*Just keeping it real here.
Read between the lines. Someone calls the police on a couple who was said to be “having sex in a parked car.” As it turns out, the accused is an actress, a black actress, and a “celebrity chef,” her white boyfriend. When asked to describe the couple the 911 caller said it was “a black woman wearing a shirt and floral shorts, and a white man with a black tank top,” according to police spokesman Lt. Andrew Neiman. What we pulled from that was the race part because, well, you figure it out. But while you’re doing that, ask yourself this: Are we allowing ourselves to become so emotionally engaged in the whole color thing that we are ignoring what may be the facts?
Nobody is saying that racism doesn’t exist. We know it does and I feel no obligation to reiterate that point here. But we also have to recognize that we can’t always lead with this. Because then it sets the scene for potential overuse and simply makes anything a black person is involved in that doesn’t turn out well appear as a excuse. Its kind of like when a company does something wrong, and it appears intentional, but they soon come out with a “statement” that apologizes for the action. But that apology has no value. It has been overused again and again, and the wrongdoing continues, and it is followed by yet another apology. “Our company won’t tolerate racism,”
Yeah right. And on and on and on.
Its the same potential danger with the “race card.”
For the record, I hate that f*ckin’ term. Just like I hate the term, “The N Word.”
Who thinks this sh*t up?
Listening to the tape, it was actress Daniele Watts who brought up the issue of color. And on the TV interview that she and her boyfriend granted with CNN, she did say, “We did nothing wrong.” But she didn’t say, “We weren’t having sex in the car.” This couple may very well have been getting it on in the car. They were parked on Radford Avenue in Studio City – where an eclectic blend of studio execs and industry people work and congregate. And yes, they may not think there is nothing wrong with two people who love each other having sex in the car. They may have been caught up in a passionate moment. Didn’t Janet Jackson make a song about that one time? The joy that can come from having sex while others’ watch?
Maybe they should have chosen a different location.
The Los Angeles police officer that detained the actress and her boyfriend defended his actions on Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times. He believes he was doing his job when he handcuffed and detained Watts; saying he responded to a routine call that escalated when the woman refused to identify herself.
The LAPD was criticized for their part in the issue as the couple quickly took to social media to stake their claim on what they feel was racially motivated. But Brian James Lucas had no issue with showing his ID when asked and one has to wonder why Watts made such a big deal of it.
LAPD Sgt. Jim Parker, who responded to the call, said in an interview with the L. A. Times, that he approached the couple because they matched a 911 caller’s description of two people having sex in a car parked on Radford Avenue.
“I figured I could take care of this call and go get coffee and that was it,” Parker said, calling the incident a “long, drawn-out drama.”
“I was trying to ID them and leave – nobody wanted them arrested for having sex in public,” he said. “But then she went into her tirade.”
Lucas and Watts did not return calls or text messages Monday from The Times, despite previously agreeing to an interview. The couple told CNN they stood by their actions and believed they did nothing wrong. Watts said she did not regret refusing to hand Parker her ID.
“I still feel strongly like I didn’t have to,” she said. “I feel that it raises awareness. I’m thankful for the experience. Not to say that I feel like I have to go through it again. But it’s causing a lot of discussion.”
Raises awareness about what?
The L. A. Times obtained a 24-minute recording of the incident; which was verified by a law enforcement source familiar with the incident. On the tape, Parker can be heard asking Lucas for his ID as Watts speaks to her father on the phone. When she stops the conversation to ask what’s going on, Parker explains he was called to the scene in response to a call of “lewd acts.”
Watts insisted the couple had done nothing wrong.
“Somebody called, which gives me the right to be here, so it gives me the right to identify you by law,” Parker said, according to the recording, which was first published by celebrity news site TMZ.
“Do you know how many times I’ve been called, the cops have been called just for being black?” Watts said. “Just because we’re black and he’s white? I’m just being really honest, sir.”
Again, yes, racism exists. But I would be remiss if I didn’t say that sometimes, it is the people involved themselves, the couple, that may need to come to terms with this first.
“Who brought up the race card?” Parker said.
“I’m bringing it up,” she said.
“I said nothing about you being black,” the sergeant responded.
Parker said that although Lucas presented his identification, Watts refused and walked away. LAPD officials verified his account.
“Thank you for bringing up the race card,” Parker said. “I never hear that.”
I’m sure he was being facetious here.
Look, this is my message to Daniele and all those rallying behind her. And I am not taking sides, I am looking at both sides. Yes, you are an actress with a platform that many people in the same situation may not have. You said this on TV and I get it. And yes, being in an interracial relationship has its own, unique, set of challenges. I know from personal experience that society at large does not allow you to forget this.
But as someone who obviously has the intelligence to articulate her intentions so well – did it never dawn on you where you were, when you and your significant other decided to become passionate? As a black woman, it never crossed your mind…no matter if you thought you didn’t do anything wrong. It seems naive, Daniele. You know how racist people are, and its hard to believe that the people from the Director’s Guild nearby (who was cited in news reports; and probably among them–the 911 caller) would have gone into so much detail about a interracial couple having sex in the car, if that couple was only kissing. Its not like they don’t see this everyday. They do. I am sure that many of them are artists. Many of them are in their own interracial relationships. Many of them are in their own LGBT relationships. This is not news. But it becomes a different story when it comes to people having sex in public. And yes, they didn’t have to watch.
But they did. And if you straddled your boyfriend, fully clothed, and engaged in a sexual act, publicly, then what happened to you afterwards was the consequence of that.
And race shouldn’t be misused to justify it. We would have no problem, Daniele, with you putting your big girl panties on and admitting you did this. After all, you wouldn’t be the first to have done it…Nor the last
–This article was written by DeBorah B. Pryor