Prolific Racism Needs Complicit White People
White Americans need to reckon with the reality.
Racism is a prolific killer.
We’re seeing that right now.
It is entrepreneurial in its malice and it will use whatever means necessary to eliminate those it is threatened by and fearful of.
The breadth of its arsenal and the scope of its tactics are staggering.
It will execute young black men in the street and it will assassinate their character on social media.
It will shoot human beings with guns and it will shoot them with cell phones.
It will enact its violence with knees into men’s necks until they cannot breathe, and with calls to the police feigning their own breathless terror.
It will brutalize bodies and it will impugn reputations.
It will wield hoods and it will don exercise pants and it will wear badges as it does its expansive, hurtful, dehumanizing work.
As a white person, I am grieving how prolific the white hatred of people of color is right now, but more than that I’m grieving how comfortable white Americans have all made it, the unimpeded path we’ve provided it, the way we’ve cooperated with it.
We haven’t needed to actively participate in a shooting or call in an erroneous harassment report or drive our knees into a stranger’s neck to be culpable for it all: our silence has been as deadly and that’s the story here. Racism doesn’t get this prolific and profitable and emboldened without our our inaction, without our abstinence — without our averted glances and uneasy truces and sidestepped difficult conversations.
No act of present violence happens without past preparation.
Without fear of accountability that they’ve acquired over decades, three white men don’t chase Ahmaud Arbery down the street and shoot him like a wounded animal while filming it all.
Without an environment of unfathomable privilege and a storehoused knowledge of law enforcement’s historic mistreatment of people of color, Amy Cooper doesn’t fabricate a story of her perceived danger in real time on Christian Cooper’s own phone video, to…