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Tuesday, February 1, 2011


The NY Post featured an article this morning about a police officer named Quathisha Epps, who, according to the first paragraph, showed not only "uncommon valor" but "uncommon kindness" as well. When I read that first paragraph and saw the picture of Epps, my first reaction was to think, ho-hum, more media tripe where they try extra hard to shoehorn another black person into "positive role model" status, and the awkwardness of that effort is all too apparent.

But then I read the article. What Epps did was in fact amazing. After hearing gunshots from her apartment, she quickly put her baby in the crib and her two older children in the bathtub, then raced outside, barefoot and in her nightgown, clutching some towels, to try to save -- or at least comfort -- the boy who'd been mortally wounded outside. While doing this she saw a large knife lying on the ground and managed to put her toe on the knife to preserve possible evidence while the crowd grew. It turned out that the dying boy had actually helped one of her children seven years earlier....The story is worth reading, and actually quite moving. Here it is in its entirety:

My second reaction was, why did her parents have to name her Quathisha? As impressed as I was while reading her story -- her bravery and compassion and presence of mind were all exceptional -- I just kept stumbling over that name. 

Note to black parents: name your daughters Alison, or Sarah, or Julia, or Madeline. Not Sheniqua, or Malia, or Precious, or Pretty. Otherwise they will never be taken as seriously.

No matter how heroic they turn out to be.


Anonymous said...

Quathisha's act of humanity, is first as a human being, a mother, a daughter, a sister, and one of the uncommon acts of officer's in blue. We often hear so much negativity about an exceptional group of men & women who put it on the line each day so that we can be safe in our day to day lives. This article is like a breath of fresh air in our often polluted world. Would you have left your children & run out of the safety of your home into danger to help a stranger?? Her name should not be a focus, The character of her HEART speaks volumes.

Anonymous said...

This is a good post. If you're dying, it would be nice to have such a person holding you, speaking those loving words to you until you breathe your last breath, entering into eternity. What this police officer did for that boy is amazing, going the extra mile for a stranger. God bless her.