Police Brutality


I recently saw on twitter a video of a former NFL player, Desmond Marrow being chocked and hit by police officers while they were arresting him. After seeing the video on Twitter, I decided to search for more information about this case. I found this video that explains what happens.

In the news clip, the reporter mentions that there was a lot that was not caught on film by the bystander who recorded this incident. They also reported that Marrow had admitted he was a part of a case of road rage which is what led to his arrest. In the clip Marrow does not look like he is fighting with the officers or resisting arrest. It is really hard to justify the aggressiveness of the officers despite the fact that the video did not catch everything because Marrow seems calm and seems to comply with the officers.

The news reporter also mentioned that black lives matter released pictures of Marrow’s injuries. With BLM now involved it will be interesting to see what happens with the officers in this case. There is clear evidence of police brutality with the video and Marrow had done nothing that would warrant this aggressiveness by the police. It will be very interesting to follow this and see what happens.

Colin Kaepernick and the NFL

I have been a fan of the NFL for a long time and follow it year-round. It amazes me that Colin Kaepernick, who was cut from his former team, the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, still has yet to be signed by another team. Kaepernick created a lot of controversy when he began to kneel during the national anthem in 2016. It is because of this that many believe he still is unsigned. It was reported a couple weeks ago that Kaepernick was contacted by the Seattle Seahawks for a workout but, after Kaepernick refused to promise him that he would stop kneeling for the national anthem, the Seahawks canceled the workout. I find this crazy because there have been many players in the NFL this past year who kneeled during the anthem throughout the season, however, none of those players are out of a job for it.

There has been a lot of controversy in the NFL about the players kneeling and standing up for what they believe in. Many people in and around the NFL claim that professional athletes should not use their platform to talk about their political views or to protest. They claim that if the athletes do this it will hurt the NFL’s ratings.  I find this hard to believe for a couple of reasons. First, the NFL has been struggling with declining ratings for some time now. It has been an issue before players began to kneel. Secondly, according to Darren Rovell who is an ESPN reporter, the NBA’s ratings for the first playoff games this past weekend were up 17% and were the highest in five years. This NBA stat is important because the NBA has become known for allowing their players to stand up and speak for what they believe in. Considering this, it is hard to believe that players who kneel are really affecting the NFL’s ratings.

It will be interesting to see if Kaepernick, who is more than talented enough to be on an NFL roster will find a team this offseason. I hope the owners in the NFL will realize that players kneeling are not whats hurting their ratings and give Kaepernick a chance.


Little White Lie

I also went to the screening of Little White Lie, the documentary about Lacey Schwartz who was raised in a Jewish family and was convinced she was white up until her later high school years. Lacey’s mother convinced her of this in order to hide an affair she had had. Lacey eventually found out that she was black and that her mother had had an affair with a black man. After the documentary Schwartz actually held a Q and A session with students.

A small part of the documentary talked about how Schwartz used to press her hair in order to fit in with her majority white classmates. At first, I didn’t give much thought to it and figured she just wanted to fit in. During the Q and A, a student asked Schwartz about her hair and how now she almost always wears her natural hair. Schwartz replied to the student and talked about how much power she felt when she finally decided to just wear her natural hair. I thought this was interesting because I had never really thought about something as simple as hair being able to empower someone and make them feel so much stronger.

After the documentary and when I began reading Ashley Farmer’s book, with the idea fresh in my mind I came across the section in which Farmer is describing an article Judy Hart wrote in which she called for black women to reject white cultural standards by simply not pressing their hair anymore. After reading this I realized just how important hair can be and thought it was interesting that just simply wearing your natural hair could mean so much.

Before watching the documentary and reading Farmer’s book, this was something I had not thought much about but now it is clear that the way you wear your hair can have a powerful meaning. For Schwartz, it was her way of saying she accepted who she really was and is proud to be herself. For black women, during the civil rights movement, it was a way for them to stand up against white standards and gave them the power to be themselves.

Cincinnati Police Department

Since coming home for spring break there has been a lot of talk in the news about the Cincinnati Police Department. The Assistant Chief, Dave Bailey, was forced to retire last week after the city manager accused him of undermining the Police Chief. Since then the Head Chief has also been under a lot of scrutiny.

What makes this whole situation interesting is the fact that both Dave Bailey and the head Chief, Eliot Isaac, are both African American. Shortly after being forced to retire Bailey accused the department of trying to get rid of him and Isaac because they are black. This accusation has caused a lot of problems within the police department and with city leaders. This whole situation has shown that the Cincinnati Police department is corrupt but it still has yet to be proved if the Department and city leaders were trying to force the two men to retire because of their race.

I found this situation particularly interesting after some of the discussions we have had in class. Regardless of what happens, I feel this situation shines a light on the fact that America has an institutional racism problem. While they may ultimately decide that race did not play a factor in City leaders forcing Bailey to retire I found it hard to believe that Bailey would make up this accusation especially because the Mayor of Cincinnati is African American. With the mayor also being black it would not make sense for Bailey to make up this claim because without solid evidence it would be hard to prove. Because of this, I think there is definitely something going on with the City leaders and that them trying to force the two men out may ultimately have been because of race.

This whole situation highlights America’s institutional racism problem and will be really interesting to follow as new information comes out.

Education and the Civil Rights Movement

Throughout all the essays we have read in class there is one thing that almost always comes to my mind and that is how our education system teaches the Civil Rights Movement versus what really happened in the movement. In my experiences, the Civil Rights movement was something that was always brought up at least once a year in a history class throughout middle school and high school. Despite the movement being discussed many times, the way it is discussed is very different than what we have learned in this class and from the essays we have read. Many people have the perception that the movement was solely about racism and that the movement ended quickly. I believe they have this idea because of the way the movement is taught in schools. These topics obviously have been discussed frequently throughout class so we know these things are not true but in my opinion, the civil rights movement is something that everyone should have an in-depth knowledge of and is something that needs to be focused on more at the middle and high school levels.

In my experience, discussing the movement at the high school level was just simply going over the major names involved with the movement like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. Up until this class I had very little knowledge about the movement at a local level because we only focused on the major names. I also didn’t realize how much more the movement was about then just racism. After just being in this class for a few weeks it became apparent to me that the education system had kind of “failed me” in a way. I didn’t know this information because it was never taught. In order for people to have a better understanding of the movement and a better appreciation for it, we need to change the way the movement is taught in our schools. Instead of talking about the big names, schools should focus on the local movement and what all the movement was actually fighting for.

I can’t help but wonder, especially after today’s discussion about if reading more essays like The Long Civil Rights Movement and the Political Uses of the Past would have affected the election, how differently recent events would have unfolded if our students were taught the Civil Rights movement in a more in-depth way.