Do you remember summers growing up? Ample sunshine. That crisp, clean, breeze ruffling the grass and wafting the sweet smell of barbecue through the neighborhood? Every weekend abuzz with activity as summer vacation fast approached? Of course you do. And you probably remember it fondly too. It’s a shame that for some unsuspecting kids in McKinney, Texas, that fond memory won’t be applicable to this upcoming summer. Instead, they’ll more likely be telling future friends of a pool party gone awry with racial tension, a loaded firearm and even police brutality!
See what happened was some kids, who just happen to be black, decided that a good way to beat the heat would be to do so by the pool. Friends were invited, food was brought and music was pumped. During the little get together, however, a few neighbors began to complain of the "rowdy" behavior. One even went so far as to throw a few stereotypes into the mix, you know, just for shits and giggles. Obviously that didn't go over so well and a fight broke out between one of the kids and the offending racist. The police were called and then shit. Got. REAL.
Now some people are justifying what happened to the point of commending the officer for taking the appropriate actions to restore order from the chaos. Others are saying it was racially motivated. That if this were not a pool party full of black people then things would have gone vastly different. Let's just agree that, in this lifetime, people will not come together and see eye to eye on this subject, but, let's not fail to acknowledge what's right in front of our faces, and much more detrimental to those kids' immediate futures. Don't see it? OK, I'll give you a hint...
That cop pulled his weapon. On children.
But for what? What was so scary to this full sized adult male officer, who was accompanied by two, yes two, equally full sized adult male officers, that he felt his life hanging in the balance and drew his service pistol?
Loud rap music. There was also, allegedly, copious amounts of weed smoking and fighting. I mean, while we're at it, let's just add watermelon eating contests and using food stamps in a dice game to this stew of painstakingly obvious prejudice.
The over the top stereotypes used to describe these kids is a centuries old tradition. I don't think I should have to explain why stereotypes are bad but, apparently, the people in McKinney don't know. It's this kind of blind ignorance that perpetuates a continuing attitude of negativity towards the black community. After all, black people are most likely up to no good and must be stopped by any means when in a group larger than four.
Good thing the aforementioned accusations were proven to be false and none of the children at this party are being charged with anything. I'm not sure if any of what happened will go to court, but, if the countless hours spent watching Law & Order with my girlfriend has taught me anything, it's that these kids should have a good case.
Though, for the sake of argument, let's say there was weed smoking, the devil's music, and everything else that's taboo in the incredibly short-sighted town of McKinney, TX. Does that really make it OK for a police officer, sworn to protect and serve everyone, to draw a loaded weapon on a bunch of unarmed teenagers? It's not like house parties and underage drinking is an exclusively black thing. I remember summers when I was that age. I lived in a middle-class suburb with the beach just four miles away. The rich kids lived on the beach. They also threw hella awesome parties while mom & dad were away. Sure, the cops were called, but what I remember most is never having a cop shove his gun in my face, no matter how much of a shit bird I was being.
Look, I'm not saying being a rowdy teenager is right, but it happens. It's who we are. In this country every teenager, no matter what the nationality, has the God-given right to rage like there is no tomorrow when summer rolls around. It's up to us as adults to minimize the damage to their budding futures by being honest, with not only them but ourselves as well. It. Fucking. Happens. When it gets out of hand the punishment should fit the crime, but not before the responding officer fits the role to address it as such. I mean, really, it's just common sense.