There is a video circulating online that purports to show Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, arresting a man for the "crime" of "disobeying a police officer".
I offer the following qualifiers.
I am not sure that the police officer in the above video recording is Darren Wilson.
[The Guardian has a story about the video clip and offers corroborating evidence which suggests that the police officer in the video clip is in fact Darren Wilson.]
Moreover, the video clip only shows several seconds of the encounter between the police officer and the man he would arrest.
Black folks in America have to learn survival skills in order to protect our lives in a society structured around maintaining white supremacy and white privilege. These lessons were taught on the slave plantations by both biological and fictive kin, and remain necessities in the post civil rights era as evidence by "the talk" given to black American youth about how to not have police kill you for the "crime" of being black, breathing, and nearby.
This is not an exclusive story of race in America: these are the life skills and sitting at the learning tree moments that all folks who suffer under Power must learn in all societies across time immemorial if they want to survive.
The ability to read cues of body language and speech are necessary abilities for living through an encounter across the color line with those who are empowered by the State--and society more generally--to visit violence and death upon those who are the Other.
As such, in American society black and brown folks know more about Whiteness and White folks than the latter generally know about themselves. When one is fighting from the bottom they generally have a much better and broader perspective about empirical reality than the person who is imposing power from the top.
To my eyes, there is something imposing, mean, and bullying about the police officer in the above video. His swagger is menacing. He walks like a man whose testosterone and testicles are swollen with the petty authority that comes with a gun and a uniform.
Alas, and in total, Wilson is a little man.
Am I crazy and/or delusional? Is this officer's habitus a good fit for the slave plantation or slave patrol, he gleefully singing the song "Run Nigger Run", what is a warning to black slaves and free people that they best obey white authority lest the whip or the lynching tree would be their reward?