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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

23 WAYS YOU COULD BE KILLED IF YOU'RE BLACK by Alicia Keys and MIC

In the first week of July, the nation was rocked by two tragedies: the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, two black men killed by police. Their deaths were captured in videos, providing evidence to what many people in the black community have known for a long time to be true—that black people aren't given just treatment by police. To further prove this point, singer Alicia Keys recruited a team of celebrities to create a video showing the totally innocuous things black people were doing before being killed in America.
The video—created with news site Mic—is titled, "23 Ways You Could Be Killed If You Are Black In America." It starts with Keys herself, saying, "Failing to signal a lane change." Then, a photo of Sandra Bland appears, a 28-year-old black woman who died in jail last July after being arrested by police for that simple reason. Next, BeyoncĂ© appears on the screen, saying, "Riding in your girlfriend's car, with a child in the back," before an image of Philando Castile appears.


The video is decent. It's good to see all the names of dead together. It's good to see which stars are willing to stand up and be counted. But I think it's time to start linking the black dead with the living cops. I want to see the cops names.

We need to have remembrance but stop mourning. We need to start making angry videos about the cops that did the killing. We need to call out the enemy until one of us thinks sees a video on the murderers and comes up with a new approach to dismantling this particular section of white supremacy -- the section that has a bunch of white people in it who do not realize how dedicated they are to protecting whiteness.

I have a white friend on my facebook timeline who has posted nothing but rainbows and kittens for three years straight, who has a page where she puts up photos of people of different races with peace, love, joy, and forgiveness quotes beneath them, and NOT ONE Black Lives Matter post. But today she posted an article about white men set on fire by a black man near Baltimore. Her caption essentially said "Both sides do bad things...."--The comment was had a basic race war framing and a standard white call for peace. 
I don't have a snapshot of the post and the exact words because when I commented and told her that aiming to be middle of the road between white police and Black Lives Matter makes about as much sense as being middle of the road between Hitler and the Jews because 10% of Jews are stealing, murdering etc-- like every other demographic on the planet, she took the post down. 

I don't know for sure because I'm not in her head. But I am absolutely certain ANYWAY this this white-people-are-victims-too post was triggered by the uprising in North Carolina -- which is not about one thing, not about one shooting of a black person, but a series of abuses committed against black people in that area.  

This white woman has no idea that she represents 90% of this country's white racism problem. She appears to think I love everybody means she is racism free (nobody is). She appears to think that ejecting overt racism from her heart is the same as getting rid of the desire to defend white supremacy.  And that's what you're doing when you try to justify the oppressors actions by highlighting the imperfections of the oppressed. She, like a lot of white people, appears to think that ejecting racism from ones heart is simple. It isn't.  Deep soul searching is required when you've been raised around white supremacy all your life. Even black people have to do this soul searching for belief in white supremacy because it's washing over us too. She, like many white people,  probably thinks the predominantly white cops doing the shooting are the problem when it's always been the white people turning a blind eye to patterns of white supremacy that are the main problem.

These cops cannot do what they do to the black community without being sanctioned by the white community. 
Sanctioning of state violence against the black community by white people is the thing that's most interesting about this video too. Check out the comments from white people below the video.

The mic.com news site 
 (a creator/producer of the video along with Alicia Keys) isn't exactly  a right wing stronghold, so the white racism is uttered in the comments are in resentful rather than violent tones. But the white racism is there and it is mighty and plentiful.

I saw another Youtube video, that I won't link here, which examines the 23 WAYS YOU CAN BE KILLED IN AMERICA IF YOU'RE BLACK  video above. And this other video refutes what most of the black stars are saying here, using the usual those people think everything is about racism crap. 


A white guy is the narrator. No surprise. It's also no surprise that the narrator finds it completely unbelievable that eye contact can prompt a white cop to chase a black person like Freddie Gray. The thing that's interesting about this naysayer video is that this narrator has dark hair, dark eyes and a full beard. 

If a nervous cowardly cop was looking for someone else who is actually dangerous that's in the immediate area and that cop gave Mr. No-Such-Thing-As-Racism a quick glance as he was running past him and Mr. No-Such-Thing-As-Racism happened to have his hands in his pocket while having an angry look on his face, Mr. No-Such-Thing-As-Racism might be dead quicker than you can say "Hallelujah."
After that? I expect another stoic sounding whiny Youtube white boy would record yet another Youtube video saying racism STILL isn't that bad, explaining how the cop that murdered Mr. No-Such-Thing-As-Racism made a legitimate mistake because those people (Mexicans, Muslims -- whoever Mr. No-Such-Thing-As-Racism was mistaken for before being shot dead by a cop) are violent, evil, etc And if those people weren't violent and evil Mr. No Such Thing As Racism wouldn't have been mistaken for one of them.  
In other words, the unchecked violence spilling out of blue uniforms would still be black and brown people's fault.
In addition to black and brown people, these cops have already become bold enough to start beating and killing homeless and mentally ill white people. That's what happens to bullies when they are left unchecked. They get bolder. And if Donald Trump is elected, they'll get bolder still.