i just realized that some vegans know more about the ins and outs of the felines that they house then black people’s comfort levels in conversations.
and that scares the shit out of me— that my comfort means less to white people than their cats.
back in Houston (this was maybe 10 years ago now?) this one time I was at my friend L’s house (Latino dude) & his white friend D was there & was telling me about some reality show or another that he was watching—I can’t remember if it was about cops or if it was about emergency rooms. Anyway, D was telling me about this scene he just watched & he was cracking up as he told me about this mother’s reaction to the fact that her son had just been killed. Someone’s pain regarding the death of their child was funny to this person.
Why was it funny?
What kind of sickness would make a person think this was funny?
“She said, ‘you done killeded my baby!’ AAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAH!”
you see, it was funny because she spoke AAVE. She was black, so her pain wasn’t a moment for commiseration or sympathy, it was comedy to him.
white people, this is why nobody trusts you.
TW: rape, murder, killing.
I’ve always noticed how in cases of mass tragedy, and even smaller, less-national-covered cases, that white men have been treated differently in comparison to people of color. And since this Connecticut shooting has occurred, I’ve noticed that it all runs in a circle, and every representation of the shooter has a template.
White men can never take the blame. With ‘The Dark Knight’/Aurora, Colorado massacre, the shooter, a white man, was never represented as acting a completely “sane”, responsible-for-his-own-actions man. His shooting was because he wasn’t “mentally stable”, or that he was stressed to things going on in school. You see, he didn’t mean or want to kill them. This was just a manifestation of his environment and mental heath.
With the Columbine shooters, both white teens, their musical and fashion interests, and the fact that they were social outcast in their schools, were named as why they were driven to kill. Apparently Marilyn Manson and the goth culture have mass murder written in them.
With George Zimmerman, who is white and latino (but is viewed and treated like a white man), in the case of Trayvon Martin, he was simply “standing his ground”; protecting his upper middle-class neighborhood from a potential “thug” - a brown boy in a hoodie. He didn’t do it because of nothing. He did it because it was a natural instinct to protect.
As you can see, white men can’t act alone in crimes with a clean conscious. Something has to bewrongwith them. They have to have some mental illness, or be influenced by outside,otheredforces, or they simply have to be doing their “white man duties” of protecting or acting on natural instincts.
Another way white men are backed up in cases like these is by their education and background. They are mostly pictured as ‘grade A’ students, cut straight from the cloth of the American dream. And this serves as the template for things to wrong. The Aurora, Colorado shooter was a “genius”, a “prodigy with promise”, who was having problems and stress at school, which led to his killing of over a dozen folks. It always goes down that way.
With brown folks, and other racial minorities, their intent and reason of committing crimes is written in their skin - or in their faith and communities. People won’t question why brown folks murder, because it’s been socially inscribed in their identities. Black men don’t kill because they were having issues at school. They kill because they are black men. Brown folks from the Middle East don’t kill because they are protecting something. They kill because of their god. Yellow and orange and red folks don’t kill because they were people living with mental illnesses. They kill because of their communities’ historical grudges with America, or because they were involved some-which-a-way with drugs, etc.
In this past decade, a study was done by the University of Columbia on cases of rape of white women. Out of the many cases studied, the study found that court systems, lawyers, and the media-at-large, held a overwhelming bias against men of color. Men of color were pictured and framed as rapists and guilty of the crime-at-hand because they were “brutes”, came from communities where this kind of behavior was prevalent and “normalized”, etc. White men were found to only rape because they were led on, or because of the victim’s state (i.e.: being intoxicated, flirtatious, etc.) - furthing leading to victim and slut shaming. Not only did this show immense prejudice - seeing as the study also found that the lesser the evidence against men of color, the higher the rate of conviction - but it also showed how society-at-large mirrors these findings.
The reason racial minorities kill is written in their identities. They kill because of their skin color. They kill because of gangs, violence, and hate - all synonymous with their the amount of active melanocytes in their skin. White men kill because of outside forces affecting them. Their whiteness is clean of intent. THIS is how the media, journalists, and society-at-large treats white men.
This entire process also shows a major exposure on resources to people of color. Men of color can’t kill due to stress at school, because men of color are viewed as being uneducated. Men of color don’t kill and come from stable, loving, “American” homes because they are viewed as coming from broken homes and as being in some regard less-American.
And a overall by-product of this prejudice is the damaging of other communities - namely those living with mental illnesses. Right now, in the case of the Sandy Hooks shooting, people repetitively attach mental illness as the driving reason as to why Adam Lanza, a white man, would do such a thing, further attaching murder as something people with mental illnesses are capable of; further subjecting people with mental illnesses to ridicule, regulation, and policing.
