The Grass is More Racist On the Other Side of the Facebook Wall
The Ferguson police department finally the people after investigators uncovered e-mails containing casual racist jokes passed among them. These e-mails entirely confirm the existence of their racism, unlike the data that reflects blatant discrimination against the black citizens of Ferguson. After all, it’s not like the data confirmed everything that the citizens of Ferguson claimed or anything. #sarcasm
Needless to say, people are getting fired. So are bullets. Even though there is no more confusion about who the bad guys are anymore, the dust is far from settled. This is not a surprise. How on Earth could anyone seriously be surprised by the fact that the cops are guilty of racial profiling? Apparently, a lot of people in my social circles were surprised to hear that racism still exists in the world of today. Looking at someone's social media page can be like gazing into the eyes. Both can be windows to the soul. To no one's surprise, it gets pretty ugly.
Exhibit A: The behavior of Internet "friends" in lieu of Michael Brown's death and the public conversations that ensued about the Ferguson Police Department's obvious corruption.
A lot of people missed the point, to say the least. Most of them were white. Anyone who feels "attacked" by that information seriously needs to understand the reality of racism and why denying it makes you just as bad as those "other" hypothetical racists that they might have in mind.
So many people were also quite determined to believe that Michael Brown's murder had nothing to do with racism and everything to do with an entitled youth who got what he asked for. People complained about how the media only cares about black people and sensationalizes racism to "get out of [insert ignorance here]." All of the sudden, I saw a bunch of posting stuff that implied that the existence of "good cops" negate our right to criticize "bad cops." Because binaries are the truth.
I'm sure that all of this sounds frighteningly familiar to you. Please know that you aren't alone. But lately, I've noticed something peculiar: there was not one status about Ferguson being a racist ploy against white people.
The shit-storm raged on my Facebook feed for months on end. Most people don't like having their walls smeared with shit. I'm one of them. Needless to say, people did not keep their crap-smearing to a minimum. Now, all of the cacophony is gone and I want everyone to realize how terribly everyone behaved when denying the reality of racism not only in Ferguson, but in the United States as a whole.
Now that the Ferguson police department is finally facing the courts for being racist pigs, I would like to talk about something else important: everyone’s deplorable behavior when it happened. For some reason, people had no problem dismissing the blatant institutional racism by rationalizing how a race that makes up 67% of a town’s population could plausibly make up 93% of a town’s annual arrests, 90% of citations, and 85% of traffic stops and not be attributed to racism. They either claimed that it was a coincidence or somehow deserved. Yet they struggled to believe the black citizens of Ferguson when they claimed that cop called them racial slurs, searched them without probable cause, and subjected them to all kinds of abuse. Rather than blaming the corrupt police force, the arguments boiled down to a supposed “lack of personal responsibility” on the part of Ferguson’s black population (or even black people as a whole) rather than the true perpetrators.
Racism is real. It is not a mythical thing in a poorly-conceptualized mythology. Racism is not a ghost. It is, in fact, a monster and it's standing right in front of us. But that doesn't make anyone less accountable for failing to spot it. This isn't Bigfoot or Slender Man. Racism's existence is proven by cold facts. The United States, a country that contains only 5% of the world's population, is the unwitting home of 25% of the world's incarcerated population. Out of the 2.3 million who are incarcerated, at least 1 million are African Americans. If Hispanics and African Americans were arrested at the same rate as white people, the prison population would decline by 50%. African Americans account for 35% of all drug arrests despite that the fact that only 12% of the drug-using population is African American. What else could account for African Americans being 6 times more likely to be arrested than Caucasian, Asian, or Hispanic people? How big was the chance of Ferguson not being a race issue to begin with? Everyone's quickness to silence or blame victims demonstrates how necessary it is to remain vigilant about fighting racism. Ignoring it won't make it go away and neither will pardoning it.
Apparently, it is your own fault when you are bullied by the police. Any claims about "personal responsibility" implies that African Americans themselves are to blame for the disproportionate arrest rate, that they are lying or guilty of committing more crimes than other races. What a convenient belief for someone whose skin color doesn't make them a walking target in the eyes of law enforcement! Somehow, all of that doesn't paint a racist picture. I understand how statistics can be deceptive, but that is not the case here.
