Delaware state women’s lacrosse team bus being searched for drugs by police in Georgia is unsurprising – this is America


The story about the DSU women's lacrosse team being stopped in Georgia just keeps getting worse.

The story about the DSU women’s lacrosse team being stopped in Georgia just keeps getting worse.
screenshot: DSU/Saniya Craft (YouTube)

A story about an HBCU women’s lacrosse team has become national news because America’s continued desire to behave like cops who abuse their power to abuse black people is an outlier and not the norm.

Last month, the bus of the Delaware state majority-black women’s lacrosse team was pulled over and searched. Almost everyone on the bus was black. The cops were white. The place was Georgia. This is a recipe for racial disaster.

What unfolded was a microcosm of race, police, and the discriminatory stigmas surrounding marijuana use in this country. The heart of the story is that a group of black people were on a bus in a state that has long reminded us how much they dislike black people. A very “practical” reason – driving in the wrong lane – was cited as the reason for stopping the bus, leading to a search that was at best unnecessary and at worst dehumanizing. And now people, politicians, the press, and members of the scientific community are wondering how this could have happened, as if people of that gender and race hadn’t endured this kind of treatment from those who supposedly “protect and serve” us since… forever.

“If there’s anything suspicious there, please tell me now, because if we find it, you know what? We won’t be able to help you,” says one of the officers in the video of the incident. “Marijuana is still illegal in the state of Georgia.”

See that last part about marijuana? Yes, that’s why Blacks and Browns are so pissed about how acceptable and “cool” it is to smoke, sell, or openly discuss weed and cannabis. Because if we’ve smoked or sold in the past, we’ve been looked down on, arrested for it, or viewed in a negative light. But now, conversations about edibles, pre-rolls, and which dispensary is your favorite are acceptable considering the cannabis sales are over $17 billion last yearfor an industry run almost exclusively by whites.

Marijuana is a cure if you’re white. It’s a drug if you’re black.

These officers were not out there doing “good police work.” They drove past a bus full of black people and used their drug sniffer dog to scavenge for weed because that’s their usual modus operandi with people they “apply” to, especially since the April 20 incident.

“The stereotype about marijuana is that it’s mostly done by African Americans. With our players, there’s no chance they would, let alone take it on a trip when we play lacrosse games.” DSU lacrosse coach Pamella Jenkins told ESPN.

And to make matters worse, Liberty County Sheriff is William Bowman first black sheriff in the history of this county. But he is nonetheless a shining example of how problematic the system is when a man of as much power chooses the color of his uniform over the color of his own people as he dared tell them Constitution of the Atlanta Journal that race was not a factor.

“Prior to boarding the coach, MPs were unaware that this school was historically black, due to the height of the vehicle and the tinting of the windows, or that they were racially or consciously aware of the occupants.” Bowman said during a recent public address.

“As a veteran, former Georgia State Trooper and sheriff of this department, I do not practice, permit, or encourage racial profiling.”

Bowman then ventured to say that “no personal effects on the bus or people were searched” – which we now know is a lie, as footage from the officer’s body cameras proves otherwise. But that’s how law enforcement works. Blue is the only color that matters to them as it has been proven that they will do and say whatever is necessary to cover each other.

But aside from what happened on that bus last month, where it happened and who it happened to is also a hazard to this story, as everyone connected to the Delaware State at this moment learned a valuable geography lesson because despite what you may think, Georgia isn’t Atlanta.

In a moment when HBCUs are highlighted and celebrated, the fact that this situation happened to a black team from a black school playing what many would call “white sports” is just another example of how race is ingrained in so many parts of society. Because even if HBCUs get this long-overdue attention and appreciation, when it comes to the state of Delaware, all everyone is talking about is how they’ve been bullied, rather than the great work that’s been done on campus, like they’ve been doing recently to have acquired a neighboring, mostly white institution. But nonetheless, in a year that sees several, this is overshadowed by the actions of some white people HBCU campuses have received repeated bomb threats.

“One of the Caucasian members of the team asked why this happened.” Jenkins explained to ESPN. “And I said to her, ‘Unfortunately, as black people, that’s what happens to us.”

Only in America can a white man attend a university that was created for blacks because whites didn’t want blacks in their schools and believed that their skin color could protect them from the things blacks – and their teammates – are forced to endure. But on April 20, everyone on that trip was reminded how daunting bus rides can still be for black people in the South.

“[A] The majority of team members had never encountered the police, making this a traumatic incident for them,” wrote Sydney Anderson, a DSU sophomore lacrosse player, in the school’s student newspaper. The hornet.

At its core, going to college is less about what you learn in class and more about what you learn about yourself through interactions with others. They are the first steps of adulthood as college introduces students to a whole new world. And on the HBCU campus, that world is a world where black people are valued, nurtured and celebrated because we know it will rarely happen outside of these walls.

But on a bus trip last month, the Delaware State women’s lacrosse team learned another important lesson. That no matter how “white” the sport you play may be to some, or the fact that going to school makes you “one of the good guys,” the color of your skin will always make you a target for some, which sometimes does to a ridiculous, racist and unnecessary search of your personal belongings in the name of “police work”. And for anyone who thinks this incident was some kind of “misunderstanding,” I’m here to inform you that the bus driver was never issued a subpoena during the first stop.

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