|Quote from Marian Anderson, the first African American to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1955|
The shootings, the white cop murders of black people like Walter Scott are dramatic. But the most problematic racism is the racism that is not obvious to outsiders, the racism that we, as black people, talk about inside our own same-race circles after we get home from work or school. This is the hair that we all keep brushing at. The racist rhetoric and the pieces of racism that most white people refuse to believe matter, acted out daily on black and brown, is the field from which the extremists like white police officer, Michael Slager, are rising. When the racist rhetoric and unacknowledged racism increases so does the frequency race based murder.
And white racist rhetoric in the U.S. increased with the election of our first black president. There are people, mostly white, that are still reeling at the thought of President Obama's existence. It could be that black murder by white police officers is simply being reported more often these days. Maybe. But it really does seem like there has been a real uptick in the numbers of black and unarmed murdered by police.The first,
fuels the second, murder.
And if there has been a significant uptick in the numbers of black and unarmed murdered by the police nationwide, then the worst of the police are going to start "feeling themselves" any minute now. They are going to start feeling omnipotent, powerful enough to move beyond the socially and politically weaker groups made up of blacks and browns to start shooting unarmed white people.
The move to include white people as target practice has probably already begun. Increasing numbers of white, mentally ill are being beaten to death or going down in a hail of gunfire. Are the worst of white police officers going to move on up the social ladder to targeting the white middle class next? I don't know. But all of this reminds me of how only black neighborhoods were perceived as having problems with drugs...until little, white Johnnie died of an overdose in Wisconsin. Only then did the main stream media admit that "America has a drug problem"
"Just Say No" Nancy Reagan told us. I don't know of things are changing at all, Black President or not Black President. I wasn't foolish enough to think President Obama's election meant this country was stepping into a post-racial era. And I knew thing would be risky for President Obama standing in so much limelight and so many circles of power simultaneously. I count myself surprised, in this moment, that there haven't been more frequent attempts on his life. But for some reason I did not foresee the uptick in racist rhetoric as being dangerous for all of us -- actually life threatening.
But I should have. It's obvious now. Hindsight is indeed 20/20.
So, the mysterious, misreported death of Miriam Carey and gunning down of Walter Scott has me thinking I should change my cell phone camera settings so that it will start filming on a moments notice without having to put in my password. But my main focus is going to remain on reducing day to day racism and sexism, both. I'm going to do so by being as direct as I can possibly be when writing or when talking to people face to face.
Ideas have to change before behavior can, before a society can. Peace Out - Listen to Ave Maria