A cursing toddler video that has gone viral and been seen as more than a little troubling by many across the U.S. is now said to possibly highlight a racism controversy in the state of Neb., Yahoo News! reports this Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. The recording reveals a young black boy saying a slew of swear words while adults urge him on; the child has since been taken into protective police custody. However, although the video itself has sparked heated public comments, one civil rights team is saying that the police unit’s manner of handling the situation is “showcasing a troubling relationship between minority communities and the law enforcement authorities.”
The cursing toddler clip is noted by some civil rights activists as underlining the Neb. police union’s “wrongful” decision to repost the controversial video from a Facebook page with the title, “Thug Cycle.” In the footage itself, an African-American boy wearing only a diaper can be seen waving his middle finger around, pushing over a chair, and shouting racial slurs that both adult men and women in the background are telling him to say. Whenever the child mimics the obscene words, the adults begin to laugh. The video has shocked people across the U.S., and gathered millions of views in less than a week.
According to the report, the recording of the cursing toddler was initially posted by what the Omaha Police Officers Association dubbed “a local area thug.” The police union then opted to repost the video, titling it “Thug Cycle,” on both its Facebook and website page. It cites the footage as both “sickening and heartbreaking,” highlighting that encouraging a young boy, regardless of race or background, to repeat swear words is a prime example of the “horrible cycle of thuggery and violence” that law enforcement officers need to deal with each and every day.
“Now while we didn’t see anything in this video that is blatantly ‘illegal,’ ” the union wrote, “we sure did see a lot that is flat out immoral and completely unhealthy for this little child from a healthy upbringing standpoint.”
The first thousands of viewers who saw the cursing toddler video were understandably frustrated — but their anger wasn’t only directed towards the adults who pushed the cursing toddler to repeat such obscene words. They also had antagonism toward the police union for choosing to repost the clip in the first place, claiming that there were even undertones of racism within the controversy.
As stated in the Neb. press release:
“Commentators on the postings and the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska said this week that the union’s description of the video – in particular its use of the word “thug” to describe the video’s original poster – have put stress on an already-bitter relationship between the city’s minority communities and a police department that has been beset over the past few years with allegations of racism and abuse … The episode comes just days after the ACLU filed a lawsuit against 32 Omaha police officers, alleging that they had used excessive force against a local African-American family while responding to a parking incident last spring. An internal investigation of the incident, in which a woman was allegedly thrown from her wheelchair and handcuffed, has so far resulted in the firing of four of the officers, and criminal charges have been brought against two of them.”
Other officials had their own comments on the sad and troubling clip.
“At a time when the Omaha Police Department is facing a lawsuit from the ACLU over racially-biased misconduct, it is very disconcerting to have the Officers Association use such racially charged language,” said Becki Brenner, executive director of the ACLU of Nebraska, in an official statement.
“The manner in which the Officers Association has discussed this incident has done nothing but further erode community trust and reinforce the need for independent oversight, trainings, and other reforms,” she concluded.