White People: The Middle East is so barbaric. They’ll cut off a person’s hand just for stealing!
White People when an unarmed black kid is murdered by police in America: Yeah, but he shoplifted some cigarillos, so…
In July I shared a story of an incident in which my city’s police stormed a man’s house looking for drugs in the middle of the night and executed his two (understandably startled) dogs. One of the dogs was shot to death while fleeing in fear, and as I noted then, this isn’t an isolated incident. Just a few years ago, the Saint Paul Police killed another family dog…and forced handcuffed children to sit next to its bleeding corpse. The kicker? The raid wasn’t even in the right house!
Now, a new report has surfaced of SPPD brutality. This time, a young father named Chris Lollie was arrested while waiting to pick up his kids from school. The charges were “Trespassing, Disorderly Conduct, and Obstructing Legal Process,” and police claimed he refused to leave an area reserved for employees of the bank building he was in. However, not only were there no signs indicating that the location was private, but Lollie wasn’t even in the bank proper; he was in the skyway.
(For those who aren’t familiar with the skyway system, it’s a thing we have in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and some other Minnesota cities. Basically, it gets hella cold here in the winter, so they built enclosed sidewalks, or skyways, one or two stories up. In the downtown areas, the skyways form a whole second network of pedestrian roads, and once you get inside your office building—or whichever building is closest to your parking garage or bus stop or whatever—you can use them to move from building to building to get around the whole downtown area. It’s an easy way to go to lunch or meetings without having the snot in your nostrils freeze. I mention all that to say: Skyways are public spaces. You do not have to be an employee in the buildings they connect to use them. Lollie was not trespassing.)
Fortunately, Lollie had the presence of mind to capture his interaction with the SPPD on film. Here’s a transcript I’ve made of the first few seconds:
Lollie: So what’s your business with me right now?
Officer: I want to find out who you are, and what the problem was back there…
Lollie: There is no problem—that’s the thing.
Officer: So, talk to me, let me know, and you can be on your way.
Lollie: Let you know…why do I have to let you know who I am? Who I am isn’t the problem.
Officer: Because that’s what police do when they get called.
Lollie: Well, I know my rights, first off. Secondly, I don’t have to let you know who I am if I haven’t broken any laws. Like I told him, I’m going to New Horizons [School] to pick up my kids at 10 o’clock. I was sitting there for ten minutes…
As the officer brushes aside his explanation and continues to illegally demand he identify himself, Lollie cuts to the chase: “The problem is I’m black. That’s the problem. No, it really is, because I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Next, Lollie and the female officer he’s been walking and talking with meet a male officer. When Lollie politely asks the officer not to touch or obstruct him, because he has to go get his kids, the man immediately responds, “Well, you’re going to go to jail then.”
As the police initiate the arrest process—telling him to put his hand behind his back or “otherwise things are going to get ugly"—the camera visuals go black. Lollie continues to be heard pleading, still polite even while he’s assaulted, that he be allowed to go meet his children.
Next, they tase him.
If that’s not enough to convince you that this is gross police misconduct, seriously, take five minutes and watch the video. The calmness of his tone alone should make it obvious that there is no possible argument that the situation merited this kind of police action:
After multiple witnesses verified Lollie’s version of events, prosecutors dropped all charges against him. One woman who is also not an employee at the bank the skyway links noted that she regularly sits during her lunch break exactly where Lollie was sitting, but she has never been harassed by police. However, the SPPD continue to defend their actions.
At The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf points out how simple it would have been for police to resolve this situation without violence and an arrest had they cared to do so:
His story about getting his kids wasn’t merely plausible, given the man’s age and the fact that there was a school right there–it was a story the female police officer shown at the beginning of the video or the male officer shown later could easily confirm.
Lollie is also absolutely correct that no law required him to show an ID to police officers. As Flex Your Rights explains, “Police can never compel you to identify yourself without reasonable suspicion to believe you’re involved in illegal activity,” and while 24 states have passed “stop and identify” statutes “requiring citizens to reveal their identity when officers have reasonable suspicion to believe criminal activity may be taking place,” Minnesota isn’t one of those states.
The female officer shown in the beginning of the video could easily have de-escalated the encounter by saying, “You’re right, sir, you have every right to refuse to show me identification, and if you’re just picking up your kids I’m so sorry to have bothered you. If you don’t mind, I just want to walk with you to confirm that your story checks out so I can inform the 911 caller of their error. That way we can make sure this never happens again when you’re just here to pick up your kids.”
Or she could’ve said, “Sir, I totally see why this is confusing–a lot of people would think so. Let me try to explain. That totally looks like a public seating area, but it’s actually private. Don’t you think they should have a sign saying so? Calling me may seem like an overreaction, but technically they can ask you to leave. You’re walking away now, so there’s actually no problem as long as you’re not going to go back. Are you? Okay, then we have no problem, have a wonderful day.”
As Lollie is carried away post-tasing, he can be heard challenging the officers’ “legal” assault: "Who are you? You don’t rule me. I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t hurt anybody. I didn’t touch anybody."
If only the SPPD could honestly say the same.
That video that was being passed around yesterday
Navajo Kindergartner Sent Home from School, Ordered to Cut His Hair
On Monday, a 5-year-old Native American boy was sent home on his first day of school and ordered to cut his hair short because it allegedly violated district policy, the boy’s mother said.
The child, Malachi Wilson, an enrolled citizen of the Navajo Nation, had been looking forward to his first day of kindergarten at F.J. Young Elementary in Seminole, Texas.
I AM SEETHING. FUCK THE CONTINUATION OF ASSIMILATION EFFORTS AND ASSAULT ON THE PHYSICAL, MENTAL, EMOTIONAL, AND SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING OF NATIVE AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLE.
