Friday, October 30, 2015

On the Girl with the Smartphone

No video tells the whole story.  You don't know the before.  You don't know what anything looks like to the actors in extreme close-up.  You only see two bodies.  One is adult, male, white and powerful.  The other is female, young, black and weak.  And you see the adult body attack the weak body and you know what this is and you know the story because you have read the story and the story goes back hundreds of years and it is inscribed in the consciousness of your culture.  The video is evidence of something you already know.

I'm inclined to believe that the office is a bully and the teenager may have been obnoxious but did nothing to deserve such violence.  (Does anyone deserve such violence?)  Now, we hear about a walkout of 100 students in support of this officer.  Does that mean there's another layer to the story?  Do these students have a point?  Does the racial divide at this school trickle down to the student body, the next generation?

I would say that I had my own knee-jerk reaction to that news.  Our pop culture may celebrate the underdog, but in the real world we support the bullies.  No individual person can be as stupid or as self-righteous as a crowd.  And a lot of people had to hate this girl, for one reason or another, for this officer to believe that he had every right to hurt her.   


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