Several days ago, Sandra Bland’s cell phone video footage was released to the pub lic.
This video challenges the “fear for my life” argument given by the former Texas Department of Public Safety
Trooper, Brian Encinia, who arrested her. You can click here to access the WFAA TV station report and watch the video.
It challenges his statement about the events. It raises questions about the integrity of the entire investigation.
Well, let me put it this way, if it does not raise any questions, why?
Do you ignore alleged law enforcement lies and vilify Black Women’s truths? Do you ignore it when the police is a White person?
Before you answer, I encourage you to look at your pattern and history of reactions, not your idealized self.
If you possess uninterrogated anti-Black biases, you might focus on Sandra Bland’s reaction to the point that you overlook a slew of unethical practices because you want us to perform according to your social expectations.
You might filter her response through an angry Black woman trope, missing the ways the “trained professional” escalated the situation and acted extremely problematic throughout the exchange.
If there is alleged dishonesty in one aspect of the investigation, it calls for other aspects of it to be re-evaluated.
Sandra Bland had every reason to be angry because she was experiencing the over-policing, power-hungry, over scrutiny of law enforcement.
Although you might handle the situation differently, she did not deserve to be arrested. This police officer could have easily given the warning and let her go. Instead, he focused on trying to control her and make her follow orders during a traffic stop.
When you watch the video, do you see concern/care for her and fear for his life?
If the exchange happened between a Black police officer and a White woman, I think more White people would be able to see the depth of problems with the how the officer handled the matter.
I invite you to review all of the publicly available video footage of the encounter, imagining Encinia as a Black man and Bland as a White woman getting ready to start her new job, with a future promising.
If you go through the video and do not see anything questionable about the police officer’s actions, especially as you compare it to his account, you help to enable all the “bad apples” in law enforcement to expand their reach.
The reason why certain people ignore and minimize the actions and alleged discrepancies (lies) in the statement of the arresting officer is because they share the same kinds of perspectives of Black women. They might say that they care, but when we get down to heart of serious issues, their true colors of socially conditioned friendly bigotry come through.In the United States of America, far too many White people care more about the police kicking a female dog than if they kick a Black woman and call her a b*tch. These individuals would use anything they can to justify it—to insinuate or outright say that she deserved brutality in any form.
They struggle with empathizing with Sandra Bland because they become upset whenever Black women “talk back.”
When a Sandra Bland refuses the commands of White supremacy—to stay in a subservient place,
When she knows her rights and her worth,
When her ethics are higher, and it shows,
They have nothing more to fall back on than to rely on White supremacy to exert force.
Threaten, control, lie, cry, and appeal to more White people are tactics to justify their wrongs.
Being a Black woman can shine a light on the ways different White people cling to racism like the police officers who rely on badges and uniforms to feel powerful. We reveal the ways certain White people rely on titles in the same way the police officer uses weapons to try to force respect.
What happens when the titles and weapons do not work on the Sandra Blands of the world?
They feel enraged when she sees through all of it, documenting the manipulation and lies with her cell phone.
Black women stand in the space of mirrors, reflecting the truth of an ugly reality. Instead of looking into the mirrors, White supremacy tries to break them. The mirrors become the problem.
Various individuals across race have reacted with callousness about Sandra Bland’s’ arrest because they share the same disregard and irrational fear, and bigoted beliefs about Black people, including Black women.
The focus on Sandra Bland’s response in an encounter with a perceivably unprofessional and out of control police officer shows the lengths people will go to avoid recognizing the need for criminal justice reform.
Justice does not prevail by hiding behind White innocence and blue codes of silence.
As for you and me, if we ignore the lies and brutality, we do not stand for justice and freedom. Likewise, if we ignore the blue seas of corruption, we do not value life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
If we cannot even entertain the possibility that Sandra Bland was targeted and that the police officer escalated the matter, most likely, our hearts overflow with anti-black racism.
We have eyes to see and ears to hear, but we cannot when the person is Black.
Say Sandra Bland’s name.
Talk back in her name.