Video 3 minutes:
“The Revolution will not be televised” the current saying goes. Well, the Revolution itself may not get televised, but the spark that lights the fire will most likely be televised. The spark in this case was the approximately 10 minute videos taken by a 17 year old young lady named Darnella Frazier. Frazier was taking her cousin to a local store when she encountered the situation. She pulled out her phone and started recording.
Most of us would be too scared to think clearly enough to start recording such an incident. The presence of police would scare most of us away. Most of us would make the choice of getting away from the scene before the police turned their attention on us. Yet Ms. Frazier pulled out her phone and started shooting. And she shot until the very end.
Why the death of George Floyd was the straw that appears to have broken the back the camel is hard to figure. One thing is for sure though. Without the courage and persistence of one Darnella Frazier recording what happened, this incident would have been another incident that would have drawn probably little scrutiny.
I don’t remember if anyone predicted that the camera-in-mobile-phone would have such an impact. With phones being so ubiquitous we now have recordings of so many aspects of life. Thank goodness one of those aspects is the actions of police officers. What was once a “my word against yours” where one side had the advantage of being considered believable by their title has now become a recording of what really happened.
At that particular moment Darnella Frazier chose to take a video of what happened. She chose to record the whole incident. She stood up for what was right despite being very scared of the police.
Of course in this splintered society that our current president has fostered, Ms. Frasier has been roundly criticized for her actions. As reported by the BBC
“Coping with the response to her video has not been easy either. On Facebook, where she posted the video, the reaction was a mix of shock, outrage, praise and criticism.
In a Facebook post, shared on 27 May, Ms Frazier responded to suggestions she filmed the video for “clout” and did not do enough to prevent the death of Mr Floyd.
“If it wasn’t for me, four cops would’ve still had their jobs, causing other problems. My video went worldwide for everyone to see and know,” Ms Frazier wrote.
The backlash to Ms Frazier’s video epitomises the dilemma facing bystanders who capture high-profile incidents of police violence on camera. Other similar cases have shown it to be an unenviable position to be in.
When emotions run high, videos of police brutality can have a polarising quality, dividing opinion across racial and political lines. Standing at the centre of that debate can take a heavy toll.”
When the history of this time is written I certainly hope that writers and historians remember the bravery of Darnella Frazier. Much like Rosa Parks, Ms. Frazier’s act of heroism must be remember and serve as a great example of what a good citizen does in the face of danger.
Thank you, Darnella Frazier for showing us reality. And for now being a role model.
Meanwhile, this week in local racism: