The Murderous Injustice of Racial Profiling /Resistance Blog Series - a Project of PeopleSkool


Tiny - Posted on 07 April 2011

Author: 
Martrice Candler/PNN

 

            “You- are -eight-y sixed”, he unblinkingly growled through bared teeth. What is eighty sixed? I thought to myself.  The bar blurred, my pants grew moist and the rancid smell of alcohol filled my nostrils. I was on a Bar’s floor with a pool stick around my neck. Once the pool stick was taken from around my neck I instantly called the police.

            The police arrived, they spoke with the perpetrator and his friends, whom were the bar’s staff. The police came to speak with me. After our short dialogue they asked me to get into the police car. I refused and ended up tussling with the police for fifteen minutes. I did not have one drink nor a Breathalyzer and there I was spending my Friday on the cold cement floor of the San Francisco County jail’s drunk tank. This night is one of many examples of profiling that I have experienced being a young woman of color.

 

            This is the same type of racial profiling and harassment that led to the death of Raheim Brown. 20-year-old Raheim Brown was shot and killed by the Oakland Unified School District’s police force outside Skyline High School. The police stated that Brown tried to stab an officer with a screwdriver, and a second officer shot Brown five times – once in each arm, once in his chest and twice in his head – in defense of his partner. Tamisha Stewart, the only civilian witness to the killing, who was in a car with Brown outside Skyline High, spoke for the first time publicly about the event. The screwdriver Brown was accused of using as a weapon, according to Stewart, was being used in an attempt to hotwire the car, and it “never left the ignition.”

            One of the root causes of racial profiling is the criminalization of poor people and peoples of color. Another example of this is the recent case of low-income African descendant mother of two, Kelley Williams-Bolar served nine days in jail, is currently on parole and faces a huge fine. As result of the Ohio state law that mandates that a person with a felony cannot be a teacher she is no longer eligible to pursue her career as a teacher despite the fact that she is very close to receiving her certification. Kelly William-Bola is being convicted of falsifying records so that her children could receive a quality education and would not be subjected to the sub-standard education that was available to them.

            Kelly William-Bola and Raheim Brown are heart throbbing stories of how our unjust educational institutions in combination with police violence against people of color can rob a person of their careers and lives. In my opinion we must become a part of our schools community to stimulate positive change and deconstruct the stereotypes of people of color. We must also pursue our education and link up with organizations that are currently laying the groundwork to resist, such as the Idriss Stelley foundation which was organized to combat racial intolerance and violence. La Mesha Irizarry formed this organization after the murder of her son by the SFPD..

The morning I got out of the drunk tank these injustices hit me hard. Since then I have learned there are many forms of resistance. I myself choose to write about the injustice we encounter along life’s journey. Choose your resistance nich!  For we are all woven tightly with a common goal, justice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

I notice Matrice didn't mention what took place before the pool stick was put around her neck.
As for Tamisha Stewart's account of the Raheim Brown incident, it's nice that she was a civilian witness, but was she also an independent witness? Or was she Brown's accomplice in hotwiring the car?
And do we really want felons teaching in our schools, especially ones convicted of falsifying documents? Just how is Kelly William-Bola's case one of racial profiling? Are white felons being allowed to teach in Ohio?

PNN RADIO

Sign-up for POOR email!