Latisha and Becky

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the amazing Maxwell and Jill Scott concert which took in New York City. Afterwards, a group of friends and I went for dinner.  We discussed the show, music and eventually our conversation came to the young Black girl in Seattle, Washington that had been punched by a white police officer.  Honestly, I had not seen the video footage, but I realized that I would have to watch it, first thing in the morning.
I have been watching this video from different sources and the feelings once the cop hits this girl, are appalling and by the end I am saddened.  The videos continue to replay in the background and I no longer need to see when the cop hits that young girl, I continue to flinch, just a bit, because I know it is coming, but how on earth did this girl know that punch was coming to her.

I will not discuss the ramifications of police brutality or walking while being Black. A friend list night, put it best, this could be her daughter. Her daughter, could be jaywalking, just like any other teenager and this can happen. I am not discussing whether or not the cop was scared, whether the young girls should have been more respectful, I am highlighting one action. The punch in the face that you could hear, the that literally has the girl snap her head over.
Last night, as I recall the group of people that I was discussing this tape with, I realize we had different ethnic backgrounds, but at the end of the day we were all Black. We are the “Black professionals”, we had “made” it in America. Yet, as I listened to people recount stories of police experiences in the last year in New York, I realized we are not “there” yet.  When I still have to hear a Black man say, “I have slow down when I see cops, I fit the stereotypical description of that criminal element”, it makes me realize that we have not come far enough.  The America that we were in as kids, is currently same America.  Having Obama in the White House does not change overall perception.   Paper and policies, do not always manifest themselves themselves in the ghetto (or even in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where a friend was arrested and later released, ooppps, wrong person), shanytowns, settlements or favelas.
We know of the studies that cite the difference in race and perception in America. How outraged would America be right now, if that cop was Black and instead of Latisha getting punched in the face it was Becky. I do not need to tell you what would happen, because we al know the situation would be different, hands down.

~ by travelling womanists on June 26, 2010.

2 Responses to “Latisha and Becky”

  1. Hey Lodz, those two ladies were clearly in the wrong. And can’t believe the bystanders, especially the men didn’t tell those two young ladies to shut up and stop resisting the officer. The ladies behaviors were shameful and embarrassing.

    • Thanks for checking out the blog. I think I am able to see both sides of this issue. I think people are particularly angered by the cops response to punch the girl in her face. I am not saying that the girls were not rowdy, it is a look at what maybe deemed as excessive force.

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