not often how they behave out of sight. And this is 100% true. But the same goes for these officers. They can be so sweet and loving at the dinner table and have jerk moments on the street. This is also 100% true as evidenced by those who got caught planting drugs or weapons on people, those who severed a young man's spine, and those who are caught on video tape beating another human like an animal. And those caught dishragging 14 year old girls (remember this isn't the first caught on tape this year).

I watched frame by frame as was asked. I watched number out times. Yea she hit the officer. But in the seconds preceding that, he had his arm around her neck. So you know what, I'm not going to fault her for what was a reaction to someone threatening her, no matter what they're wearing. I'm not going to apologize for not believing an officer is infallible. As far as I know, there's only one God (could be multiple but none wear a police uniform). Nor will I believe that teenagers are always in the wrong or that a verbal response warrants a physical one. I don't know if the problem is racism, ageism, or police-ism but there is a problem. I'm not talking about a racial problem but a human one. But I will say, as evidenced by this article, Black Americans aren't the only ones throwing race cards.

Some things worth noting in this case:

*The officer was nicknamed Officer Slam by the school community prior to this event
*The student lost her mother in January
*Subsequently she was placed in foster care
*Every student on video had a laptop in that class; she either didn't have one or didn't take it out (possibly left it); I know there were many times I allowed my students to use their phones for research with monitoring.
*The website where this article was published is a very paranoid website (anti liberal, Obama, Muslims, immigrants, etc).

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