Category Archives: Police Brutality

How Far We’ve Come and How Far We Still Have to Go

We are so pleased to share this guest post by one of our very favorite people ever: Dr. Fatimah Salleh! Dr. Salleh was born in Brooklyn, NY. She is the oldest of seven children.

Dr. Salleh first learned to love the scriptures from her grandmother, Madeline Riley. It was Nana’s Bible stories that captured Dr. Salleh’s attention.

Dr. Salleh received her Bachelor of Arts in History at Utah State University. She earned her Masters in Newspaper Journalism at Syracuse University and her PhD at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in Mass Communication.Dr. Salleh is currently in her senior year at Duke University pursuing a Master’s of Divinity .

Dr. Salleh is the mother of four children. She has been married to her husband, Eric, for 14 years.

fatimah

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Another Lesson in White Privilege

white privilege

A Facebook page called “The Good, the Chad, & the Ugly” shared this post today. When I saw it I felt compelled to share it with an added comment, to wit: 

Another day. Another lesson about white privilege. Will I ever complete this course? ‪#‎ComplexionfortheProtection

I then felt compelled to share some other thoughts.

When my oldest daughter was in kindergarten, her class would do a little chant/song at the end of the day to identify what they had learned.

The teacher would ask: “What did you learn at school today?”

The children would reply (in unison): “Sharing, counting, coloring,” or whatever they had learned that day.”

The children were eager to learn, eager to share what they had learned, and eager to return the next day to learn some more.

I, too, love to learn. I especially love the fact that I can receive all sorts of lessons and learn how to do all sorts of things from cooking to carpentry, from weaving to woodworking, and from sewing to sanding, all while enjoying the comfort of my own home.

There are some lessons, however, that I no longer need to learn.  White privilege is one of them.

Believe me, I know all I need to know about white privilege.  I can recognize it in all of its forms.  I can even recognize it when it masquerades as something else.  I can recognize it even when it does not recognize itself.

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Tamir Rice’s Death Was Not the Result of “The Perfect Storm”

tamir-riceToday we learned that the police officer who killed Tamir Rice will not be indicted for his murder. When explaining the decision not to indict, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty said,

“Simply put, given this perfect storm of human error, mistakes and miscommunications by all involved that day, the evidence did not indicate criminal conduct by police.”

So…the Perfect Storm caused Tamir’s demise, eh? I’ve been sitting with that, and here’s the conclusion I’ve reached: Continue reading

Remembering Tamir Rice

tamir rice

Several months ago, much to the dismay of my two young sons, I imposed a No Toy Guns policy in our house. On a particularly upsetting night, I ceremoniously marched an armload of NERF and water guns out to the big trash can, plopped them down into the receptacle’s slimy, stinky depths, and shut the lid, effectively ending the ongoing “but what if I don’t ever point them at anyone and I only shoot at non-living things” debate that had long been a source of hope for them and wariness for me. I told them it was because they shoot at their little sisters and make them cry, and that was definitely part of my concern. But, if I’m honest, I would have to throw away virtually all of their toys if I tossed out everything that made someone cry, got used as a weapon, or was misused in a way that was potentially harmful to someone’s health. So, no, the No Toy Guns policy was not instituted solely to protect my little girls from the evils of the foam-tipped NERF bullet. Continue reading

Now Is the Time for a New Day for All of Us in Our Interactions With Police

Recently, several young activists and groups of activists have come together to launch a platform called “Campaign ZERO.” (http://www.joincampaignzero.org/#vision). The website states:

“Campaign ZERO was developed with contributions from activists, protesters and researchers across the nation. This data-informed platform presents comprehensive solutions to end police violence in America. It integrates community demands and policy recommendations from research organizations and the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Together, we will win.”

CampaignZero

The proposals call for new laws and policies at the federal, state, and local levels that fall into three overall categories:  Interventions, Interactions, and Accountability. The proposals focus on 1) eliminating unnecessary interventions by law enforcement officials in our daily lives by doing such things as banning racial profiling and banning quotas for tickets and arrests; 2) establishing certain requirements and guidelines that must be followed by law enforcement officials in their interactions with members of the public by, among other things, limiting the use of force and by making certain tactics, such as “chokeholds” or “hog-ties” illegal; and 3) ensuring that law enforcement officials who do not adhere to those requirements and guidelines are held accountable, by doing such things as establishing “civilian oversight structures” and by requiring the collection of “audio and visual data of police interactions.”

As I was reading the proposals, I could hear the questions that would be raised about whether they are truly needed.  I began to formulate my own responses to those questions by recalling several vignettes involving my personal interactions with law enforcement officials and the lessons I learned from those interactions. Continue reading

McKinney, Texas: Why My Kids Will Learn that Cops Can’t be Implicitly Trusted

1 PoV by 1 PoC: One Point of View by One Person of Color
(A response to the McKinney, Texas pool party incident. You can find the video here.)

I grew up in Collin County, and McKinney, Texas is the county seat. I lived maybe 15 miles from the site of the pool party where a law enforcement officer was filmed throwing a 15 year old black girl in a swimsuit to the ground and pinning her there with his knee in her back. I watched the YouTube video of this event with my 11 year old son, and was horrified by what I saw happening just a few miles from my beloved childhood home. Continue reading