When you blame people of color for the way cops treat us, you are giving cops the power to blame you when they realize that their hunger for violence isn’t satiated by their main course of colored flesh, and they start demanding white flesh for dessert.
Dear Wypipo
Son of Baldwin
422

I find myself deeply conflicted on this one. Not on your message, but on the question of what it takes to reach wypipo. Because yes, I agree this is how it goes. But I’m not upset or worried about police violence against people of color because someday they might come for my white ass, I’m upset about police violence against people of color because they’re going for *anybody’s* ass.

When I talk to white people who are victim-blaming and whatnot, I don’t want them to stop because they’re afraid of what something could mean for them. I want them to stop because of what it already means to someone else. I don’t want them to look at people of color as canaries in a coal mine; I want them to look at people of color as, well, people.

When we tell ’em that “this could happen to you,” the idea is to make ’em empathize; but I find that instead, it often makes them double down on finding the “proof” that it couldn’t be them. We need to take away that false security, that sense that they’re inherently deserving of their great good fortune and therefore anyone who does not have it must deserve not to have it.

“They’ll come for me eventually?” thinks the victim-blaming denialist, “Well, geeze, I’d better make sure I figure out how to stop that before they do.”

No. Figure out how to stop it NOW, because they ARE coming for people. I’m not prepared to forgive my fellow white people for not caring about people who aren’t white. Fear for their own self-preservation isn’t good enough for me. I don’t want them to see people of color as “those people,” or to “not see color,” or any of that shit. Because that’s what lets them in fact, *not* learn.

Why do the Reiners still totally support the police? Because they’re plugged into this “deserving it” continuum. And I’m starting to think that when we frame this whole thing as “it’ll happen to you eventually,” what they hear is “because you’ll deserve it,” and that leaves ’em the mental space to believe they can avoid deserving it, thus avoiding empathy.

Not sure how to solve this, but these folks have built up a lot of defenses against getting a clue, and this is one of them.