Word of Caution: Certain phrases are used herein that are offensive…but their use is integral to express certain feelings of racist Southern law officers. In advance, please forgive my need to use them.
Sandra Bland’s life had taken a turn for the better. She had a great job waiting for her in Texas…a good enough job that she drove from Illinois to be there for her first day at work. Driving from Illinois, she went through various jurisdictions, many redlight stops, stopsigns, but, made it to Texas without a problem. She was excited and when you are excited, sometimes your focus gets misdirected to that inner monologue you find yourself exploring.
She saw a cop behind her, and as MANY of us do, hoping he is not after us, as quickly as she could, she moved to the other lane to let him go by. But he wasn’t after someone else. He was after the black woman with out of state plates, a known target for the DPS, for local law enforcement as well.
He could have given her a warning for not using her turn signal. He could have given her a ticket and let her go.
But no…in his mind, here was an “uppity nigger bitch” and he was gonna order her around..to “show her who is boss”.
The same anger he felt in him, is the same anger abusive husbands feel when their wives stand up to them, right before they strike her. She was smoking a cigarette, so he tells her to get rid of it. He had no LEGAL authority to do it…but it quit being a law enforcement routine stop for him, before that. This was a white man, in the South, faced with a black woman who had not shown him the proper deference…a woman who refused to “bow and scrape” and say Massa.
Had he NOT taken it on himself to turn this into a personal, racist confrontation…had he chose to be professional, to give her merely a warning, Sandra would have been on the job Monday morning, and he would have never become a name of scorn, an object of hatred.
It was one of those events in life where the road forks…you can take the good fork, or you can take the bad fork…and when you take the bad fork, your life is forever altered..in a bad way.
We have NO indication that Sandra Bland would have hung herself Monday morning if this stop had not gone the way it did. Thus, the stop, the arrest that followed, became the intervening event in Sandra’s life. “But for” that stop, Sandra would be alive, happy, working, in all probability.
It does MATTER whether Sandra fashioned that professional looking hangman’s noose out of a plastic trash can liner..a liner it seems was made by COOK company, the same company she used to work for, or not.
It does MATTER whether her death was a suicide or NOT. But, we may never know which it was, perhaps the dying words of some racist jail employee will clear it up or not.
But, the ONE THING that is clear to this Anon is that, “But For..” the inappropriate, if not ILLEGAL arrest of Sandra Bland, she would not have ended up hanging in a Waller County Jail. There is no disputing of that.
No one is saying Sandra did not suffer depression…no one is saying that at times, she may have felt suicidal…all these things might be true…I personally didn’t know Sandra, so I can’t say definitively one way or the other.
We Anons are angry over not just Sandra’s death, but the unexplained deaths of men and women of ALL races, which have occurred while they were in the custody of white jailers. We do know that the Sheriff of Waller County had been suspended without pay when he was a Police Chief, due to his racism. This casts a strong light of suspicion on him when a black lady “allegedly” committed suicide in his jail.
Nothing I say, nothing ANY Anon says, nothing any #BlackLivesMatter activist says, can bring her back. She is dead…and her death, in that jail, had a cause…an intervening event that led to her death, whatever or whoever caused it.
I watched a previous stop that the officer who arrested Sandra made, before he stopped her. He conducted himself in a different manner with that stop. It leads us to ask, what made the difference in that stop.Was it because Sandra was black, was it because she was from up north, was it because she was a woman? Did Sandra remind him of an ex-girlfriend or wife who had the “nerve” to stand up against him? Did her action and attitude dredge up deep seated misogynistic emotions from his past ? Did he hate her because she was black, or did he hate her because she was a strong woman who spoke her mind?
In the past, this event would not have made more than the police beat news in the back page of a local paper. But, thanks to video, thanks to the internet, thanks to #BlackLivesMatter activists and thanks to Anons…it did NOT get buried, but instead, became the center of news focus nationally, if not internationally.
I think the arrest was in many ways, a “proximate cause” of her eventual death. Whether it was a jail person who killed her and fashioned that plastic noose to cover it up…or whether she did commit suicide…her arrest for no real reason…decided that , that day,she would be forced down the wrong fork in the road…a road which forever changed her life, and the life of the asshole who arrested her…to “teach her a lesson”. These words are not documented coming from his mouth, not documented on any police report, but those of us men who have been raised in the South, who have known redneck racists, who have known redneck racist cops, don’t need it documented. We have heard it documented in the “off duty” talk of so many cops, that we know it by heart.
The question of “Who is to blame” must arise…it has to arise because history has a way of stammering, of repeating itself.
I think,there are definitely people to blame. We must blame this law enforcement guy who felt his penis shrink when confronted with a woman who had the “nerve” to speak back…and when he found his “manhood” inadequate, he responded the way many males do…he tried to show her “who is boss” in a physical manner. This scenario plays out worldwide in domestic abuse, domestic rape, and in plain old vanilla rapes every damn day.
We also must blame the Sheriff, a racist bastard who tolerated, perhaps even promoted that type of conduct against black folks. We know from his past he is racist, and racists tend to shape an atmosphere of racism in any business or department in which they find themselves in charge. I believe the Sheriff is also a misogynistic asshole. So, this “perfect storm” of racism and woman hating, allowed to fester, to fulminate there in Waller county, erupted on a single sunny day when a woman of color happened to make the unpardonable sin of changing lanes without a signal.
Apparently, changing lanes without a signal is such a serious crime in Waller County, such criminals cannot be allowed to go on their way and “endanger” other people. But of course, there is the charge that she “kicked” the person who arrested her. He himself tells the EMT or someone who responded, that he was not hurt by that alleged kick. We’ve seen the video of him on top of her on the side of the road. If you read that sentence and are reminded of rape, then you are astute. If there is such a thing as a rape without penetration, I think that happened. This asshole law enforcement guy wanted to show her who is boss, and he took her down to the ground, got on top of her. In that scenario, the absence of penetration in some ways becomes a distinction without a difference.
Is it possible to be raped as an individual without being penetrated ? Some would say no. I say yes.
So, we have a death in Waller County. I am certain no prison sentence will be handed down to the officer who arrested her. It will be ruled an unfortunate death in which a depressed black woman, locked in a cell, decided to end her life.
I have no proof that this is not what happened. But, I have a gnawing feeling in my gut that SOMETHING happened to Ms. Bland in that jail…something that has been covered up by people involved.
Sadly, we may never know the truth. We do know there are people who loved Ms Bland who will forever, carry questions in their hearts, questions about what really happened. They deserve to know the truth..it’s the least someone who knows, can do. They deserve closure about why their loved ones now have only a memory, where once a vital , caring woman, lived.
We must remember this event. It is horrible…it is tragic…but it WAS avoidable. Ms Bland and that officer did not have to go down the wrong fork in the road.She was dragged kicking and screaming down that wrong fork in the road. And, I assert , there ARE people wearing uniforms in Waller County who have her blood on their hands, and in their conscience.
“But for…” that arrest, she would be alive. But, it happened, and she is not.
Thanks for reading this…