What’s Happening: #McKinney Edition

Another day, another assault against blackness. 

I’m pre-empting my usual coverage of “What’s Happening” news to discuss the recent idiocy that is #McKinney. If you haven’t heard about it yet, here it is in a nutshell: Some white adults felt so threatened by black teens having a summer pool party that they were invited to that they started fighting them, calling them outside their names, and calling the police on them, leading to a police officer sitting on a girl and pulling a gun on boys who were trying to help her. 

I can’t really discuss this story in depth without getting angry, so here are some links you can click to read more about it:

Texas Police Officer On Administrative Leave After Pulling Weapon On Teens During Pool Party

Did the McKinney Cop Watch Video of Himself Terrorizing Teenagers?

Watch: Teen Describes What Happened at Texas Pool Party

McKinney, Texas, and the Racial History of American Swimming Pools

NAACP Statement on McKinney Police Department Incident

Texas Activist Group Plans March In Response to McKinney Officer Violence

There’s tons more links out there, but that’s the gist.

I’m very, very mad about this entire situation even happening, since the kids were invited to the party, yet GROWN ADULTS feel threatened by them. Every last one of the adult antagonists in this situation (the police officer, the neighborhood women) should be ashamed of themselves.

But even more irritating is that there are some people out there who still refuse to see the hypocrisy at work. The person who recorded the video, a white boy, was able to be excused from the melee because he’s white. The black kids, all of whom were, as I wrote before, invited, were the ones seen as a threat. These kids were not invading a space they weren’t supposed to be in. There aren’t any segregation laws anymore, but that doesn’t stop unspoken segregation from being enforced, something that McKinney seems to have a problem with.

A black girl was thrown to the ground by a white man, making me think he didn’t see that girl as a girl at all, or even as a person with human dignity and rights; what he was what he wanted to see—a threat that had to be neutralized. The boys that tried to help the girl weren’t seen as boys coming to her aid; they were seen as criminals trying to ambush the police officer. America needs to do better by its people, particularly the ones who aren’t afforded privileges based on arbitrary and nonsensical rules and subjugating tactics.

I’ll just put up what I wrote on Twitter:

(The girl I’m writing about is Grace Stone, one of the white kids invited to the party.)

There you have it.

In other news, the police officer who killed Walter Scott was charged with murder (again), so there’s a victory on that front.

EDIT: I forgot to link to this horrible tragedy: Kalief Browder committed suicide after being wrongfully imprisoned over the charge of stealing a backpack. He was imprisoned for three years in Rikers without being convicted, two of those years spent in solitary confinement. He was eventually released from Rikers, but the time spent there greatly affected his mental health, not to mention the overall quality of his life. Again, America needs to do better by its people.

EDIT #2:  I just read that community leaders in Cleveland are enacting Ohio’s old and seldom-used citizens rights rule to directly appeal to the judge to bring murder charges against the police officer who killed Tamir Rice. The reason for using this rule? They don’t trust the states prosecutors.

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4 thoughts on “What’s Happening: #McKinney Edition”

  1. Let’s be blunt here. This cop pulled a weapon on a group of unarmed, half naked “children”.

    This is what White male terror has come to? This isn’t fear. This is just hate. Pure and simple. Men like him have the authority and excuse to see people they hate, dead, without any repercussions.

    Although to be fair, it was mostly just him. There were a lot of cops there but he’s about the only one who acted a damn fool. It looked like the other cops were trying to stop him from f***ing up the situation, even worse.

    Emboldened by the media and lack of police responsibility for killing Black people, there’s an increasing number of White people who are feeling perfectly free to reenact the 1950’s again.

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    1. You’re right. I’m glad the other cops tried to rein him in. The adults I was speaking about were the cop and those other adults in the neighborhood who decided to gang up on those kids; I probably wasn’t entirely clear about that part in the post (I got too worked up!). It does seem like the 1950s is happening all over again; first, the amount of cops that show up in response to teenagers, the cop who decided he had to protect the sanctity of the neighborhood by sitting on that girl and then the audacity of him to pull out his gun on the kids trying to help her. It’s all shameful. And on top of this, all of these other black people getting killed by police brutality. It’s got to stop. But, if there is a silver lining in any of this, it’s that the reactions to these tragedies help bring down the barrier between white privilege and non-white suffering. I hate that these events happen, and I wish that they didn’t happen. But at the very least, it seems a new wave of education comes happens in response to them. I wish it didn’t take the literal bodies of black people to bring that about, though.

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  2. Monique, I don’t think you got too worked up. What happened is horrific and, as you noted, is part of a larger pattern of the dehumanization of black people and the devaluation of their lives. And other cops should have intervened. More people need to get worked up about this.

    I am a person of colour and have had loved ones mistreated by the police but I cannot even imagine what it is like for a black person to navigate public space, to be under the constant threat of violence at the hands of other citizens and the state itself. These kids were trying to enjoy some swimming and the company of friends and were assaulted and traumatized for doing so. That this isn’t inspiring more anger and alarm and action from some people is incredibly sad.

    Thank you for writing about this.

    #BlackLivesMatter
    #SayHerName

    Like

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