Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Why McKinney Was Right To Apologize

Bo Bo Bo
Ka Ka Ka Ka Ka
It's the only way to deal with racism when your black.


Any fan of Hip Hop knows this famous line by the Blastmaster himself KRS-ONE. No doubt Representative McKinney was feeling this idea when Capitol Cop attempted to stop her from entering congress. Unfortunately, when she hit the officer, she found herself on the wrong side of the law. She knew it and I'm sure her lawyer reminded her of the fact.

I'm not entirely sure what happened other than the following:
1) McKinney was attempting to enter the capitol building without her identifying pin.
2) The officer asked her to stop and identify herself.
3) McKinney, on the phone may not have heard the officer and continued on her way.
4) McKinney, upset that she was being singled out for identification chose to ignore the police officer.
5) The officer then attempted to physically stop McKinney for ID.
6) McKinney upset that the officer had touched her, hit the officer.

Here's the problem: regardless to whether 3 or 4 happened, an police officer has the right to physically stop any person from entering a secured zone. It doesn't matter if they recognize the person or not. Of course it is courtesy that congresspersons are allowed to go by, but that courtesy does not negate police power (right or wrong). Citizens, do not have the option of ignoring a police request to stop, be it at the capitol building or on a highway. This is where McKinney went wrong. Not only that, but as a representative, she is a role model for millions of black people in the US. It is not a good idea to get black people, specifically black men, the idea that it is OK to get into a physical altercation with a police officer. I think McKinney or perhaps her lawyer made this particular point.

This is not to say that McKinney was not profiled. I have little doubt that she was. She also knows the legal process for dealing with it. Also, by lashing out in anger(?) she may signal that it is OK to use violence to resolve problems. Perhaps, deep down she does. I'm not morally opposed to that point. I do think that for what McKinney has been sent by her constituents to do, violence is off the table.

So not to belabor the point, let us agree that McKinney was right to apologize (I'm mad she said she was "sorry" since she is not a "sorry" person) and that legally she had no grounds to hit the officer. Having made that point, lets continue to support Representative McKinney is every way possible, including her seniority re-instatement.


Trula said...

You make some good points. I am still on the fence about whether or not she should apologize though. Had she been a white male, dude wouldn't have touched her.

Sondjata I'm linking you soon as blogger start acting right, it's loading all kinds of slow tonight.

sondjata said...

I agree that it is most likely that the officer would not have put his hand on or attempted to restrain say Nancy Pelosi.

However; this is an issue of principle. If we are to have a moral ground to say that Bush is a criminal for breaking the law when he wiretapped American citizens, then we have to extend the same critique to Rep. McKinney otherwise we leave ourselves open to the "liberal partisan" attack. By saying McKinney was wrong, Legally to hit a police officer in the process of carrying out his lawfull (even if poorly executed) job, we can unequivocally demand that a Grand Jury be enpanelled to indict Bush on charges of treason.

If simply hitting an officer is enough to demand Grand Jury empanelling and denunciations from certain members of Congress, then where is the Grand Jury for a person who stated on National TV that he not only broke his oath of Office, but he also broke the law (Just as McKinney did)?

Where is Bush's apology to the American People?

That's why it was right for McKinney to apologise. It is also why it is right for those of us who support her to say so. It simply gives us the legal and moral high ground.