White men kill because they are sane, consenting individuals who willingly made the decision to. They can kill without being mentally ill. They can kill without some sort of trauma in their life. White men kill because they know no one will put the full blame on them. White men kill because they know they have a larger chance of getting away with it than people of color.
We will never progress in this country unless everyone is held to the same, equal, fair expectations.
Lack of knowledge on the actual policies. Very few people actually understand the original executive orders, subsequent judicial decisions and legislation beyond sound bites via “news” that is insistent upon painting this as “taking stuff” from Whites for Black people (as if it is “just” about Black people). Honesty, how many White people have reviewed the actual history of why this is needed? It’s almost as rare to find as anyone who calls themselves “patriotic” who has actually read the Constitution or a Christian who has read the Bible. Media soundbites shaped by bigotry (in a White supremacist capitalist patriarchal society) absorbed by many Whites whose life ideologies have been shaped by bigotry is not going to produce the nuance and thought necessary to understand affirmative action. (Even so, these two simple, non in-depth cartoons explain this almost as well as the complex legalese: 1 and 2.)
Anti-intellectualism. Piggybacking on the first point, the current culture of anti-intellectualism doesn’t encourage most White people (and Americans at large) to actually investigate things they are “for” or “against.” It’s much simpler to decide to be “for” anything shaped by a legacy of White supremacy and White privilege and against anything that appears to be contrary to the former. Whites are used to being a “baseline,” the “norm,” or not considered a group at all, but those whom other groups are compared to. Sociopolitically, many Whites are having a “day of reckoning” moment by even being classified as a “group,” or a “race” as Tom Scocca pointed out so well in a recent article about Romney’s overwhelming support from Whites. These factors contribute to the resistance to affirmative action.
Ahistorical views on race. If a White person takes the “why isn’t there a White history month” and “why isn’t there a White Entertainment Television station” stances on Whites and the media, it can be safely assumed that they are either uneducated or being willfully ignorant about the role of race in America and why certain spaces exist for Black people amidst the media, public discourse and culture itself. By pretending that the tide of history has no racial element, they can then infer that if everyone “is equal” (as if being equal means being treated equally) Black people are “unfairly” getting “goodies” through affirmative action. This also ignores the fact that even with said theoretical ”goodies,” unemployment, health care, finances, real estate, and more is markedly worse for Black people (and other people of colour) versus White. The latter is written off as Black “character failures” in the ever so common victim blaming ideologies such as American “exceptionalism” and even “patriotism” at times. This is where LIES about “poverty culture” come about as a way to praise greed, wealth and Whiteness and demonize suffering, poverty and Blackness.
The concept of what “greatness” is. The inherent racism involved in assuming that someone White is always “more” qualified, as if being White is a skill itself, is common in everything from college admissions to employment applications. The idea is that some “stupid” minority “stole” a slot from the perfect White knight on a horse who deserved things because he “worked” for them prevails. Further, the idea that perhaps a series of advantages afforded by White privilege is “hard work” would be even more humorous if it wasn’t despicable. Said privileges often place Whites ahead in spaces by sheer virtue of the luxury of Whiteness, not any actual work. The myth of meritocracy is a plague on the American psyche. (Christopher Hayes wrote about this oh too well in his book Twilight Of The Elites - America After Meritocracy. Also, I recently read a fascinating study about the REALITY of financial aid versus the myth that “stupid” minorities “take all of the college monies,” and other assorted lies.)
A zero/sum view of racism. Ultimately, many Whites feel that any joy, success or progress in Black life means misery, failure and regression in White life. Period. This tunnel vision view is rooted in racism and fear. Research has revealed that many cisgender heterosexual White men feel like the “real” victims in America. Even if they are victims, would that not be at the hands of men just like them, except of a higher social class? Not to them. Racist social narratives involve the worship of “job creators” (the same ones who fire these men) as heroes because after all, they share Whiteness even if they don’t share class, status or cash. Other research has revealed that while some Whites view past times (during and pre-Civil Rights era) as a time more racist against Blacks, they view today as “more racist” against Whites. Of course this is false and has more to do with the idea of some Black people not suffering and Barack Obama’s existence more than any in-depth study of how race is a primary factor to consider when examining socioeconomic status. The enlightened exceptionalism involved in some who even choose to praise Oprah or Beyonce or LeBron James is what allows them to pretend that life for the average and for most Black people has dramatically changed, when for many, it has not. Claims of “reverse racism,” which doesn’t exist, are more common now than ever.
People who benefit from affirmative action also want it destroyed. While more than anyone else, White women have benefited from affirmative action, many of them stand with White men against affirmative action while simultaneously benefiting from it. Most people now know the name Abigail Fisher and know it well. Further, many older Black people (primarily men from what I’ve seen) want it dismantled despite the fact they benefited from it in the past. They clearly knew that in their time especially, being qualified was not enough. Assumed inferiority blocked their way.