I’m sure that many readers will have heard, read, or watched the uploaded video of the incident between Amy Cooper and Christian Cooper (no relation). Amy is a Caucasian woman in New York who called the cops on Christian Cooper who is African-American after he asked her to put her dog on a leash. She made quite a big deal about the fact that he was African-American – and emphasised his ethnicity in a false claim to the police that he was threatening her. It was a big mess, but because it was all captured on video by Christian it is clear that her claims of being threatened were not true at all. She has subsequently apologised and faced a few serious repercussions.
About the racial aspect of the case – I do not want to add any more of my own thoughts. So many people have written at length about it. Of all the articles I have read, I feel that this following one makes the most important points regarding racism – this lady (Ms Cooper) is by all indications not a Trump supporter, (from whom you might perhaps more readily expect racism, considering all the wonderful things that Trump himself stands for), but rather Democrat-leaning; they found donation records where someone of the same name apparently donated money to the Obama campaign, although the name is probably not that uncommon, and there is no proof that she is the same person as the Obama donor.
And yet, I wanted to talk about something very different in this post regarding these two people.
I’ll get straight to it – what if they end up getting married?! I’ll concede of course that that is highly implausible considering the circumstances of how they met. Of course I have to make it clear that I do not know the relationship status or other relevant details about these people – they might both be happily married already. Even conceding that, I know it might still sound disrespectful or offensive for me to even suggest this, so I’ll trace my thought processes for you.
So I was walking away on my treadmill*, thinking about the case and feeling so angry that yet again someone Caucasian has decided to jeopardise the life of an African-American by calling the cops on him. She acted over the phone as if she was deeply distressed, as if her life was in danger. To be perfectly candid, her actions could very easily have killed him, considering the record of US police forces in terms of brutality against unarmed African-Americans. But by the grace of God, he lived to tell the tale – and upload the video. And unsurprisingly within a matter of days she has already faced a few serious repercussions. So many news sources have carried the story – even right here in the UK, as well as a number of US sources that I usually read.
So yes, I was walking away, feeling angry, feeling actually that she deserved to have lost her job – “Absolutely serves her right!”, I thought. This was the Tuesday after the original incident had happened just one day earlier, on the Monday. But then I thought further, and I thought. “Hmm. This is the kind of thing with this kind of widespread negativity that could tip someone right over the mental health edge right to the point of doing something drastic and irrevocable to their life. Especially in the midst of the existing frustration and emotional precarity caused by the pandemic. Do you want that Tosin?!” And I thought “No, I don’t want that. No-one wants that.” So I was thinking to myself maybe she could go and hide out with friends or relatives until it all blows over. And I was hoping that she had the mental and emotional strength to be able to deal with all of this without doing anything drastic, and that she would be able to get another job and move on.
And I was thinking that I’m sure even Christian Cooper would not want her to do anything stupid, even though she had in effect risked his life – and that deliberately. And then it occurred to me that he might have to be the one to step in to deflect negative attention from her, to protect her in a way at this time. And I thought “Well what would be the ultimate expression of grace and forgiveness in this situation?”…my imagination did its thing, and I thought “Well what if they eventually end up getting married?!” And you know what, this woman might sincerely have had a few moments of craziness. She might genuinely be a lovely person in every other context.
After all, just like her, many of us, (quite likely including Christian too) will have done or said crazy stupid things which we may have instantly regretted. I know I certainly have, albeit admittedly nothing that could reasonably have been expected to result in anyone’s death. However, unlike her, few of us would have had the misfortune of having our very worst moments, possibly deeply uncharacteristic, recorded on video, uploaded online, then instantly disseminated around the world.
Moreover she did after all rescue a dog from a shelter, so there is clearly some kindness in her nature. Furthermore she may well have donated to Obama’s political campaign; if she did then clearly she’s not an out-and-out bigot! I thought her apology was quite moving, although to me it did still unmistakably indicate her privilege.
And for his part, he might feel somewhat responsible, perhaps even a bit guilty for how things have blown up in her face. It might appeal to his most protective instincts… He might just feel a natural tendency to reach out to her, to make sure that she’s OK…
So as I say, this was all on Tuesday, and I was thinking “I am such a hopeless romantic!”
And then on Wednesday, the very next day (yesterday), guess what happened?! Just as I have written above, he gave an interview saying that he did not think that tearing her life apart would achieve anything or solve America’s racial issues. What he said is really something – he really did the “Christian” thing! And she for her part has now moved on from referring to him as “that man” as she did in her initial apology speech, and she is now referring to him as “Chris” – not even “Christian”, mind. I suspect that there may already have been a bit of contact between them. I’d like to think he reassured her, maybe apologised a little as no-one could have known the story would get so viral, so quickly, and said “Just call me Chris!”
And I also found out their ages. There is apparently a 17 year age gap between them, which to be honest would be a little too much for me, but then I’m not everyone!
So from these inauspicious beginnings they might develop a friendship, and then…And can it really be a empty coincidence that they already share the same surname?!
So mark my words people and watch this space people. If wedding bells do eventually ring for these two, implausible though it may currently sound – I called it here first!!! 🙂
*I only ever do walk on this treadmill, I don’t give it much exercise!!!