Hello White People!
Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager, was killed by a cop in Ferguson, MO—the serial killing of Black people goes mostly unreported or is deemed worthy only of a second section mention in a local paper, but it’s as steady and real as lynching was 100 years ago—and Black people overwhelmingly responded everywhere with sadness and outrage, while white people wondered if the police killing might just have been justified. Demonstrations and vigils and uprisings of love and rage filled the air—Black people would not let this murder go unnoticed.
And what about white people? According to opinion polls, most whites think the protests in the aftermath “Have gone too far,” proving James Baldwin’s observation that the only time white people speak out in favor of non-violence is when Black people are rising up angry.
What is wrong with you, white people?
Wake the fuck up!
“I’m not a bigot,” you may say to yourself after a quicky self-survey. “I’m not Donald Sterling or Cliven Bundy.”
Well, good for you—those guys are idiots.
Maybe you’ve conflated bigotry with white supremacy, and giving yourself a gold star for “color-blindness”—a self-serving invention that assumes that if anyone notes the racial realty right in front of our eyes, he or she is being racist—you are on the side of the angels. Not true.
The well-spring of bigotry is white supremacy, a structure that once meant the Atlantic slave trade and the system of slavery, then debt peonage and Jim Crow, and today finds its expression in the reality of mass incarceration, foreign invasions and occupation, wide-spread disenfranchisement, stop-and-frisk policies, extensive urban school closings, pervasive police contacts, the complicity of law enforcement everywhere in a code of silence regarding brutality, and more.
If you’re one of the good people in your own mind, fine. Stop congratulating yourself and get busy organizing others to attack the constitution and edifice of white supremacy for real.
Calling all White People!
Hello White People!