This mother’s heart-wrenching story appeared in the Sacramento Bee:
Stacy Dossman stood at a podium in front of the Sacramento City Council and, her voice quivering, testified about her experience of raising an 18-year-old African American son.
She did not know Stephon Clark, but she said she loved him nonetheless as the mother of a young black man. She said she was traumatized by Clark’s shooting, which had forced her to tell her son to lower the hood on his sweatshirt when he drives and to “just drop” to the ground if he’s confronted by police.
“I’m angry and I’m hurt,” Dossman told the City Council. “I’ve been reliving what I saw on that tape (showing Clark’s shooting) over and over and over again.”
Emotions have been high in Meadowview and at Sacramento City Council meetings since police officers shot and killed Clark in his grandparents’ backyard March 18. Many people have expressed anger. But the shooting has also renewed feelings of suffering and anguish among the city’s African American population.
So according to the Bee, Mayor Darrell Steinberg is bringing in mental health professionals to treat traumatized Meadowview residents and residents of other neighborhoods of color brutalized by the police.
He’s not doing anything to stop the police from terrorizing African-American neighborhoods and slaughtering young African-American men.
The Bee went on to quote Steinberg:
“What I have been seeing and experiencing at our City Council meetings and out in the community is raw pain and trauma,” Steinberg said. “But what’s important to recognize is that while the Stephon Clark shooting has been a catalyst for elevating this conversation, it’s not a new issue. Especially in low-income communities, exposure to violence, systemic poverty, domestic violence, these issues have profound impacts on people, especially kids.
“In Sacramento, we are experiencing this in a heightened way over the last month.”
Steinberg said nothing about police terrorism in his town. Why not? It’s simple, he’s totally OK with it. White elites who run Sacramento like a southern plantation are never going to allow African-Americans, Latinos, or Asians to live in equality here.
It’s frightening to suggest that the issue is mental health. It’s racist to suggest the problem is mental health. The problem is racism. Steinberg’s racism. And the racism of the rest of white elite Sacramento.
People in Meadowview aren’t mental cases…they’re under siege and fear for their lives. Who can blame them.