Critique and illustration by: Chris Talbot-Heindl
It’s hard to get through a news segment these days without hearing about the child who was sworn at profusely for knocking over a chair and then encouraged to swear back.
The pundits have swarmed like so many flies, attracted to the utter filth.
But the pundits have become a cavalry of sensationalism rather than discussing any real issues that may have been prodded by the story.
The story itself is sensationalized, I understand, but further dressing it up as a white sergeant from Omaha implying that black people are thugs, or that the police should have big brother-style removed the child from those horrible people (which, as the sergeant explained, they had no legal cause to do simply from that video), or the ability of the parents to parent…
In regards to the video, the issues are thus – a child was being sworn at. The end. You may or may not agree with it, but that is what happened.
In regards to the post that the Sergeant posted on the Omaha Police Officers Association webpage, the issues are thus – The Sergeant posted the video because he was concerned about a “thug cycle” which may or may not have racial overtones, but we don’t know, so who cares. The end.
In regards to the bigger picture, the issues are thus – it has come out that the mother (who’s parenting abilities are being questioned) requested that social services aid her and her son out of the situation that they were in (namely living in a house where gang members with weapons came in and out) and their requests were unheard. The mother and the other people involved are plagued by poverty and a lack of education, which tend to lead toward bad decisions, including gang involvement.
The problem is that the system is broken. The system leaves people in such poverty and with such a lack of education; and in our culture here in the United States, that disproportionately falls on people of color whether we like to believe it or not. (For a great comic on white privilege, which includes the ability to pretend it does not exist, visit this link; also, interesting/disgusting side note, the creator of this comic received death and sexual assault threats due to the comic). Social services ignored this mother when she attempted to make a safer home for her child (who had already been struck by shrapnel) when it is their job to provide a safe living environment for children.
The system is broken. That is what this story is about. Instead of focusing on your outrage and finding whom to blame in this one incident, why not use all that wasted energy to help fix the damned system?