By Beverly Gadson-Birch
I get tired of folks talking about Black folk playing the race card. This is what you hear when folks don’t want to own up to the truth.
The naysayers will do almost anything to make you believe reality is fiction. And, the reality is there are two sets of rules on how Black and Brown folks are treated in this country versus White folk. Fact check it if you like!
Let’s look at two recent incidents and you tell me am I exaggerating or what? There are conflicting reports in the Waffle House case of Chikesia Clemons. The video went viral when three white police officers attempted to subdue her.
According to Chikesia’s mother, the incident stemmed from her daughter’s refusal to pay fifty-cents for plastic utensils when ordering food at a Waffle House in Alabama.
Shame on the Waffle House for even charging for plastic utensils. Chikesia said this was not the practice in the past and asked for the number to the District Office. Apparently, things snowballed from there.
The manager instructed the employee to call the police. Chikesia and her friends were accused of being drunk and creating a disturbance. Once the officers arrived, Chikesia can be seen on the video asking the officers what she has done. The officers continued to arrest her without responding to her question. During the arrest, Chikesia’s breasts and other parts of her body were exposed to patrons. One officer can be heard saying he will “break her arm”.
Whatever precipitated the events leading up to Chikesia’s arrest at the Alabama’s Waffle House by three white police officers is no excuse for the treatment she received. According to the Charlotte Observer and NOLA.com, Dylann Roof, white supremacist convicted killer of nine black worshippers at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in downtown Charleston, was hungry when apprehended so Shelby police bought him food from Burger King. Other reports indicated that he was taken to Burger King.
Roof was apprehended without incident without a single scratch. Don’t hand me that malarkey about “entitlement to humane treatment” regardless of the type of crime committed. What about the victims? What are their entitlements?
The second incident involves New York Port Authority Commissioner Turner caught on tape throwing her weight around. The Commissioner became rattled when her daughter and her friends were stopped in a routine traffic stop. Police dash cam recording shows Commissioner Caren Turner ranting and waving her finger around in the officer’s face and demanding that he “shut the f—k up”. Her conduct is reprehensible. Yet she received nothing but respectful treatment. She was not thrown to the ground, handcuffed with breasts and derrière exposed.
According to New York Channel 4 News, Commissioner Turner asked an officer why her daughter and her friends were pulled over. The officer explained that “The driver has all the information, he’ll tell you all you need to know,” and that she, the Commissioner, wasn’t involved in the traffic stop. Her response was “…Trust me. I’m very involved,”. She flashes her Port Authority gold badge, touted her friendship with the mayor and continued her verbose exchange. The officer was very professional and referred to Commissioner Turner as “Miss” and she immediately retorted “no, no, no, Commissioner, thank you.”
The police had “cause” to detain and impound the vehicle. They also had “cause” to arrest Commissioner Turner for interfering with a lawful stop. The vehicle was not registered and had not been registered for two years.
Now, that you have the tale of two stories in two different cities, you tell me why “Miss Commissioner” was not arrested? Y’all know if it were a different hue scenario, the outcome would have been different. So, when folks talk to me about “playing the race card”, I tell them it’s real and my black Ace is trump. And, I ain’t talking ‘bout no Donald Trump either.
My question to y’all is this, “can we all just get along”?