South Carolina....just fucking no.
I worked for quite some time with at-risk children in a school setting. School was skipped, homework left incomplete, and defiance, aggression and “back-talk” abounded. Did the kids’ smart mouths and disrespectful attitudes ever make me want to hit them?
Hell to the no. Because I’m a fucking grownup with fully-developed self-regulation skills. And because there are always reasons for negative behaviors. Seeing only the behavior without considering its underlying cause is a short-sighted and ignorant way to handle the situation.
When I see the teenager on the now infamous video, I see a girl in pain. How about we discuss the fact that she was in foster care due to issues at home? That she was asked to leave because she glanced at her cell phone (and apologized for it at the time)? That her “defiance” was her stating that she had done nothing wrong? (Another girl agreed, and was also arrested.) Does it matter that the officer in question had a history of violent behavior? Does any of that matter?
The sad fact is, to many, the circumstances leading up to her beating do not matter. And when I see people disregard this, I see broken people. I see deep-rooted issues. I see the little children they used to be hearing, “Don’t whine, there’s no excuse for that behavior.” I see dysfunction in the masses.
This girl needs help, not violent repercussions. Not abuse. And in the video I saw, the officer was most certainly abusive. Violent. Scary. The adolescent brain is a little unstable and labile as a rule. But the cop is not a child. He showed a gross lack of self-regulation. He lost control. He himself is broken, very likely another victim in the ongoing cycle of abuse endorsed by our society. He needs serious help, not high fives.... continue reading