Melvin Rogers on Diamond Reynolds

At the very moment these commentators often join Reynolds in seeking justice for her boyfriend and equal deployment of the law to rightly punish the officer, they remind us of the unequal status of black folks.

We would never expect others to display such composure in the face of such traumatic circumstances. We would not penalize their failure of self-control by tying it to untrustworthiness. In fact, we think, and rightly, that emotional eruptions at precisely this moment are appropriate. We think this, I suggest, because the gravity of the situation often elicits this from us. You have just lost a loved one, under horrific circumstances, and by one who is otherwise meant to protect and serve. It makes prefect sense to come undone in that moment, since the emotional eruption is often, at any rate, a judgment of value about the entire event.

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3 thoughts on “Melvin Rogers on Diamond Reynolds

  1. I think Rogers’ understanding of Reynold’s reaction is questionable, despite his being right about unjust burdens placed on her and others

    From The Washington Post:

    “Trauma experts say Reynolds’s response wasn’t surprising. Jim Hopper, a psychology instructor at Harvard Medical School, watched the footage Thursday and said her behavior was consistent with what he calls a dissociative state.

    In the immediate aftermath of horrific violence, he said, victims don’t always sob. Reynolds’s face appeared stoic. Her voice remained steady: “You told him to get his ID, sir. His driver’s license,” she told the police officer. But it doesn’t mean she wasn’t afraid.

    “People are literally not feeling in their body what’s going on,” Hopper said. “That circuitry can basically shut down. This is the brain on horror.”

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