I Don’t Give a Fuck About Justine Damond

Son of Baldwin
[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Justine Damond seen in a cropped photo, seen from the neck up, looking into the camera, smiling.]

I’m going to say this and I mean — down to my subatomic particles — what I say. And I actually don’t care what anyone might think about it:

I don’t give a FUCK about Justine Damond and what happened to her.

I don’t give a fuck because most white people didn’t give a fuck when police murdered seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones as she lay on a couch, sleeping. What most white people — and some black people — did was blame Aiyana’s family.

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Aiyana Stanley-Jones seen in a school photo, seen from the shoulders up, looking at the camera, Disney princesses in the background.]

I don’t give a fuck because a black woman (or a Native woman) in the identical situation Justine was in wouldn’t garner support or sympathy from most white people. No. What most white people would do is look for reasons that might justify why the police officer “had” to kill the black woman.

Most white people rely on this idea that black people, in situations where white people are in pain, are only ever to be soothing and understanding; only ever to be Mammy or Uncle Remus; only ever to extend condolences; only ever to embody loyalty; only ever to offer the empathy and sympathy that most white people purposely and haughtily deny when the situation is reversed — almost as if most white people still see us as their property.

When the situation is reversed, when we require empathy and sympathy, then suddenly we’re all of the opposite things that these once-needy white people previously said we were. When the shoe is on the other foot, then they assess us as immoral, violent, criminal, subhuman, unworthy.

But they are not slick.

They maneuver and manipulate every situation so that it’s always to their advantage; moving the goal posts at every turn to ensure that we are always in service to them — irrespective of whether their intentions are wicked or plain.

None of the inane and unsanitary questions they ask of dead black people do they ask of their own wounded. Not one of them has yet to castigate Justine for being belligerent toward police officers, nor have they used that as an excuse for why she had to die — as they so frequently do when the victim is black.

For me, this psychological fuckshit of a game stops TODAY.

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Bettie Jones, who simply went downstairs to open the door for police after her neighbor called them for assistance, was unarmed and immediately shot by police who were subsequently not charged. Most white people didn’t give a fuck and looked for ways to blame Jones, who was blameless.]

I don’t give a fuck about Justine Damond because I know that most white people don’t think what happened to her is indicative of an inherently corrupt and unjust policing system. I know that most white people simply think that this situation means that guns should be taken out of the hands of black people, that black people shouldn’t be placed in positions of authority, and that keeping the police force white would ensure that police won’t mistakenly kill “innocent” white people; that police will, instead, return to their true purpose: Keeping white people “safe” by killing black people.

Most white people are not truly mourning Justine. Most of white people are mourning what the killing of Justine means: That Whiteness isn’t guaranteed to protect them and, in the blink of an eye, they can find themselves in the same plight as black people, which they thought the promise of Whiteness was supposed to prevent.

The question most white people will never dare answer honestly is: Does the “blue life” of the cop who murdered Justine matter more than Justine’s? If white reactions to black deaths at the hands of police are any indication, the answer should be “yes.”

But we’re not fools. We already know that what white people mean by “Blue Lives Matter” is “Black Lives Don’t.” So they can’t subscribe to the idea of the blue life mattering more in this case without diminishing Whiteness and tacitly affirming Blackness. And supporting Justine over the police officer (a black Muslim police officer at that) when they never supported black people over the police officer in identical circumstances, reveals their hypocrisy and white supremacy. Left with these options, most white people will choose silence, pretense, projection, duplicity, deception, sophistry, or amnesia — but never, ever the truth.

I will never extend my care to a peoples whose idea of reciprocation is my annihilation. They can mourn over their losses by their goddamn selves. Just like we do.

I don’t give a fuck about Justine Damond because there are too many — way too many — white-neglected black bodies I have to climb over before I could even get to thinking about hers.

When they put Aiyana Stanley-Jones’ murderer in prison where he belongs, then, and only then, might I consider caring an iota about Justine.

Until then, though: I gives fucks so less than zero that math hasn’t even invented a way to represent it.

“But how could you not care about this innocent blonde white lady?”

The same way you could not care about about innocent black women and girls, or any black person killed by cops. My empathy is not for free. It must be earned. And there are very, very few white people deserving of it.

“But not all white people! And I *did* care when cops killed black people!”

“I can’t believe what you say because I see what you do.” — James Baldwin

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Cut and pasting all of the well-worn excuses and positions most white people take when a black or brown person is killed by police, Hasan Ali Ibrahim gets a bunch of white people all up in their feelings as he uses their own words against them in the case of Justine Damond. And the white people discover they can’t take what they dish out and further, aren’t even aware that they are subjects in Ibrahim’s experiment, thereby unwittingly exposing their racism and hypocrisy. See full exchange here: https://www.facebook.com/skynews/posts/1844421412239114]

Most white people — and some black people who crave white adjacency — will be OUTRAGED!!!!™ by the mere idea that I could take this position. Their egos and self-centeredness, which are so huge that not even the infinite multiverse has room for them, coupled with their Christianity, which is nothing more than death-glamour in disguise, will be pierced by such a response and, in their pained confusion, they will try to flip the script to make me the morally bankrupt individual in this scenario because they are ill-equipped to contend with self-evaluation. To be fair to them though: It must come as a great shock to go on a soul search, only to discover that the entire endeavor was a wild goose chase from the start.

Rather than face that reality, the soulless resort to, first, fabricating a history and reality that makes my position unjustified. They then deceive themselves about their own words and deeds in the presence of black corpses. Finally, they deny their tendency to kneel before police officers to perform fellatio on their guns, and lie about expecting the officer to tell them when they’re about to shoot so that they could point the opening at our faces instead of theirs.

I say all of this to say:

My disinterest is white people’s fault.

And I hope it makes them angry.

And what they may do with that anger is fix the situations that made my indifference necessary…

Or they can stay mad.

The choice is theirs.

Son of Baldwin

Written by

Author of the upcoming novel THE PROPHETS from Putnam Books. Coming in 2021.

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