America’s war on Black girls

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from Salon,

Many have been quick to dismiss or make excuses for the shocking video out of Texas. Here’s the truth of the matter.

In just over two months, we will commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a natural disaster that ravaged communities along the Gulf Coast. This tragedy was made infinitely worse not only by decades of governmental neglect and far-ranging poverty, but also by the fact that so many Black people could not swim.

That nearly 60 percent of Black people cannot swim is directly attributable to decades of segregated pool facilities in this country. While that problem ostensibly went away with the desegregation efforts of the mid-20th century, de facto segregation of pool facilities persists to this day, because community pools are now largely private amenities in suburban neighborhoods that many Black youth don’t have access to.

This is the backdrop of the troubling and traumatizing incident that occurred in McKinney, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, over the weekend, when 19-year-old Tatiana Rose threw a pool party and invited several friends to use the community pool in her neighborhood. Many of those friends were Black, and many of those Black friends also live in the neighborhood.

He has been suspended. The two adult white women who started this confrontation by reportedly slapping Tatiana Rose in the face have not been arrested or charged. A young 14-year old girl is traumatized, and a community who rallied at the police department on Monday night is outraged.

Meanwhile, many residents of the community are thankful to the police for “keeping them safe,” as one sign reportedly posted at the pool the next day said. The rest of us are now forced to endure the deeply dishonest and irrational kind of conversation on race that proceeds from the mouth of far too many white folk after these kinds of incidents occur — with stunning regularity, I might add.

Among more well-meaning interlocutors are those who keep pointing out that David Casebolt is a bad apple. “He has been suspended,” they say. What we know for sure is that a suspension is not a clear indicator that charges, the loss of a job, or a criminal conviction are forthcoming.

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