Vantage Point

Vantage Point

Vantage Point
written & edited by Kendall F. Person
As Baltimore Maryland passes the baton to McKinney Texas, and as cruel as the now infamous seven minute video was to watch, the families, McKinney and our nation is fortunate of no resulting deaths, affording the rare opportunity to examine the chain of events, without the catastrophic weight of a mother burying her child. The hundreds year old soundtrack of race plays on, but take a deep breathe and look and listen at the varying vantage points.

VP One: The reaction of Grace Stone demonstrates that racial incidents affect everyone. She did not feel as if she were fortunate or special, for not being treated in the same manner as her peers of color, but rather, her words appear as if she felt victimized. They were her friends and at 14, color be damn. The effects of racism, meant to humiliate the race one hates, destroys everyone, even Grace.

VP Two:  I do not know the Officer at the center of the storm, and I comprehend the concept of momentum, but even if we strip away ‘race’ and ‘police brutality’ the vision of an adult man with both knees on a 14 year old female in a bikini was so disturbing, I am not quite sure how – at the present time – he could continue his role as a public servant. But as the story unfolds, we learn how the situation, that led to his explosive and bating behavior, was set into motion…

VP Three: …by an earlier pair of adult women, who reveled in their racist views, as if it were a badge to be cherished and held close to the heart. When they unleashed a barrage of racist epithets and stereotypes, then escalated with violence – it was there – that belies the problem, and the exact beginning of another explosive American moment.

VP Four: The teenager humiliated and abused, while it will not stop her from achieving her dreams or make her believe all officers are bad, but if you have never been in a moment akin to hers, I understand if you disagree with my assessment, but she will never forget that moment in her life and that is so unfair.

VP Five:  I spent a few years working for a nonprofit and established close relationships with many police officers – one of the nonprofits closest partners – although my heart breaks during scenes such as Ferguson and McKinney, never for a moment do I believe it is us against all of them. Two officers maintained composure, and  with such quiet professionalism and dignity, when their physical reactions forced the officer to put away a wielding gun, it is vital they receive mention to keep an ugly narrative from being just ugly.

VP Six: VP Three serves as a cruel reminder, how deeply the human race can hate, so the echoes we hear of “those black kids were thugs’ pale in comparison to the swift reaction of the McKinney Police Force, the Mayor and the people of all colors, who felt deeply the horror of a young girl screaming for her mother.

I do believe there are common denominators in Trayvon, Ferguson and Baltimore, but this scenario is different. Excusing no one from the role they accepted and carried out, but there hangs a sense of sorrow, as they served as puppets for hate (VP Three).

As I often state, The Neighborhood is an all-inclusive forum, and everyone feels welcomed here. I have no memory of ever thinking any other way, but I have never felt more or less about any race, but I am an African American, so the tanks in Ferguson and the 14 year old girl in McKinney affect me quite deeply. But I also feel deeply about the narrative The Neighborhood puts forward: the good deserve the spotlight as well, so please watch the 60 second video and end this show with a smile. – The Neighborhood

VP Seven