Krazed Kindergarten Kops
Four officers from the St. Petersburg Police Department arrive on the scene at the Fairmont Park Elementary School while calm and quiet five-year-old kindergartner Jai-isha Scott sat at a desk in the principalâ€™s office. They proceeded to pull the four-foot five childâ€™s arms behind her back and handcuff her like a hardened criminal. They bound her feet with plastic restraints and threw her in the backseat of a squad car.
In 1984 police gunned down Eleanor Bumpers - an elderly, Black woman to death.
In 1991 police beat Rodney King to a pulp for the world to see. In 1997 police sodomized Abner Louima.
In 1999 police emptied 41 bullets into Amadou Diallo. And now in 2005, they handcuffed one of our five-year-old baby girls. If this is not a call for action what is?
On Friday, April 22, A Current Affair showed this breaking footage: Four officers from the St. Petersburg Police Department arrive on the scene at the Fairmont Park Elementary School while calm and quiet five-year-old kindergartner Jai-isha Scott sat at a desk in the principalâ€™s office. They proceeded to pull the four-foot five childâ€™s arms behind her back and handcuff her like a hardened criminal. They bound her feet with plastic restraints and threw her in the backseat of a squad car.
Jai-ishaâ€™s mother was not present during the arrest. The school called her and told her that if she did not come and pick her child up the police would be called. Jai-isha's mother said she was on her way but when she arrived the police were already there.
These are the overtly despicable aspects of this incident. But there are others that are far more insidious:
1. A Current Affair is extremely careful not to mention the blaring racial component to this incident. Jai-isha is a little Black girl. The teacher, the vice principal and the four officers are all white.
2. There is a videotape of Jai-isha's tantrum. Why? Who gave permission for the child to be videotaped? What purpose was the pre-meditated videotaping supposed to serve? Or rather, whose?
3. When Jai-shaâ€™s mother arrived at the school and wanted to see to her childâ€™s safety, police told her to back off; that they were investigating and that if she didnâ€™t stay back while they finished she would be arrested as well.
4. A Current Affair ran a poll on its website: Did 5-Year-old Jai-isha Scott deserve to be handcuffed? 81.5 percent voted YES.
5. A Current Affair is on The Fox Network channel, a network known for racist partisan agendas.
In addition to the arrest, the tape clearly shows Jai-isha having a temper tantrum. We learn later that it is because teachers wonâ€™t let her play the â€œjellybean gameâ€?. If you are analytical and critical though, you will notice that at all times the teachers are in her face, both of them tag-teaming her and invading her personal space. They are not preventing her from damaging the room she is in; they are not restraining her in any way. What they are doing is inciting her to act out so that they have a case. What is that famous line that white people always ask Black people after theyâ€™ve poked and prodded and pushed at them with oppression: â€œWhy are you so hostile? Belligerent? Uppity?â€?
Psychology 101 will tell you that children who have tantrums are seeking attention. The best way to deal with that is to ignore the child and give them a moment to calm down. Jai-isha is never given that consideration.
We need to draw lines in the sand and make it clear that this cannot happen ever again. The overtly racist mentality of those who felt a defenseless child should be arrested like a hardened criminal sheds some light on a dangerously pervasive mentality that says it's all right to brutalize and make Black people feel subhuman.
The symbolism here is profound. It says that white authority figures donâ€™t need to adhere to rules of ethical and common decency when dealing with Black folks. White makes it right and the police in Florida are under the impression that they can pretty much rush into any situation and impose their will and call it law. If we don't, and Iâ€™m speaking particularly to Black men, take a stand on this we run the risk of losing the respect of our women and children and the world at large.
We need to read between the lines on this case. Educational institutions are in league with other agencies that seek to destroy the Black family; clearly the two administrators showed on the videotape are spending a little too much time setting a five-year-old up. Is this part of their job descriptions? Who sanctioned the usage of school time in that manner? Why wasnâ€™t the parent called a lot sooner if there was an issue? Where were the black teachers and administrators? The obvious reason is that there is another agenda.
What Black people ought to do is pull their kids out of that school in a show of solidarity with Jai-ishaâ€™s mother. They need to find out the names of the officers involved in the arrest as well as the administrators who set Jai-isha up. Those officers should be held accountable, fired and not even allowed to carry flashlights in Florida. And the teacher and vice principal should not be let near children, especially Black children in a professional setting again.
What kind of background do the administrators shown on the tape have? Are they qualified to teach? Police all over this nation are out of control in terms of shooting people; random searches and seizures, racial profiling and brutalization are on the rise.
Now we need to have another agenda; one that protects and serves our interests.
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