THIS COUNTRY HAS NO SHAME
NO HISTORICAL BEARING
HAS AMERICA FORGOTTEN SO SOON?
THE TRAGEDY OF NATIVE CHILDREN FORCED TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES FOR RACIST BOARDING SCHOOLS?
WHERE THEIR HAIR WAS CUT? WHERE CHILDREN WERE BEATEN FOR SPEAKING THEIR MOTHER TONGUES? WHERE THEY WERE ABUSED AND FORCED TO HIDE THEIR CULTURE AS A WAY TO SURVIVE?
NEVER FORGET. NEVER.
Raven-Symoné just posted this image on her Facebook and polish, it’s made me MAD. This is what I write about it on Facebook:
As an African this image is infuriating to me personally.
1) Africa is a continent, not a country
2) Africa has prosperous, beautiful big cities with wealthy, comfortable, happy people as well as people in dire states of need.
THERE ARE EMPOVERISHED PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD AND THEY ALL NEED OUR HELP. This common image of Africa as ‘Land of the Charity Cases’ makes me furious. You think of Africa and it’s all pitiful starving children, tears, hands extended, begging for your spare change and off cuts. I feel like Western Asia often gets tarred with the same brush. Charity is needed in Africa like it us needed in Asia, Europe, The Americas, Australasia, all over the world. I’m not saying STOP giving to charity I’m just saying that there are millions of people rich and poor in Africa and they demand respect not pity. We aren’t begging for your damned ice water, we are looking for ways to build pumps and wells in our villages. We don’t wan the food your child won’t finish at the table, we want the means to grow and buy our own. Africa is striving for Education, improved infrastructure, to create wealth for all of us that desire it, to create a future that isn’t war torn and tumultuous. We are more than just your ‘I’m such a good person’ trump card, we are millions of lives and languages and backgrounds and faces that are all grouped together, called primitive, with our hands twisted to look outstretched and begging.
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT.
According to an IRIN report in 2005, 82% of arable land in South Africa is still owned by Europeans and those of European descent through colonization.
Yet a lot of people be giving away dresses and bibles to “Africa” as a sum of thinking that is going to solve the problems persisting in specific countries in Africa.
Can we stop homogenizing the experiences of an entire continent for white saviour complexes please?
You are not helping the situations long term, and you are also continueing the racist perpetuation of Africans as “backwards”, “starving”, and “unable to fend for themselves”. When they are very much able to do so if it wasn’t for colonization and white supremacy, which you continue to perpetuate through unsustainable aid, and painting the picture of the “poor Africans”.
"It worries me how racist the Disney fandom is. Seriously, someone brings up the fact that Frozen has no POC and the racist people come out of the woodworks. It’s also upsetting that a lot of people don’t want more POC in the line up"
I don’t really understand how that is a question up for discussion on television news. I mean, even putting aside the gajillion ways that white people are privileged by, for instance, being able to think that whiteness is “normal,” studying world history from Eurocentric perspectives, and etc etc:
- Marijuana use is similar among black and white populations in the U.S., but young African Americans are more than THREE TIMES more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession or use than white Americans.
- Even after accounting for reasons like education disparity, geographical distribution, and occupation, there is a persistent wage gap: White people make are paid more than African Americans due to racial discrimination.
White privilege is a fact of every facet of American life. I realize I’m mostly preaching to the choir here, but this is not a political issue or a subject for debate. It is well-documented and irrefutable.
their faces say it all…
So wait, wait, wait, but this time last year Miley Cyrus got droves of feminists crying about slut shaming and praising Miley for owning her sexuality, but Beyoncé dances on stage in a leotard and loud protests of whore/slut/my poor ass children’s eyes and then *crickets* from the sex positive crowds of white feminists. Gee I wonder why that is…
So my facebook friend just posted this pic with this text….Well, I just witnessed blatant racial injustice with my own eyes. I was getting in my car after exiting a store when a young black man stumbled past me and collapsed against the store wall. When I got out to see if he was okay, a group of white people came rushing over, one of whom was a 20-something white woman who declared in distress, “I ran a red light and hit him with my car!” People immediately assured her that SHE would be okay, meanwhile the young man is writhing in pain on the ground, pants leg torn, tears running down his face. When the police arrived and the young woman explained what happened, it was suggested to her that maybe the light had been yellow and that the young man had “darted out into the street into her path.” I was floored. I said, “But she just SAID she ran the red light and hit him in the intersection!”
Mashaun D. Simon
Assata Shakur, Honey Magazine debut issue (1998)
My friend shared this quote with me today and I instantly remembered another great quote from Assata Shakur that I feel is crucial to be absorbed when reading the quote above “No one is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them. Nobody is going to teach you your true history, teach you your true heroes, if they know that that knowledge will help set you free”.
Albert Einstein teaching a physics class at Lincoln university (HCBU in Pennsylvania) in 1946
Sure as hell never mention that about him.
HOMIEEVEN OUR HISTORIANS ARE RACIST
did… did you think historians weren’t racist?
Friend, if you did not realize that historians are racist then I have some bad news for you.
So you telling me that the U.S has completely cured the American doctor with Ebola in 26 days and he’s being released today. While Africa has been dealing with it since the 70’s and they are still looking for a cure?
"I’m sick of how bisexuality is erased in LGBT spaces. I get really nervous before any LGBT event, especially Pride. I feel incredibly sad and hopeless when gay and lesbian people call me insulting names. If gay and lesbian people don’t understand me – Continue reading Prejudice at Pride at Empathize This
This just punched me in the heart.