This is the story that has made me erupt in tears and rage and sorrow and just about all the gigantic, unwieldy, jagged feels that come with being a Black American.
A Black officer faced down a mostly White mob at the Capitol. Meet Eugene Goodman. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/goodman-capitol-police-video/2021/01/13/08ab3eb6-546b-11eb-a931-5b162d0d033d_story.html
Bait. For racists who had decided, egged on by their horrific leader, to attack the government. I remain horrified. Enraged. And then when I see that this officer is ambivalent about the attention because the threat of white racist retaliation is so real, that brings me further down the rabbit hole. Because this is not a first. Racists who were stupidly angry about Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s reasonable response to a global pandemic where planning to kill her, to make her an example. To make Democrats of all kinds live in fear. And on back into the history of white terrorism in America, from the founders on.
There’s no coming back from this. There’s no unity with people who have the impulse to kill as their first resort. There’s no false equivalency with Black Lives Matter that anyone with good will believes. These wretched right wingers keep trying to turn the zeitgeist of public opinion to their side. They truly believe they are the majority, in one part of their brain, and yet they won’t stop whining about being overmatched by what they see as ‘leftist’ culture. In fact, they are trying to take over a culture that is rejecting them, and it is driving them mad. Again.
You have religious people overstepping their boundaries on everything from my right to do with my body what I will, and your right to stay out of it, to insisting that schools need to inculcate religion into the mix. Never mind people like me, who see religion as the tool Black people needed at first because it was the only place white people allowed us to control our lives, and now many of us have caught a habit. I’m not a fan of that tool now, and you only have to open your eyes to the hypocrisy of religious word and deed to at least question it. But I’m not an angry atheist; I generally don’t give a darn what you do, although the constant declarations of religion on social media (the public square) are a tiny bit irritating. Y’all do you.
But the right wing religious apologia is a bridge way too far. It’s a flimsy shield for overwhelmingly putrid behavior. And that, in fact is what is most important. If you hate me because of my dark brown skin, that’s in your mind. It’s stupid, and evolution will probably leave you behind, but that’s your problem.
It’s when actions, behaviors, deeds are rooted in racism that the line must be drawn.Tweet
It’s a line white America hates drawing, because that’s your auntie and your grandfather, and your boss’s boss, and maybe even you. But that is where the line is, whether you like it or not. And I know and love a good group of white Americans who live with the knowledge of, respect for, and actions dictated by that line. Some grew up in explicitly racist families. Don’t tell me it can’t be done.
Everybody in America grows up in a racist culture. It hits Black Americans differently: some few take on the self-hate, many try to be aware and fight it. But we don’t have the systemic power to make racist actions stick: only white people have that.
I know I need an objective to this rant, so my objective is: please check the line. Do you think it’s okay that this Black officer needs to be afraid of white supremacist backlash. Are the folks who are white backlashing living in your neighborhood? What power has your neglect of this truth given them? How do you join with folks like you to take them out of power? I mean down to the school janitor.
Anyway, in the midst of my rant, I saw this John Amaechi video about white privilege that may make it easier to understand. So I’ll end with something gentle, and go have a big glass of Tansan.