Sometimes white people take their sense of entitlement and authority to levels that make them dangerous to people around them—especially to Black people.
In Villa Rica, Ga., a man has been arrested and charged with assault, battery, cruelty to children, and disorderly conduct after he allegedly beat a Black teen with a belt because he didn’t like the teen’s use of profanity. Fortunately for him, the teen’s mother happened to not be one of the millions of Black mothers in America who would have put his white ass in the grave for having the unmitigated caucasity to physically discipline their children.
“I was just panicked. I could not believe that in 2021 a fully grown man would think that it was OK to come outside with a belt,” Latika Sim told 11 Alive of the incident involving her 15-year-old son Maliyk and their neighbor, 29-year-old Matt Martel. “When you see the video, he is running full speed at him and he’s caught off guard.”
In the video, which appears to be taken from a security camera, Martel can be seen confronting Maliyk and then grabbing the teen by his shirt and forcing him back until the two are off-camera.
From 11 Alive:
“And he grabbed me with his hands around my neck. He threw me up against a garage and I hit my head,” said Malyik.
Malyik said he was in shock, but knew he didn’t want to get in trouble for fighting back.
“My son has played football, he has played every sport, he is fully capable of defending himself. But he knew he could not defend himself. So he walked away. He walked away and still this man is chasing him with a belt. So now I am in a full panic because my kids are unprotected,” said Sim.
She rushed over as fast as she could and called the police, but said she still can’t understand how this happened.
Sometimes being young and Black in America means not realizing that you have the agency to protect yourself against white adults who seek to physically harm you. Sometimes it means stopping to consider who the police are going to believe once they’re called to the scene. Either way, a young teenager should never be put in the position to have to make a decision on whether to fight back against adult violence.
“I have worked in child care for 15 years,” Sim said. “I have had kids say crazy things to me, I have had them hit me, I have never once thought, let me take my belt off, and beat someone else’s kid. So even when he’s texting saying, he heard my son say a curse word, I do not care.”
Seriously, all of this happened over a teenager cursing? Who the fuck does Martel think he is? Even if he went to public school in some Amish land where he was never exposed to kids who have foul mouths, one can only wonder what whitey’s-in-charge world he was raised in where it’s socially acceptable for an adult to take a belt to another parent’s child. (I mean, really parents shouldn’t be whipping their own children either, but that’s a discussion for another day.)
My mother would have beat his ass. My father might have killed his ass.
My 15-year-old self would have said the same thing to him I’d say right now:
Man, fuck you!