It’s five in the morning and I’m in my kitchen – baking, cooking, writing and thinking. I didn’t sleep much last night. I’m still reeling from the videos that I saw yesterday of a young black girl child in a Columbia, South Carolina school being dragged across the floor after being flipped on her head and body slammed by a white “school resource officer”. In the video, immediately preceding the WWE style take down, the girl is seated at a desk, head bowed and shoulders hunched, not making a sound.
I do not know what she did that precipitated the assault on her body, her citizenship and her personhood. Frankly, I DO NOT CARE. Chewing gum, talking back, not participating, texting on a cell phone – it’s all irrelevant. Unless a reputable source can convince me that the reason that her head was bowed was because she was holding a bomb detonator on which the clock was ticking and the “officer” reasonably believed that there was a pressure sensor that she was holding that, if released, would blow everyone in that room to kingdom come, there is no act, no defiance, no “failure to follow orders”, that would warrant that magnitude of force on a grown man much less a female child.
There are petitions moving today that are calling for the termination of the employment of Ben Fields, the monster that masqueraded in a police uniform, but whose actions were a complete oxymoronic contradiction to his title and to his job description. I’m signing every one I see. Of course this demonically inspired creature, who some reports say has a history of targeting black children and is already in legal proceedings in another matter of a similar nature, should not be around the public in any authoritative capacity, much less around children. Next step – a push for criminal charges.
That being said, that is still not enough for me. Because as of right now, I would not trust my flesh to act in accordance with and in witness of my saved and sanctified soul if I were placed in a room with Robert Long right now.
This “man”, this black “teacher”, Robert Long, who escalated the situation in the first place because he lacked the classroom management skills necessary to handle the situation, can be seen in the video SILENTLY MOVING OUT OF THE WAY as this young black girl is dragged like a sack of rancid potatoes across a floor in the classroom. He does not interject. He doesn’t verbally or physically intervene. He watches and does nothing. A student later comments that after the female victim has been manhandled out of the classroom, Long continues with the lesson, as if his apathy, insensitivity, and overall weak cowardice and inhumanity did not already teach everyone in that room the most indelible lesson that could ever be taught.
I know that in Christ, no one is beyond hope, but I am not feeling incredibly redemptive right now and I cannot fathom how one who is as hardened, apathetic, powerless and uninspired as Long is, could be helped. I hope that he sees how his inactivity was an action of reinforcement all on its own. How he showed every black girl in that room that there was no defense for her – even in the school in which she is supposed to feel safe and educated. How he influenced every black boy in that room to believe that it was permissible to watch your sister be assaulted and you sit and do nothing – not even lament the occurrence.
You know what would be enough for me? GOD forbid something like this were to happen again – petrifying but statistically possible if not probable – I would hope that my son would be like the girl who was arrested in this situation. I have not yet learned her name (Niya Kenny)– but reports say that a fellow student was arrested for trying to help this young sister as she was being attacked by this police impostor. She was released last night, although the charges have not yet been publicized.
Every mother of a black teenager knows the fear that I feel – that a simple interaction with a law enforcement officer could result in an experience that could carry on for years….or even end their child’s life that very day. Jehovah being merciful, my son will never be arrested.
But if he is, I would HOPE that it would be for something like this. I hope that it would be because he stood in defense of a sister or a brother, and said, “You will not assault them while I am here.” I would hope he would be so physically sickened by the idea that a young black girl could be treated that way that he would be compelled to act, to intervene, to defend, to proclaim to the world and those around him that THIS IS NOT HOW YOUNG BLACK WOMEN ARE TREATED.
I would hope that my son would be the one to say: “She may not NEED me to be in service to and in defense of her, but it is my privilege to do so, because in her lies my sister, my mother, my aunt, my daughter, my niece and my wife.”
T. Max Christie McMillan is a seminary student, minister, wife, mother, author, and business owner that promotes boisterous indignation of GOD’S people against the evils of racial oppression.