How this dancing white cop earned an invite to the cookout

School resource officer Alex Vildibill found a way to score a few cool points with high school students in Birmingham

Alex Vildibill
Alex Vildibill (YouTube)

Usually, when I hear people talk about inviting someone to a cookout, it’s a corny joke that vaguely rewards one small act of kindness by a non-person-of-color to the worthiness of claiming our culture as theirs. Lest we never forget, people, everyone gains their cookout merits on their own! No one person ever has or ever will get a pass to them all! (I’m looking at you with the horrible potato salad).

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However!— I must say, there are quite a few exceptions in my book and this may be one of them. Particularly, because this white guy invited himself, and for a good reason. reports that Birmingham Police Officer Alex Vildibill invited himself to Ramsay High School’s cookout, a predominantly Black school because he wanted them to know that he cares about them and the things they do.

Additionally, it was Vildibill’s first day as their new resource officer. 

Ramsay’s training officer, SRO Larry Heath, told him that for his first day, he needed to just dive in to the work and the livelihood of the students. Clearly, he took that literally, as well. Ramsay has reportedly been an officer at Ramsay for three years and can be heard encouraging Vildibill as he records the man’s footwork on camera.

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“We’re trying to show the kids that we’re people too,” said Vildibill who gives all glory to his dance moves to his time spent in Afghanistan line dancing. “We try to be a positive influence on the them and show them that if they need to talk to us, they can.”

Heath reiterated advice he gave to Vildibill that day, ”You’ve got to get involved with the kids,” he said. “He did a really good job. But even if he had just stood there, he was showing he cared about them.”

Heath, a Black man whose been an SRO for 10 years, told the publication that he decided to share the footage because he wanted to show that the media’s portrayal of black and white relationships, particularly among police officers and young persons, isn’t always racial or negative.

“Police have been seen in such a negative light, in particular, the white police pertaining to the black community,” said Heath. “We’ve got good white police officers and good black police officers, but nobody ever hears that.”

Heath continued, “My whole idea is to help turn some of that negative around. We do have a unity between blacks and whites, and everyone needs to see that.”

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