News flash: American justice is NOT color blind. Of course white people get harassed by police, but not to the same extent as black people or any other race. Racism is terrible in all ways. This is obvious and shouldn't need to be explained. Paying attention to discrimination against black people isn't about diminishing the injustices committed against people who aren't black. But why on Earth would anyone feel uncomfortable admitting to the obvious: that racism is still an issue and it's usually perpetrated by white people way more than often than they're victimized it? Anyone who defaults to that kind of thinking is racist. Why call a steaming pile of trash by any other name?
When someone turns a discussion about racism into a pissing contest to see who's more "oppressed" (and they think that it's white people getting screwed over), they're openly advertising that they are a bloody racist. Let's get real: racism against white people is nowhere near as pervasive as racism against African Americans. Fighting racism requires group efforts, not divisive tactics. Bitching about all of the poor white Americans suffering from racial injustice in in lieu of Ferguson was basically someone's way of saying, "I don't think that racism isn't a real problem. (I also might feel guilty or victimized when you talk about white people being responsible for racial oppression. Except I don't.)"
That guilt might come from their own ignorance, feelings of powerlessness, or a not-so-secret admission that they don't think that racism is a problem in modern-day America.
The worst, in my opinion, was a picture of a little white girl who was brutally assaulted by 5 of her classmates. She might have died. Next to her was a picture of either Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown with a description of his death. Of course, the whole thing implied that Martin and Brown were criminals while the poor young girl was ignored for being white. At the bottom of the photo, they asked viewers why they think that this poor child’s brutal murder by 5 of her classmates didn’t spark the same public outrage as a hate crime committed by the forces whose salaries come from our taxes. Y'know, the uniformed people who are supposed to protect us from hate crimes rather than commit and facilitate them.
Bullies come in all shapes, sizes, and numbers. Sometimes, bullies with authority whom openly abuses civilians with their power. Like other bullies, the police have strength in numbers (including the numbers on their badges). Silence gives them power.
It's bad enough that this little girl's attack was ignored by the media (unless that is what she and her family wanted). Using her assault as a reason to derail national conversations about the reality of racism and police brutality further trivializes her pain, as though her suffering is only relevant now that the nation's focus has shifted to victims of racism. I saw not one stupid picture like this passed around about the death of any other children killed by cops, nor did I see any other child victims of violence being used as a means to expose the racial transgressions against white people.
Before you ask: Yes, I’ve tried tirelessly to find the photograph, but I can’t seem to dig it up. To be honest, it creeped me out so much that I couldn't stand to look at it for too long. But I knew I had to get a heaping eye-full to confirm what I was seeing. If people used my death to minimize someone's pain and struggles, I would be thrashing in my grave so hard that residents would think that Slayer was using my grave as a venue. Under any other circumstances, I would be proud to know that thrash metal bands performed at the resident cemetery, but not when it comes from the thunderous sound of bodies rolling over in their graves.
I like most people that I meet, but man, some of the heartless bullshit I’ve seen has literally made me question my place in our twisted society. And I’m not the only one. Most people I know are complaining about the discovery that their social circle is full of, um, “white pride.” Y’know, the people whom actually believed that white people, as a whole, are some oppressed minority being silenced by others' desires to not get harassed or murdered when they’re going about their everyday existence. The ones who think that stealing cigarillos (that weren’t even stolen to begin with) is a crime worthy of death, or at least excusable for causing one. The ones who assert that those who claim that #blacklivesmatter are just falling for another social justice warrior fad. This thinking is downright fallacious and scary.
Meanwhile, it’s the white people here who are playing the victim card and the race card in the same hand in order to royally flush “personal responsibility” down the drain. Is it because they feel guilty by association? Why is it so hard to accept that racism remains rampant in the modern world? Racism is a social problem that we must combat together.
Editor's Note: If you find the picture, let me know and I will insert it into article!
#Real #Ferguson #BlackLivesMatter #Racism #PoliceBrutality #MichaelBrown #TrayvonMartin #GivePeaceAChance
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