The past month and some change has been riddled with examples of white devils calling the police on black people for absolutely no reason at all. Every time a new video appears, it goes viral, and the outrage ensues. For all except one instance, which particularly infuriated me, the video of Chikesia Clemons. Clemons is a 25 year old black woman, who visited a Saraland, AL Waffle House with a friend, on the night of April 22nd 2018. While there, she requested plastic cutlery for her to-go meal, and was told by employees she would have to pay $0.50 for it.
Let us pause briefly. *insert stale face* I am not sure about you guys, but I have NEVER been asked to pay for utensils, dine-in or take out. So why they would even suggest such a thing is beyond me, and it was beyond Clemons. Let us continue.
Clemons and the employees ensued in an argument, and she requested the Waffle House corporate phone number so that she could make a complaint. Long story short, these incompetent employees called the police on this young woman. In true police rage, three white male officers approached Clemons, who at this point was seated. The encounter escalated quickly, as the officers tackled Ms. Clemons down to the ground, threatened to break her arm, twisted her wrist, exposed her breasts and of course grabbed her by the neck; all in an attempt to “subdue” her.
Personally, when I saw this video I just knew black men and women alike were going to go crazy. This came shortly after the Starbucks incident in Philly, so tensions were already high. However, something strange happened. I didn’t see or hear much of anything. The posts on my Facebook timeline and twitter feed were still going on and on about Starbucks; the mass shooting by a white male domestic terrorist at a Waffle House in Tennessee, whom was subdued by an unarmed black man, James Shaw; and memes about Bill Cosby and R. Kelly. Do not get me wrong, all of which was very important, and deserved attention, but what about Chikesia Clemons?
As I searched though the comment sections on the few, very few, posts about Clemons, I did not see as much outrage as the video deserved. Instead, I saw numerous black men, some black women, and of course white trolls, expressing how Clemons deserved to be “handled” in the way she was. According to them, she was the “angry black woman”, ratchet, and behaving like a “hood rat”. I ignored these comments and continued to share her story because it affected me. I saw my mother, my sisters, my friends, any black woman in my life, and myself being thrown to the ground and choked by officers when watching the video.
Yet somehow, most others only saw was an “angry black woman”. This “angry black woman” narrative ya’ll love to spread is utter and complete bullsh*t. My being black, a woman, and angry are not mutually exclusive for you to use as a derogatory stereotype to plague all black women. But of course, America finds an excuse to justify the piss poor “policing” that was displayed at that Waffle House in Saraland AL. God forbid somebody be upset with being overcharged, or just plain not agreeing with a “new policy” (again, insert stale face). Most certainly, God forbid a patron asking for the corporate number to the company to make a valid complaint about the poor service given by a customer service establishment.
Sure, all of that means the police need to be called, and definitely, means that the police should come in and treat the woman as an animal, and not the young daughter, mother, and customer she is.
I waited to see if there would be some response, some support for this young woman who was both brutalized and violated. About a week later, there were some sit-ins and boycotts. Yet, this whole debacle still left a sour taste in my mouth.
All the while black women are standing up for and fighting against the injustices that black men face, who is standing up for us? Over 50 years ago Malcolm X said “The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” How far have we come in protecting the black woman if all it takes is for her to get a little angry for you to say she deserves the type of violent behavior exhibited against her, which was exhibited to Clemons? All because she was angry huh?
Well guess what. I am an angry black woman too, because more should have been said and done for Ms. Clemons. If Starbucks in Philly outraged you, then Waffle House in Saraland, AL should have too, period.
~P-Gawd: An Angry Black Woman.