Nov 13, 2023
Black Cop PUNISHED For Wearing Hair In Bantu Knots
- 7 minutes
Jersey Black female cop discipline for wearing Bantu knots. For all of y'all that don't know what Bantu knots are, you're looking at them. It is a hairstyle that originated in Africa, and we see a lot of Black African American women wearing this hairstyle. Women throughout the African diaspora, what people won't tell [00:00:17] you is what's connected to the Bantu knots is it's a delineation off of braids. Braids were used, one to bring seeds from the native country for all types of food that Americans love now, i.e watermelon, i.e okra, all of that came from Africa, and it came in the tweeting of this hair. [00:00:35] So you all might not know that, but this is ridiculous. Let's get into it. New Jersey chain Weekes-Rivera. That's her name. A 10 year veteran of the Maplewood Township police has filed a discrimination lawsuit after she was disciplined for wearing her hair in Bantu knots. [00:00:52] The lawsuit, obtained by Atlanta Black Star, was filed against the Township of Maplewood and MPD Captain Peter Kuenzel, or Zel. The complaint states that Weekes-Rivera, who wore her hair in Bantu knots, a traditional African hairstyle, as I just stated, on August 20, [00:01:09] was in violation of the dress code. She was disciplined 11 days later on August 31. On August 31, 2023, Officer Weekes-Rivera was notified of an internal affairs complaint regarding her violation of Maplewood R and [00:01:24] R 4.7.2 Manner of Dress on Duty, states the lawsuit. Her hair in Bantu knots, but her supervising sergeant were disciplined for failure to supervise when they decidedly refused to discriminate against Officer Weekes-Rivera for her hairstyle. [00:01:42] Man, this is unbelievable that we are still policing Black people's hair. This idea of professionalism is unbelievable to me. I also think this is something we need to talk about. We are not willing just to punish this officer for her hairstyle. [00:01:58] They, when I say we, I'm talking about the police department and also America because we allow this to happen. So I think what goes further is they even prosecuted her supervising officer because they didn't punish her, they didn't discipline her. This is absolutely ridiculous. [00:02:13] But it's also, Paul, for the course, for an institution that has so much ingrained and also riding on the fact that Black people need to know their place. Jackson. >> Speaker 2: Yeah, and instances like this, whether it's here or corporate America, dealing with similar things, [00:02:29] it's just a way for people to pick on somebody that's beneath them. Keeping people down, identifying something to do with somebody that gives you a reason to give them a boot or something. But especially since you pointed out that their supervisors were also being harassed [00:02:44] for not coming down on her as well, its just maintaining the authority, the image of the police state, the image of what law enforcement is supposed to be, because perhaps people won't take her seriously or they won't be afraid of her. They'll feel like she's one of them if they come up to the car looking like that. [00:03:02] I guess it's like a clean cut mentality or something. But really, underneath it all, it's just bullying. That's all it is. She's just getting bullied. >> Speaker 1: That's all it is, brother, and that matters. I mean, I have my hair in a kinky staff intentionally, and I see that you have locks. [00:03:18] So we're speaking from a space where we know exactly what it means not only to be Black, not only to be Black man, not only to be Black man with nappy hair intentionally. We also know what it means to watch sisters in places where they're trying to be a part of the blue. What happens to protect the blue when they show up like this, [00:03:34] talking about these agencies? Atlanta Black Star went on to say that Kuenzel also reportedly told Weekes-Rivera that she violated policy by wearing her hair in rollers. To get that paper, it was cringeworthy, recalled Weekes-Rivera. I had to ask him questions to stop myself from crying. [00:03:51] It's super embarrassing. It makes me feel less than. That is the intention. That is not by mistake, that making you feel less than for accepting your blackness and moving in that space is as American as apple pie and baseball. And when we pretend that it ain't, [00:04:07] when we pretend that that feeling of embarrassment, that feeling of nothing or less than is intentional, then we are missing the mark. This is what happens when people say police departments are broke, when in actuality, we know they were designed to work just like this. Jackson. >> Absolutely, and it's important to know when you pushing somebody down, it's not just so [00:04:26] that you can keep yourself up elevated in power, but before that comes just general insecurity, you know what I'm saying? When you really break people down from an anthropological level, it's really quite simple. We feel certain ways and we react to them. [00:04:42] We want to feel like we're on top, at least of our own lives. We want to feel like we aren't threatened. And at the end of the day, this country was set up for White people. It was set up in such a way that Black bodies were used in slavery land, was taken from natives, and it was speculated upon and that's how this country spread. [00:04:59] So we're trying our best to get away from those pillars. And we have done a good job at it, but we're still fighting it because those are the foundations of the country. So if Bantu knots make people feel insecure, it's just going back to who's supposed to be on top. You shouldn't be here. I shouldn't be working next to you. [00:05:15] And that's why we got to keep the fight alive, because we can't win it. And we will. >> Speaker 1: Yeah, I mean, I guess it's this false idea of what's professional, right? In the Black Star, they went on to say that Weekes-Rivera, who was also involved in an earlier and separate lawsuit against Maplewood that [00:05:31] was brought by the City employees challenging COVID-19 vaccination mandates, is requiring that a Judge force Kuenzel and township to comply with the CROWN Act. This is so Black people can wear their hair the way they please and turn over policy copies on officers hairstyle as well as complaints about her hairstyle. [00:05:48] And again, that's according to New Jersey Monitor. I'm just thinking, man, we breeze over this because it's one of the things that Black people deal with on a regular basis, but we shouldn't because what's at the bottom of it is what this sister said about her feelings, how it made her feel. [00:06:08] We're talking about trauma and the building of new trauma on top of undelt with trauma. So operating in a system, talking about the police department, the institution that is policing in America, then being told that your blackness is not enough, but also your hair is making it worse, [00:06:23] is something that every day you put on that uniform, you have to feel. And I don't know what to do with that Jackson, that's rough for me to try and process. >> Speaker 2: I think that what's important is to realize that this also translates into policy. [00:06:38] As we saw the reversal of Roe V Wade and what happens with a lot of the Red States being extremely adamant about pushing six week bans, even though the Republican constituency really doesn't want that either. More and more authoritarianism is creeping in. So this can translate into policy, as we've seen. [00:06:56] Look at how many bills have been passed to make it harder for people to vote things along those lines. I can't remember cuz now we got Mike Johnson. I think it was Emerson, Marjorie Taylor Green and a few other Republicans. Like, I couldn't vote for him because he was in favor of gay marriage, like, [00:07:13] stuff like that. So this can creep into law. So, you're very right, it is important for us to not let this slide under the rug. >> Speaker 1: Yeah I mean, it creeps into law and then also what's left unsaid is if we don't file these lawsuits, if this sister didn't file this lawsuit, what will happen is they will kill you or [00:07:31] torture you and tell the world you were okay with it. Right? We see this fake telling of history about slaves being docile and enjoying life, this comfortable life on plantation, when in actuality, we know there was all types of protest.
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