Images of Officer Eric Casebolt slamming an African American fifteen year old Dejerria Becton to the ground and laying the weight of his body on her back in a pool party in McKinney, Texas went viral on the internet. This incident was all over the news and was even a video about the incident on Youtube as well. Seeing these images, hearing and reading about what happened at the pool party really disturbed me and made me realized how the perception of Black children being wild and unruly played out in the way Officer Casebolt treated these children especially Dejerria Becton. However what truly disturbed me was seeing images of Officer Casebolt grabbed the young girl, pulled her hair and slammed her to the ground and put the weight of his body on her back splashed on websites across the web. Deep down, I knew that Officer Casebolt would never slam a young, Caucasian girl on the ground like that because if that had ever happened, all hell will break loose. Hence the protection that White and non Black women take for granted, Black women aren’t guaranteed that same type of protection.
For centuries, White women were held up as the standard of beauty, purity and femininity. White women were seen as delicate and docile and worthy of love and protection from the harsher realities of the outside world and from the so called Black brute ie Black male(That is subject that will be discussed another time). White women were protected by their men and communities from being mistreated and exploited from outsiders and onlookers. However White women’s pedestal was and is still fostered by the anti Black racial and gender politics that devalues and dehumanizes Black women. Black women, on the other hand, were shipped to the New World as slaves, stripped of their language, culture, heritage, weren’t considered beautiful or even human beings. Black female slaves had to toll the fields picking cotton in the Southern United States and sugarcane and Indigo in Caribbean countries such as Jamaica(where my family hails from), Haiti etc and Latin American countries. And they also took care of the Master’s children as well as cooked, cleaned and took care of their own children as well. Worst of all, many Black female slaves found themselves sexually assaulted and raped by Black male slaves and by White slave masters. The sexual exploitation of Black women’s bodies carried on from slavery, into Reconstruction, Jim Crow eras and even to this very day. Stereotypes such as Mammy, overweight caretaker of Master’s children, Sapphire, domineering and controlling Black woman who seeks to emasculate any man she comes in contact with and Jezebel, hyper sexualized Black woman were used to justify why Black women weren’t worthy of protection or respect. All the while, White women are and still are on their pedestal, looking down while Black women continue to be put down and stereotyped.
What does this have to do with the pool party in McKinney, Texas?
Nineteen year old, Tatyana Rhodes invited some of her friends to a pool party in the Craig Ranch North Community Pool over social media. She planned the party to be on June 6 and between the hours of 4:30 P.M.-10:00 P.M. According to the flier on social media, a group called Dimepiece XX Twinzz Promotions were going to host the party. Her friends arrived at the party however two White women and several White onlookers used racial slurs at the kids and told them to, ”go back to section eight housing where your from because you don’t belong in our neighborhood”. Tatyana Rhodes and these two White women got into an altercation as things started to get out of control. The police was called and young people were running around the place as the police came. Officer Casebolt put Black boys and teenagers of Mexican and other minority groups on the grass while he walked around wondering what happened to trigger the incident. Then Officer Casebolt pulled Dejerria Becton, who was one of the Dimepiece XX Twinzz, by her hair, put her on the ground and put his knees on her back after Dejerria mouthed off to him and wanted to go get her things and call her aunt. Two Black boys who came over and tried to stop Officer Casebolt from assaulting the young woman like that but Officer Casebolt got out his gun and scared them away. Then Officer Casebolt walked away from the girl and angrily questioned the young, Black males on the grass. Watching the video on this incident on Youtube, which was filmed by a fifteen year old, White male, Brandon Brooks and reading information about the incident, disguise and anger filled through my mind. Hence my belief that Black children aren’t guaranteed the protection and innocence that White children experience nor are Black women guaranteed the same protection as White women.
As for the White women who initiated the whole incident?
These women were safely guarded to their cars by the police yet Dejerria was pushed to the ground for no reason other than mouthing off to a police officer.
I don’t condone rowdy behavior from children and I know things were getting out of control however I don’t believe that Officer Casebolt should have used as much force as he did on the young girl. Nor should he have pulled out guns on the young, Black males either. Fortunately, in the midst of controversy and two death threats, Officer Casebolt resigned from his job. Using excessive force against teenagers isn’t the way to go.
Deep down, I knew that Officer Casebolt wouldn’t have slammed Dejerria’s body to the ground if she were a White girl. And if she were a White girl, all hell will break loose and it would be national news. We would have everyone in the country rushing to defend the girl against the police and file charges against him. Since Dejerria Becton is a young, Black teenage girl, her body, sexuality and race are seen as targets used to assassinate her character and justify Officer Casebolt slamming her body to the ground. Thus Black women aren’t and still aren’t guaranteed the same protection that White and other races of women take for granted.
Links to where I got information from: