A BuzzFlash Reader Commentary
July 23, 2002
Blinded By The Tape?
by Wilhelmina Sims
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What is it like to be a black person in neoconservative American today?
about a common white credo that race relations today and discrimination
are no longer a serious and widespread problem. It's about the media,
and their illusion, a white illusion, that is quite out of touch with
the realities of the black world. It is about the possible demise and
failure to enforce our civil and voting rights laws as evidenced in Election
2000. And, finally, it is about the detachment of a white president so
out of touch with mainstream black American, that his African American
Security Advisor, Condoleeza Rice, had to inform him that there are "black
people" in Brazil.
It is about the protective armor and the badge of color that we wear. Blacks have to play psychological warfare games in our workplace and in our communities just to survive. While some affluent African Americans have greater resources with which to respond, the use of these resources appear to have little lasting effect on the magnitude of white racism in the United States today. Specifically, racial stereotyping, aka racial profiling, is "racism in the head." It is about power, white power, that keeps us in our place even if that "place" is the "White" House where those two super stars were checkmated not to long ago by their task master and put right in their "token" place, making us all too aware of their willingness to cater to their master's status quo. http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/2002/07/10_Plantation.html
Nevertheless, we must prepare ourselves for the very likely situation that we will be stopped for being black while walking, driving, working, buying potato("e") chips, VOTING, or, just plain minding our own business. Of course if we encounter the "5-0" (slang for police) and we brazenly question the motives of the "why," we must be prepared for serious consequences and that, unfortunately, makes us vulnerable.
Recently, white officers have been caught on video tapes, well documented video tapes, showing just how far they can take their trusted authority. The disturbing video tapes illustrate, with "Rodney King" symbolism, two unarmed African American males being assaulted. One incident occurred in Inglewood, CA and involved 16-year-old Donovan Jackson. On the tape you can see the white officer picking up Donovan by his waist and with all the strength he could muster, SLAM HIS HEAD on the trunk of a patrol car. You can audibly "hear" the resounding echo of Donovan's head being slammed against the metal. Donovan appeared injured, dazed and confused. With the video tape still rolling the officer then punches Donovan in his face with his fist. http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/07/10/police.beating/?related
in Oklahoma City an unarmed black male "suspect" was hit 27
times with tactical batons by white police officers, also captured on
video tape. His crime? Having sex with a white prostitute.
This time, however, "big brother" was watching in Inglewood. No, not THAT brother, but the "other" brother, Mitchell Crooks. Mitchell, who is white, was staying at a motel near the incident and was able to video tape it from the window in his room. He stated he is "symphathetic to victims of police brutality." When Mitchell showed up at CNN studios in Los Angeles, he was ambushed "Elian" style and was promptly arrested for past wrongs. There is also a videotape of his arrest and he could be heard screaming and wailing "help, help, HELP ME," as a tinted windowed SUV drove him away to an unknown destination.
A bizzare edict was issued by the Los Angeles District Attorney to Mr. Crooks over the right-wing sound waves of talk radio, "Mitchell, we don't want you in a cell, we want you to appear before the grand jury, and, WE WANT THE ORIGINAL TAPE!" Last week the LAPD was quick to remind us that "WE will put that tape in context." Do they mean "Rose Mary Woods"?
During the civil rights era, whites who were sympathetic to blacks being mistreated were considered "nigger lovers" and that, unfortunately, meant having to deal with consequences, not truth.
TRUTH? Well, just go to the video tape or, perhaps, we are "blinded" by the tape, the truth and the "right."
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