Amy Cooper discussed on The Takeaway


That's that's Amy Cooper and there was a lot of public outcry on social media about this incident caught on camera but I was also struck by some of the ways that people were defending her actions were you seen those types of defenses what what were your reactions to that so it was an interesting lesson in how implicit bias makes people see what they're most comfortable with so people said we don't know how her day started we don't know you know maybe she was having a bad day maybe she didn't mean for him to get hurt but she told me she did she told you and she said I'm gonna tell them it's an African American male yeah and and there is a long history of course of white women falsely accusing black men of crimes and I'm thinking of everything from Emmett till two more recent examples like this one how does this incident compared to other situations where white women weaponize their tears against black people so the good news is that Christian Cooper was not injured he was not arrested or harassed the bad news is that this was a fluke he's an out liar more often than not this ends in some kind of harm whether it be an arrest and the person who didn't commit a crime being harassed by police abuse by police are losing some part of their livelihood or their good name or worse someone ending up dead right as even as we watch this playing out in Minnesota we saw the police Neil on a man's neck until he was that even though I know Christian Cooper has since said that he didn't want her life to be torn apart it's not it's about Christian Cooper but it's not really about Christian Cooper it's about all of the people who can be hurt by this you know it makes me think also about out who can and who can't weaponize law enforcement to their advantage and I I understand the answer here might be obvious but what does it tell you that she decided in that moment to call the police the polite way to put this is that she relied on the state to do exactly what the state has always done serve the interest of white supremacy that was what she felt was necessary in the moment because someone had dared to challenge her internal narrative about her right to do whatever she wanted however she wanted she never has to physically she's never been afraid of the cops and that says a lot about what policing really is in America and its purpose if you can argue that we need the police who's the week whose interests are they handling because let's be clear this was about putting a leash on a dog right she was a willing to risk his life so she didn't have to put a leash on the dog at this incident took place in an area in Central Park which is very popular with birdwatchers which as we've just been discussing is an overwhelmingly white space how are people of color especially black people expected to navigate these types of white spaces you can tell that she doesn't think he has a right to be there or that he doesn't have as much of a right as she does but in those spaces you're somehow both supposed to be glad to be president and then just for her I guess two white this you for in this world where everyone is equal and racism doesn't exist in post racial all the things then everyone has a right to be everywhere but the expectation is that somehow we accept that white people have more right in that they get to direct their attention to who else is there in a way as though I own this space and you have to prove your right to be here so we're talking about predominately white spaces there's some idea that white people get to police who was present regardless of what not the only that space or have any inherent right to control who enters that space and that black people are supposed to accept it but other people of color supposed to accept it especially black people especially black men I'm thinking about in the aftermath of incidents like this the emotional burden often falls on black people what are your suggestions for how white people can better shoulder that burden I think in some very important ways we have to be teaching white people in particular in general as a society America has to start teaching anti racism not just as a general don't be like the clan but is in a very specific direct and using examples like this right don't be a Keren don't think you own the space or the right to access to a space that you jumped we kind of have to teach not to be racist not to think you have more validity as a person than someone else because of the color of their skin Mikki Kendall is a feminist writer and author of the books heard feminism and Amazon's abolitionists and activists making thank you so much for coming back on the show thank you for having me and you can hear an.

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