Do You Have It In You?
Daria was one of my favorite cartoons when I was growing up.
I’m not a fan of grunge music, but I still related to the theme song, You’re Standing on My Neck. I relate to that song because I noticed that black people must address white people the same way as the singer addresses the person standing on her neck when black people talk about racism white supremacy. Otherwise the grievance isn’t even seen as valid, and of course any type of change or restitution is even less likely. This is true regardless of how blatantly wrong the travesty or discrepancy is.
Suffice to say, I eventually stopped compromising my views on anti-black racism. I know I’m not convincing anyone to not be racist, and quite frankly, I shouldn’t have to convince anyone nor is it my duty to do so. In fact, convincing racists to change their ways isn’t even my goal. This may seem confusing to some, but it will all make sense once I explain my goal.
I’ve been posting a lot on Facebook about racism since 2014.
As I became less worried about being diplomatic and more focused on telling the hardcore uncompromising truth about the black struggle, I’ve alienated people, including people I’ve known for a very long time. I was already troubled when I saw Alton Sterling and Philando Castile being murdered, and when I randomly woke up at 3am and learned about what Micah Xavier Johnson did that night…
I didn’t sleep again till 3am the next day.
I was posting a lot even before Dallas. While I was posting for the world to see, there were responses. A lot of them came from someone I went to high school with years ago. A white person with, from what I’ve seen, mostly conservative values. He’s not a hardcore conservative. He actually has liberal values as well.
He’s a typical American.
I’m neither liberal nor conservative. I’m a radical. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see myself as a radical; in fact, I think I’m a very ordinary person. Unfortunately, coming to the defense of black victims of white supremacy without being compromising or subservient is seen as radical in this society, particularly if a black person does it. Even using the phrase “racism white supremacy” is seen as radical and extreme.
If you dare utter terms like “white privilege,” “white fragility,” or the blasphemous phrase, “black lives matter” then you’re seen as part of the problem.
So yes, society sees me as a radical. Thus, I’m labeled as such. Whatever.
Getting back to the story, this person and I didn’t always agree, but we didn’t always disagree either. Believe it or not, we weren’t even having a discussion about Alton Sterling when he suddenly told me he saw the video and thought it was “fucked up.” Of course I believe this extends much beyond a fucked up situation, but we did agree that particular situation was fucked up.
A blogger, The Love Life Of An Asian Guy, posted a picture of one of his tweets on Facebook. The tweet calls out the NRA and white gun’s rights activists for not defending Alton Sterling or Philando Castile despite gun possession being used as justification in both murders.
The LLAG wasn’t the only one who noticed the hypocrisy. I posted it on my own Facebook page. My friend from high school had a problem with it. He was indignant about the fact that the tweet said Alton Sterling (who was a felon) had the right to carry a firearm. He accused it of being “a bullshit post to spread more confusion”.
He was more interested in an inaccurate tweet than two unnecessary state-sponsored murders.
I wasn’t sure if he was aware of the moral implications of his outrage, so I told him that he seemed more upset about a tweet than those murders. He didn’t deny it. He was more upset at the tweet because it wasn’t accurate.
Was it legal for Alton Sterling to possess a firearm? No.
But consider the following: What does Alton not being allowed to carry a gun have to do with the police physically subduing him despite the store owner telling them he gave Alton permission to sell CDs there?
What does it have to do with the police not bothering to check any credentials or ask questions?
Those two murderers didn’t know Alton Sterling’s identity or criminal record, and they certainly didn’t know he had a gun. No gun was in his hand, and he didn’t try to reach for it. Yes, the cops wasn’t even aware of the excuse that people are using now until after the fact. All of that did not stop those two crooks from blasting a hole in a helplessly pinned black man’s chest.
One technicality, one excuse is enough to mitigate senseless police murder if the victim is black. So I told the guy I knew from high school that if he’s truly more upset about a tweet than two peaceful black folk murdered by police, then there’s no point in me caring about what he said or thought about this subject. I find absolutely no logic or purpose in discussing one’s problems with someone who does not care.
He stopped talking to me after that.
He wasn’t the first, and he likely won’t be the last.
If you have managed to read this far but you’re upset or uncomfortable, I know who you are.
You’re the people who always have to find a reason, or an excuse, or “play devil’s advocate” when it comes to justifying police murdering black folk.
- John Crawford
- Tamir Rice
- Alton Sterling
- Philando Castile
It doesn’t matter.
If you only say all lives matter when people are saying black lives matter, I want you to look at Bryce Masters:
If you always think a black person is at fault when he or she is murdered by police, then I challenge you to give that officer the same benefit of the doubt. Demonize Bryce the same way you demonize us. Gloss over the same violated rights, just like you do when it is us.
If you side with violent police only when the victim is black, then look at that video and own up to being a reactionary, hypocritical, bootlicking, racist piece of shit, look at this and own it.
Do you have the balls to look at the conflict within your soul?
Do you have the guts acknowledge that you would use a technicality to excuse a black person being murdered by police?
Can you be honest with yourself, forget about wanting to be seen as “nice” and “not racist”, and just accept that you do not care about blacks?
Can you deal with that burning sensation in your chest that you’re surely feeling if you’ve read this far?
Can you say “I don’t care” and mean it?
You may be thinking “wow, I thought about changing but this isn’t very convincing.”
You’re damn right this isn’t convincing!
My goal is to simply empower my people. For centuries, minds much greater than mine tried to convince the power structure of this country to stop imposing white supremacy and they all failed. I know a fool’s errand when I see one.
You are going to believe what you believe, and you are going to do whatever you want to do.
Can we just drop the pretense?
Forget about having to deflect or derail. Why worry about any guilt or wrong that may need to be reconciled? That’s not what you want to do anyways.
When black folk say “you’re standing on my neck,” don’t say things like “Well maybe we are standing on your necks, and if that’s the case something should be done about it,” or “Maybe I’d move my boot if you weren’t so rude about it.”
Say what you really want to say.
Look in that black person’s eyes and say with no guilt or shame whatsoever “Die Nigger! Die!”
Do you have it in you?
Written by Basil Benjamin of Comatose.
Comatose is a weekly series of amusing anecdotes, insightful commentary, and pithy stories. Every week three contributors are featured in short segments. The segments, though often unrelated, are tied together using music and narration to set the scene. Relax and enjoy the ride while listening to topics as varied as love, birthdays, and reciprocity.
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