Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor —
— Langston Hughes excerpt from “Mother to Son”
Life, for many of us, is hard.
Life for a 16-year-old Black girl in the New South living in a foster home is no crystal stair.
In a recent interview, Todd Rutherford, the respected Columbia, S.C., attorney representing the assault victim of the recently terminated Deputy Ben Fields, revealed that his client, in addition to suffering injuries on her face, neck, and arm, is living in foster care.
While her identity, no doubt, will eventually be leaked to the media, it’s the goal of her foster mother to protect and care for her as well as she can considering the circumstances, according to her lawyers. She communicated to us that the young victim is devastated and emotionally traumatized by all that has happened to her.
School, as you can imagine, could be particularly tough for a young girl who has experienced so much pain and loss in her young life. To think that she has now suffered police brutality and is facing trumped up criminal charges for age-appropriate classroom behavior is just despicable.
Some trauma cannot be undone. The experience of police brutality is an example of such trauma.
Our kids, who already face enormous pressure in life, should never be subjected to state-sponsored violence while in school. For this young girl, Spring Valley High School should’ve been a refuge.
Instead, it was something far worse.
By: Shaun King