Friday, March 09, 2007


In the Guardian yesterday I read a front page story about Toni Comer, a girl from Sheffield that 4 policemen beat up outside a nightclub. I read the story on the front page with intrigue. Read the full story here. On page 3 you see a picture of her, looking pretty thugged out, with her hair gelled and fake LV headscarf. Its a dope picture, I love it.

This story is of particular interest to me being a young black woman in Britain. There is something almost universal about the hatred of police. Everyone hates them, everyone moans about police, cusses them, argues with them. Especially those from ethnic minorties. I completely understand the reasons why. My brother gets stopped by the police in his cars all the time. He relishes the fact that his can flash his National Army badge and they just wave him along... I on the other hand think they're ok. Just like everyone else in the world, they are just doing their job. But I think this may be because I very rarely (in fact I cannot think of any incident from the top of my head) where I have encountered any racism. Some people find this very hard to believe. Maybe I'm oblivious to it. Or maybe its because my personality, actions, manner is both versatile and considerate to those of all cultures so I am accepted more widely. Whatever it is, I still find this story interesting. Just to recap the story, Toni was thrown out of a Sheffield nightclub for being drunk and disorderly. When she was outside she damaged someones car in the carpark, whereupon the police were called and one of them punched her "as hard as I was physically able with my fists". This is the line that made me wince. the thought of a policeman, tall, fit and strong, punching a woman as hard as he could makes me feel a little bit sick. As hard as he could!? WTF? She was 19! Even at her strongest, he would be stronger, physically. She also had an epileptic fit and was punched into unconsciousness. Then her trousers fell to her ankles and she was dragged along the carpark into a riot van, with her legs exposed...This all happened last summer but only came to light recently due to The Guardian newspaper getting their hands on the CCTV footage (Freedom of Information Act perhaps?!)

Anyway, this has led to another article in the G2 today about policemen using unnecessary brute force on female ethnic minorties. Two women have actually died in the past which is downright outraegeous. Its a really well informed and written article and continues to discuss the attitude of policemen towards female victims of crime concerning domestic abuse, rape etc.

The only bit that let the article down was the inclusion of Hannah Pool's, The Guardian's resident black girl, opinion on the subject. I find that more often than not, I don't agree with her opinions. (She wrote an article on British Black Music for the Weekend a few months ago which me and Alex thought was terrible, I mean the writing wasn't shit, but just the approach to the subject) Fair enough, everyone is allowed their opinion, but when she makes comments like "I have no problem stopping and asking a male police officer for directions, but I am self-conscious when I do so. And while I do not think that every police officer is a racist, if I am honest I tend to assume that they are. I am completely baffled why any black person would want to join the service. I know that while officers may find me less threatening than a black male, they would have no problem throwing a few punches my way and jotting down in their notebook that I was being an "over-aggressive black woman". In short, I expect nothing from the police." I get really irritated. This is a frankly ridiculous discrimination of the thousands of police officers who are there to serve the community. And a slap in the face to my brother who, being a male with darker skin than I, has experienced a lot of racism yet still decided to serve his country and join the army. Her comments irk me, especially when its under the headline of "A Black woman's perspective" Oh please. Hannah should keep writing about beauty and leave her one sided view of Black British culture at home. After reading quite a bit of her work to make an informed decision, I do not think she is representative of average black Britons and they should hire someone more diplomatic. She reminds me of my semi-racist mother...

Anyway, please check the articles I've posted above if you haven't had a chance to pick up the Guardian today. They are all really important to female culture today. (There is also an article on feminism in the Women section). Knowledge is Power...

No comments: