Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Hello, My Name is TAM, and I’m a White Blogger

I never thought that I would admit to that. But I first must accept that which I cannot control. Only then can I squash my shame into a tiny ball and hide it away from the world.

But my battle isn’t over. Barring occasional overdoses of beach sun and costly spray tans, I’ll always be white. It’s not my fault, but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t be held accountable.

I must first accept the things that I cannot control.

Why am I bringing all this painful stuff up now? Well, because I was going to write a post about that little 5-year-old girl in Florida who threw a temper tantrum and got handcuffed by the police.

I was going to say how ridiculously overblown the entire thing has become. How I’m tired of everyone acting so “shocked” to see a little girl being placed in the back of a police car. How, nowadays, the school systems hands are so tied that they have little option but to involve the police. How no matter what decision the school administrators could make, it would be wrong.

But while doing some quick research, I found out something about my position on the subject, and myself, that I hadn’t known before.

I’m a horrible racist.

When I do research on this type of stuff I usually just do a Google search. The results I’m after are usually included in the “today’s top headlines” section. I surf for a brief second to get the names right and then I proceed to spout my inane POV.

Today was a little different. The second link on Google News was titled “Two Different Views of the Same Reality.” It looked promising, so I clicked it.

That’s when I learned the awful, shameful truth about myself and my racist predisposition.

The article is from Black News Weekly. And after dismissing the girl’s violent tantrum and punching fit as a “bad ass girl who was cutting-up in class,” it goes on to attack “white bloggers.”

From BNW:

“After reading some of the comments being made over the Internet by these white bloggers, it is easy to see why we as a nation are always at each other’s throats in this country.”

“Black Americans see the arrest of the 5-year-old Black girl as another example of white racism gone too far, and whites feel that the police must bring all Blacks down no matter what the age."

Well, duh. Obviously. That’s exactly it. I never knew that I was turning this into a race issue. It never even entered my mind actually. Well done, reporter Noble Johns!

I can’t imagine the overwhelming amount of research that went into this article. I mean, I’m white, and I have quite a few friends, but even I couldn’t use the vast resources granted by my “whiteness” to interview every white person in America!

I’m impressed.

But not only did Mr. Johns interview every white person born to this great country, he also found the time to get every black person’s opinion as well. Incredible.

Noble goes on to quote the tantrum thrower’s lawyer about the incident. She points out that the girl is “clearly traumatized” by the incident.

I think that’s horrible. Poor traumatized little girl. I’ve seen the video and she was obviously such a well adjusted child before this thing happened.

Look, I’m not saying that schools should go around calling the cops on every 5-year-old that has a hissy in class. But just what are they supposed to do? I saw this girl’s mother, Inga Akins, on television this morning talking about the woman who is seen trying to calm the girl in the video. That woman is the assistant principal Nicole Dibenedetto. And the mother was beside herself with rage at Dibenedetto (who, by the way, never even raised her hand to the child).

The mom kept saying stuff like “she had no business being around my daughter” “I told her before to stay away from her!”

Evidently, the administrator and the kid have a “history.” The Assistant principal wants the kid to behave and the kid doesn’t want to.

The mother’s reason for not wanting the teacher to have contact with her child is because she feels that the assistant principal and the child simply have a “personality conflict.”

I’m sorry, a personality conflict?! The kid is 5 years old. She doesn’t have personality conflicts.

But herein lies the problem. The assistant principal probably should have left the child alone. The mother has already destroyed any authority the administrator had by essentially telling the kid that she’s always right and anyone who doesn’t let her have her little way just doesn’t understand her.

What the hell is anyone supposed to do these days? School officials can’t discipline anymore. Where does that leave us all in 30 years when these kids grow up? How are kids supposed to learn responsibility if there aren’t any consequences?

Some of the fantastic ideas I’ve heard about how to handle this girl include “just leave her alone.” To destroy the school? That’ll teach her! But then she’ll be guilty of vandalism.

Maybe the school officials should just have called the police…

Oh, wait.

I leave you with some parting quotes:

“Unfortunately, with our system of civil justice, the way that we handle these matters, is you have to sue someone in order to get reform. …To get the reform, you have to make them pay, because if you don't make them pay, they're never going to reform themselves. If they don't have to pony up, there never will be any change.” (Inga Akins’s lawyer John Trevena)

Spoken like a true American, John.

“We got to teach them Nigger a lesson, no matter how young; we got to being ‘em down! (Anonymous statement at top of article “Two Different Views of the Same Reality” from Black News Weekly, I assume written by Noble Johns and attributed to every white person in the United States)

Finally, thank you, reporter Noble Johns, for teaching me what a horrible, horrible racist I am. Keep fighting the good fight, my friend. I can feel racial tensions lifting as I type this.

And thank you Google for showing me that there's more to news than...news.

Fun Fact: The latest TAM Cartoon is up! Racetastic!

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