It’s terrible when people exploit a real issue and use it to draw attention to themselves at the expense of their race. I’m talking about Danielle Watts, and her recent very public incident with police officers. When I first heard about the incident earlier in the week I was a little confused and chose not to write about it because the details seemed fuzzy. Police approached her, called her a prostitute and her boyfriend a John because they were an interracial couple kissing in a public space? Something just didn’t add up, and if it did, then there really was no hope for racial peace and a change in police behavior. But lo and behold a few days later, the truth of the situation comes to light, and let’s just say what’s done in the dark should have stayed there.
When the story broke, it turned out that the police had actually been called out on a complaint of something in the realm of lewd and lascivious public behavior, my own words. Apparently people had seen them getting a little hot and heavy in the front seat of their car and felt uncomfortable. When the cops approached them, Danielle’s white boyfriend simply handed over his ID. Danielle on the other, well Danielle acted like a damn fool, made an absolute scene, pulled the race card, then proceeded to pull the celebrity card. This all resulted in her subsequent handcuffing until she presented officers with her ID, after which they promptly let her and her boyfriend on their way. Both of them took to social media claiming racial injustice, the issues with America, and just for safe measure her boyfriend threw out a statement about police assuming that they were in fact a “trick” and a “John”. Even with photographic evidence, Watts and her boyfriend claim that it only proves that they were making out and not having sex, whatever it was it apparently made people uncomfortable.
Danielle my dear, you are absolutely ruining it for the rest of us. This is a prime example of when someone messes it up for everyone, by diverting attention away from real issues and focusing it on an embarrassing mess like this one. We do not live in post-racial America, I do not think I can make that more clear. While we have made strides, moved mountains, and progressed, we are nowhere near the finish line. Focusing on examples of racial injustice in America serves as a reference point from which to work when we address what to fix in order to move forward. What Danielle Watts did was selfish, to say the least.
Those who claim that there really is not as much racial injustice in the world as people try to make it seem, look for incidents like this one to back up their point. As a Black person in America you should always understand that you are under some form of scrutiny. It doesn’t mean it is fair, warranted, or right, it just happens to be the reality. With this in mind you should also be very well aware of the fact that engaging in battles with cops is a foggy area. It’s extremely important to pick your battles and do so wisely. Essentially Danielle Watts did not pick the right battle, nor did she use the right approach.
Listening to the audio from the situation makes me cringe, because she sounds like a damn idiot. The officer was calm when he approached her, he told her why he was there and simply asked for her ID. To launch into a loud speech about racial injustice and profiling in America, to scream, and cry, was so completely unnecessary. I don’t know if she was trying to get in character for an upcoming role, or maybe she thought she was Rosa Parks re-incarnate, but I can promise you she probably won’t have the support of the NAACP on this one. What’s even worse than the race card was her choice to throw out her “fame card”, spitting out things like, ” I think I’d like to identify you … to my publicist.” Ms. Watts please have a seat. While I did not see Django Unchained, I had a minor in African American studies, I’ve had my fill of slave movies for a lifetime, I can guess that her role probably didn’t make or break the film in any way, particularly if her acting was anything like the scene she caused with the police.
It is hard to be Black in America. That’s not a statement of pity or one that warrants pity, it’s just a fact. It is a reality that we have come to understand and one that we work everyday to battle. Danielle Watts has just added another notch in the belt of difficulty, adding to the weight on our backs. People like this are selfish and foolish and deserve whatever is coming to them because they chose to use the pain and suffering of their people to boost their own notoriety. Before this incident I had no idea who this woman was and I’m sure plenty of other people can say the same. What plenty of people can now also say is “see, Black people are forever exaggerating race.” Well the truth is, WE are not, but Danielle Watts, well she’s just a whole different story,