I watched 14 police officers take down a one-legged homeless Black man outside Twitter HQ
Chaédria LaBouvier

I have been a subject of racial profiling and racially motivated stalking. I have been denied cab rides, been called a monkey. I do realize people can be ignorant, cruel, overly brutal. I wish, however, “black vs. white” dichotomy wouldn’t be promoted by journalists.

(And while it is the most common struggle, “black” is not the only target of racism. I use quotations because I don’t believe in identifying people by color. Am I yellow? Hard to say; I use the same foundation color as many of my “white” friends. I know the term is historical, but as long as we keep calling 1/8 African-American persons “black,” we’ll never graduate.)

What happened here is hard to say. A lot of righteous individuals choose to be police officers. It is customary to call for what appears to be excessive backup. Often, interactions with police can turn insulting. Yes, unnecessary and regrettable deaths have occured. Incarceration rates are higher for African-American male suspects in many communities across the country.

It is also true that some of these general statements stem from various socioeconomic issues — classism and lack of opportunities; healthcare system and its treatment of mental health ailments (or lack thereof); substance abuse to self-medicate (among all races/classes). How we regard those with physical/mental handicaps is another one. I was partially offended, because the title read “One-Legged Homeless Black Man.” That was the identifier. A.k.a. hook.

It is difficult to know his background — his history, his health, his state of mind at the time. I’m not suggesting he was at fault, or was in “altered state.” All I’m saying is that, he had two legs, one of them prosthetic (which he might not enjoy being pointed out over and over), and probably was doing his best to walk on his own. He may have been homeless, may not have been (seemed like he had little belongings with him). He may have appeared dangeorous to bystanders, or not. We don’t know the whole story, except he was nationally portrayed as a “One-Legged Homeless Black Man” = Victim — with a capital V.

I’m sure the article was written with the best intent. I agree, we can do more — I’m all for changes and standing up for what we believe in. Every life has a story and deserves dignity. Let’s start by not stereotyping.

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