I witnessed this encounter in a DC metro station several hours ago. It was right after my friends and I passed police arresting a very young black man. We didn’t see much of what had happened, but as we were lining up to go through the gates, we witnessed three black men fighting. Two were metro workers/security, and the other was a pedestrian. The pedestrian was yelling.
Pedestrian: He’s 14, man! What the fuck don’t you understand? These are your people!
Metro 1: No… [Inaudible; disagreement]
Pedestrian: Dude, they raped our mothers, they killed and enslaved us for hundreds of years! Why you not doing anything? … [Walking away] Fuck you guys, fuck you! Fuck you all, you’re niggers! You’re a nigger!
Altogether an upsetting scene. I looked to a friend, and I thought I saw tears in her eyes.
This is a perfect example not only of the systematic stereotyping that police officers engage in, but also the outrage people feel regarding this abuse of power. It made me wonder if there was some tension in the black community about the Black Lives Matter movement. Perhaps the dissenting workers were afraid they would lose their job if they agreed with the pedestrian. Maybe they thought the police were in the right.
I can’t tell you what to think. I have changed my opinion on the dealings in Ferguson and South Carolina and etc.. so many times, and it never gets easier. The best I can say is that the pedestrian fighting for that boy was incensed. To feel like the system is failing your community is heartbreaking.