I did a lot of “wait-whating” this week. On Thursday afternoon, a Tulsa DA announced that prosecutors would charge Officer Betty Shelby with manslaughter for shooting and killing black unarmed Terence Crutcher on Monday.
This happened within days, not weeks or months, of the incident. The Media® didn’t even waste time victim blaming Mr. Crutcher! In fact, with the exception of rumors of him being on PCP, most of the news about him was positive.
I saw pictures of him singing in church and playing instruments and donning in really nice suits! He was turning his life around! He was going to school for music! He had a big, loving family! He looked like a big angel! Nary a mug shot to be found in The Media®. Meanwhile, all of the possible dirt to be found on Officer Shelby was dug up and brought to the surface.
With the exception of the presumably obligatory smiling officer yearbook picture, there was very little positive information about her past. In the past, she admitted to using drugs and had to take a drug education class…ok, well it was marijuana, but STILL! She was accused of using excessive force twice. She and her boyfriend filed restraining orders against each other because they went “Shaven Britney Spears” on each other’s cars. She wasn’t even on the Crutcher call; she and a partner were heading to a domestic violence call and just came upon Mr. Crutcher.
WHAT IS HAPPENING?!
All the coverage of this is like an updated version of Freaky Friday where the unarmed black man and the police officer switch places, so the officer is being treated like a dead black man, and the dead black man is being treated like the killing officer. I initially thought that they were going to try Officer Shelby as a black man, which would be a BIG switch for these cases, but now I’m afraid that she’ll be tried, not as a black man, not as a shitty cop, but as a woman cop.
|OMG, STFU, dude.|
Implications of this are wide. I tweeted out that I hope she’s just tried as a bad cop and that I’ll bet that someone will use this incident to say that a woman shouldn’t be a beat cop, and sure enough, within hours, I heard a healthy dose of misogynoir and misogynivoire™. A white dude at told me that a little white woman should not be allowed to drive a squad car, because she might not be able to overpower a potential bad guy. BRILLIANT! Insinuating that white women are fragile little flowers, even though the ones in uniform had to go through grueling training! Magnifique! A black dude said something similar, but added a little bit of colonialism-based racial stereotyping in there, saying that white women are historically “afraid” of the archetype of the big black man, so she panicked. Ah, yes. Leave it to a Hotep to find a way to perpetuate white supremacist views and coat it in chocolate. I would like to get the addresses of these people, go to DicksByMail.com, and send them each a bag of gummy dicks for them on which to munch, except I want them to KNOW that it’s from me.
Officer Shelby’s actions do NOT reflect the potential actions of every woman in uniform. Not that it is relevant, but she was not even in the car alone. She had a partner. Even if she WAS in the car alone, her gender has nothing to do with her ability to police. I know women police officers. Some of them are large, some of them are small. ALL of them can take down a 300lb cokehead with as little as a pen, so miss me with that “women are weak” argument. The grotesque Hotep argument that because she’s a little white woman, she’s probably scared of all big black men is not only the plot of Birth of a Nation (the rapey one, not the one BY the rapey one), it mixes racism with the myth of the weak-minded, “hysterical” woman. A lot of arguments against women taking leadership roles and beat cop roles and combat roles in the military begin with the idea that women are too “hormonal” and will do something irrational at a critical time. Like, somehow their uteruses will sail on a river of period blood up to their brains and control their motor functions a la Ratatouille and make them hit the Big Red button and destroy the world. She was described as being “over emotional” and being influenced be her husband in the hovering helicopter saying that Crutcher looked like a “bad dude”. Because apparently, her flighty lady brain wouldn’t be able to make any decisions on its own! So expect this incident to be the latest piece of, “SEE?! I told you!” The fact is that men are as “hormonal” as women, but they’re different hormones. And let’s be real: Since civilization, how many women initiated wars compared to men? How many women executed mass genocides? How many women murdered their husbands in domestic violence disputes, compared to men? How many women have drugged men and violently assaulted them? Numbers don’t lie. As much as we love watching our World Star Hip Hop “cat fight” videos and movies about the “crazy” spurned women who goes nuts and tries to kill her ex’s new wife, men perpetrate the majority of murders and assaults and wars and violence in the world. And women? Women be shopping*.
Putting women on the force can actually de-escalate a lot of violence and rash actions. The influx of women executives in board rooms has turned profit in companies, because wiser, more intuitive decisions were made. Women in the military have been instrumental, even before they were officially allowed in combat roles. I’ll bet that they can garner more intel, as they often have better access to speak to women and children, especially in regions where men usually are not allowed to talk to women at all. Women on police forces have made it easier for female victims to come forward in give in depth details about crimes against them. Women on the force is definitely not the problem. Betty Shelby on the force definitely is.
Given Oklahoma’s history of being a less-than socially progressive state, it wouldn’t surprise me that the Tulsa DA would throw Betty Shelby under the bus in order to perpetuate the narrative that women cannot handle tense situations. This is the state that gave us unconstitutional anti-sharia laws and the Black Wall Street Massacre. Do you really think that all of a sudden, they actually care about black lives, or any lives? They were not so quick to prosecute anyone for the 14 unarmed people in the last 2 years who perished at the hands of police or in police custody. I highly doubt that they turned over a new leaf so quickly, not after over 100 years of sexism and racism. Remember, this is the same state where a scrotum of bros happily sang about lynching any people of color who would like to join their fraternity.
I am glad that there is a charge so soon after the shooting, and I hope that this will be a transparent, fair trial. Looking at the video, Betty Shelby is not a shitty WOMAN cop; she is just a shitty cop. I am, however, very worried that the Betty Shelby trial will be an instance of throwing one group under the bus to shut up another group, all while not really addressing the inherent problem. Also, I can’t afford to send bags of gummy dicks to everyone who perpetuates the “women are weak” or the “black men are inherently scary and violent” narrative.
*I KNOW! I’M SORRY!