What Those Kids In McKinney Should Have Done To Prevent The Cops From Assaulting Them

Dallas News sceenshot
Dallas News sceenshot

Like many of you, I've spent much of today watching and talking about the disturbing video of the police officers assaulting and arresting Black children at a pool party in McKinney, Texas. This incident apparently occurred Friday evening, and at least one officer has reportedly been suspended as a result.


But while the suspension would seem to put all of the blame for this on the behavior of the police, those kids hold just as much responsibility. Even more, perhaps. They're the ones who caused this to happen, and all of this mess could have been prevented if they would have just followed a couple easy steps.

1. Don't be Black

As I watched the video repeatedly, I grew increasingly frustrated during each viewing at those kids' refusal to not be Black. Did they not realize that all they had to do to prevent the police from terrorizing them for no damn reason was not be Black? How could they not manage to do something so damn simple? Why were they so stubbornly and insistently Black? So many questions. So few answers.

Really, though, you can't even really blame the kids. At this point, it's all on the parents. Because none of what happened would have happened if the parents of those kids would have done their jobs years ago and taught those Black kids how not to be born Black.

2. Don't be Black around the police

Doesn't matter if you're Black and in a bathing suit. Or Black and 11 years old and only there because your mom wouldn't let your sister go unless she brought you. Or Black and scared to death because Paul Blart is pulling guns out on your friends and rolling and diving all over the fucking place like he's on American Ninja Warrior. Or even Black and listening to Big Sean. If you're going to make the mistake of being Black while pool partying, don't add insult to injury by being Black around the police.

3. Be White kids

If you watch the video and read some of the first-hand accounts of the incident, you'll notice that there were actually some kids who weren't being chased and tackled and sat on. And it's no coincidence that the kids who managed to escape danger obviously learned at a very early age how to be White. Which begs the question: Why didn't the Black kids in the video just learn how to be White kids?


Who knows? I surely don't. I do know, though, that someone needs to teach them before it's too late.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)


Michael Dean Miller

… or you could do what most White people do: shut your mouth and listen to the cop 'til the issue is settled. Think you can handle that?