Elliot Nichols, I read the original story. You provided a personal account of the racist environment you grew up in and participated in. In this, you told my story and those of pretty much every other white family. I believe you meant well, but taking a swing at Trump isn’t anywhere near enough. There are some deeper, more vital connections that were missed so I wanted to attempt to make those in my response to you.
Why did I include a picture of a refinery? Because that’s the white supremacist, hierarchical power structure you and I are a part of. It begins as tiny little pipes at the family kitchen table, winding through social gatherings, workplaces, industries, educational institutions, academia, entertainment, media, to the highest stacks of political power in the US. All these points of infrastructure cooperate to reinforce and sustain its existence. Thems is us. Most troublingly, this power structure includes all political parties and the ultra privileged racist white people that run or influence them. That’s a damning statement! Let’s look at some data for a sec:
- “White people make up roughly 62 percent of the U.S. population but only about 49 percent of those who are killed by police officers. African Americans, however, account for 24 percent of those fatally shot and killed by the police despite being just 13 percent of the U.S. population. As The Post noted in a new analysis published last week, that means black Americans are 2.5 times as likely as white Americans to be shot and killed by police officers.” -Chicago Tribune article, citing data from WaPo database of police shootings
- “African-American males are six times more likely to be incarcerated than white males and 2.5 times more likely than Hispanic males.3 If current trends continue, one of every three black American males born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime, as can one of every six Latino males — compared to one of every seventeen white males.4” -UN Human Rights Committee Report. Please see report for references to original citations.
- “Even after controlling for risk factors such as a borrower’s income and credit score, blacks in the Washington area were almost 20 percent more likely and Latinos were 90 percent more likely to face foreclosure or have lost their homes than similarly situated white counterparts.” -WaPo article, citing data from National Community Reinvestment Coalition study
I didn’t even hit several other areas such as pay equity and housing discrimination, but the patterns speak for themselves. So why do I implicate our political system, in particular, private organisations like the Democratic and Republican parties? Because the data does. Because both parties are not having serious policy discussions about racist and discriminatory practices that are quite literally killing our fellow citizens.
I bet you’ve been watching the debates through the primaries and in to the general election. I have and I’m hearing zero acknowledgement from any of the candidates on these vital issues. What I’ve heard instead is evasion to ignorance to outright denial. Perhaps, you have heard differently. I would be honoured to discuss those perceptive differences.
But there are websites and party platforms that listicle the candidates bold plans to confront these issues, right? Perhaps, but if we agree that leadership is about exposing these issues from the bully pulpit and influencing the public square’s discussions, then this election has been the worst FAIL ever.
So why are you and I so guilty? Haven’t we transcended the racist shit that Dad and Uncle Charlie taught us?
No. Because we refuse to recognize that our political institutions are failing our fellow citizens. Because we financially support and celebrate terrible political leadership. Because we follow racist media outlets and owners. Because we worship racist, discriminatory, sexist, agist moral shit holes like Silicon Valley. Because we should be protesting in the streets, for years if necessary, but are not. Because we circle jerk and glad-hand our cleverness whilst our fellow citizens are murdered in the streets. Because we should fully accept grassroots leadership and activism as exemplified by the BLM movement, but stealthily look away. Because we love destroying People of Colour so much, we decided to export it around the world. And until we get off our asses, we are and will remain part of the same hypocrisy, little pipes connected to a ubiquitous, deathly system.