silver lining

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And here’s the first half of the first batch of finished commissions! Thanks once again for your patience and understanding, it’s not often I get to work on so many things at once, so this’ll hopefully help me get back in the groove of things.

Hope you guys like them!

The only good news about the McKinney pool party is two white kids’ response to racism

“In the story of the Texas pool party, where a police officer was caught on tape manhandling and pointing a gun at young black teenagers, there’s a lot to be concerned and outraged about. But there’s also one tiny thing to celebrate: the actions of two white kids [Grace Stone and Brandon Brooks.]

Just 14 and 15 years old, they wasted no time speaking on the record about the racist comments made by adults that they said set off the incident, and recording the discriminatory treatment they said they witnessed.

Sadly, when it comes to public opinion about the event, it’s likely that these accounts have more weight coming from the white kids than from the black kids who have offered similar stories, but whom many media consumers might see as potential criminals and untrustworthy reporters of what happened.

Their stories shaped the early media narrative of the event, and their sense of responsibility to memorialize what happened should be seen as an example. Many American adults could learn something from their brave decisions to acknowledge rather than avoid or explain away the injustice they saw, but also to make sure the rest of us understood.” Jenée Desmond-Harris, Vox Media

“According to 19-year-old community member Tatiana [Rhodes], who put together the event to celebrate the end of the school year, several white people at the pool hurled racial slurs at her friends, calling one a “black f-er” and talking about Section 8 public housing. When 14-year-old friend Grace Stone stood up for the group, saying the comments were racist, the man and woman started berating her. Tatiana alleges she stepped in to tell the white couple that they shouldn’t verbally attack a young girl, at which point they told her to “go back to [her] Section 8 home.” One woman…allegedly slapped Tatiana in the face, before attacking the teenager with the help of another woman.” Carimah Townes, ThinkProgress

“Grace Stone, a white 14-year-old, told BuzzFeed News that when she and her friends objected to the racist comments about public housing, an adult woman then became violent…. Stone told BuzzFeed News that when she approached the officers to explain what had happened in the pool the cop featured in the video ordered that she be handcuffed. ‘I asked why I was in handcuffs and he wouldn’t tell me,’ she said, adding that she was the only white person handcuffed. Stone’s father, Donnie, soon arrived on scene and was also not given a reason as to why his 14-year-old daughter was in handcuffs. ‘All they would say is that she’s not arrested,’ he said. ‘I was fixing to get really irate. I thought they were going to put me in handcuffs. I was shaking. It was very aggravating.’ Stone was released from her handcuffs after about 25 minutes and allowed to go home. The Stone family said they would file assault charges against the adult woman at the pool who made the racist comments.” David Mack, BuzzFeed News

Brandon Brooks, the 15-year-old boy who shot the McKinney pool party video [stated] ‘The cops showed up and the parents immediately started yelling, ‘you need more cops, there’s too many of them.’ And most of the kids weren’t even involved. It was a fight between a mom and girl, which had nothing to do with all the other kids that she apparently needed more cops for,’ Brooks explained. That’s when Brooks says the officer, reportedly identified as Cpl. Eric Casebolt, arrived on the scene and flipped out. ‘He trips and drops his flashlight. He’s going crazy, putting people in handcuffs, tackling people, slinging them on the ground.’ So, why wasn’t Brooks handcuffed? ‘I was one of the only white people in the area when that was happening. You can see in part of the video where he tells us to sit down, and he kinda like skips over me and tells all my African-American friends to go sit down.’” Kennedra Mcdonald and Tim Roberts, NewsFix, KDAF-TV

“Brooks and his friend, Devin Shanklin, heard about the pool party on Twitter and never imagined that they’d see an officer draw his gun. ‘At that point, my heart did drop and I was scared that someone was going to get shot and possibly killed, so I knew I had to keep on filming like, ‘cause…I got really scared when he pulled out his gun,’ said Brooks. Things began to escalate when a fight broke out between the party promoter, a teen named Tatyana Rhodes, and an adult white woman. According to several accounts, the fight was set off by derogatory comments to Rhodes from the adult. ‘Like, telling her to go back to section 8 housing,’ said Brooks….Brooks says Casebolt’s aggressive behavior and foul language were in stark contrast to other officers. ‘I thought it was out of line compared to the other officers,’ said Brooks. ‘The other officers acted very professional.’ Casebolt does not try to detain Brooks or Shanklin. ‘I was like one of the few Caucasian people at the party, so I think it might have had something to do with racism,’ said Brooks.” Fox4/KTVU-TV

“When police arrived on scene, teens began fleeing. That’s when Brooks began his recording. ‘Everyone who was getting put on the ground was black, Mexican, Arabic,’ he said. ‘[The cop] didn’t even look at me. It was kind of like I was invisible.’” David Mack, BuzzFeed News

The kids’ reactions were encouraging. Take note, adults.

“Outside of the context of American racism, what the kids did wouldn’t really be a big deal: they saw that other kids their age were being wronged, and they told the truth about what happened. But against the backdrop of a society in which many adults both perpetuate racism and go to great lengths to deny it, their reactions stood out.

Brooks, who got out his phone to record the incident, even recognized and admitted that he was benefiting from his race by being able to loiter around without being antagonized or arrested. Meanwhile, Stone, 14, told a reporter about the racist comments that she said started the whole event, adding essential context to what had previously been characterized as just ‘a fight.’

In this way, Stone and Brooks weren’t just standing up for the black kids at the pool; they were also, hopefully, setting an example — and maybe, if we’re really optimistic about their generation — predicting the future.” Jenée Desmond-Harris, Vox Media

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I met Cas. I like Cas! He’s nice to me… and — he says he’s our friend. I never had friends before. I never was friends with a angel before… but is he really one, or is he just saying that t'make me happy?

(Continued from this post.)