I just read José Luis Vilson’s piece giving his opinion on why adult complicity through inaction – sitting quietly by while big, strong, heavily armed policemen brutalize girls in school classrooms – is inexcusable. And I started crying again. This time I haven’t been able to stop, tears are running down my face as I’m writing.
Edited to add: I just learned that the assault victim is a girl who was recently orphaned.
Where did we go wrong, my friends and neighbors? I want to ask, to scream, to demand answers. How did we get to the point where we not only allow armed law enforcement officers into our children’s schools to serve as para-security guards … but beyond that point, to where we are today: where the same men who shoot pudgy grown men in the back because they failed to pay child support and band together to choke the life right out of a New Yorker for selling loose cigarettes, are let loose in our babies’ classrooms to brutalize, terrorize and humiliate them and after they do haul them off, no doubt, to lock them up in jails or detention schools or juvenile halls – to make them look the wrongdoers.
I can’t stop crying. This madness has to stop. Please, friends and neighbors, let us band together as well: to stop this. Oh wait, my son heard me … “That was you whimpering, Mom? You’ve been crying for like 10 minutes now,” and wants to give me a hug … better now, thanks.
Our schools should be places where children sing, are taught to argue the pros and cons of proposed government legislation, learn to work through math problems, write essays; learn a language, how to play an instrument, drive a car, be a good team player.
They cannot be places where students are flipped over along with their desks in classrooms by police officers sworn to protect their families and them and dragged violently clear across classroom floors.
Friends, we must make it end. We must vote – no more excuses! And, we must vote against political candidates who support a culture of violence, who believe in gerrymandering political districts to prevent fair elections, who believe in criminalizing classrooms and locking up huge numbers of black and brown people and who wish to eliminate social services and the social safety net millions of Americans rely upon – by wiping out our post offices, social security benefits, motor vehicle facilities and health care. Vote against bad candidates by voting in politicians with better agenda, those willing to be accountable to We, The People and to represent our needs.
You can’t just think about voting anymore – you must do it.
CNN provides several videos of the Spring Valley South Carolina attack, one an interview with victim’s 18 year old classmate Niya Kenny and another with the police officer’s boss, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. Lott points out that the police ought not to have been called in for this kind of matter at all, but also says clearly that the officer has been fired for excessive force and that his actions were inexcusable. Niya tells what happened in class that day:
… the (officer) moved the girl’s laptop off her desk.
“He grabbed her arm, and he put his arm around her neck at first. So that’s why you actually see her –if you get the right video – then you’ll see her trying to swing at him,” Kenny said.
“And at that point, he just flipped the desk back and grabbed her out of it and threw her. And that’s when you see her rolling across the floor.”
Kenny said she and other classmates had their cell phones recording because of the officer’s reputation.
“When he came in the classroom, I immediately told my classmates, ‘Get your phones out, get your phones out. I think this is going to go downhill.’ And it did.”
Vote, vote, vote.