By Paul Messersmith-Glavin
From time to time, I get insights into the rigid mindset of white America and realize how some people will never change. Like my grade school friend who recently said she is all in favor of protesting, but also calls the Black youth of Baltimore “thugs” for their rebellion and actually tells people that’s a “race neutral” term. She unfriended me for contesting this. I mean, how dare I speak about the legitimate grievances involved? And it’s not like the riots accomplished anything, right?
There’s also a meme going around that asserts that more whites have been killed by police than Blacks in the US. Really? Is that true? And if it is true, so what? Does asserting the supposed fact that more whites have been murdered by police in the US somehow get you off the hook for thinking about white supremacy and the role of the police in the US? Does this somehow excuse the rampant police brutality and murder vested upon people of color?
What is asserting this statistic other than a racist sleight of hand? Wow, did you see how the cops just murdered that Black women, and completely got away with it? Oh wait, look over there, they just killed some white guy! As though the supposed fact that cops murder more white people somehow excuses them for all the murder of innocent Black women and men.
It’s interesting to me the mental gymnastics people will go through to not let new information and a rising consciousness touch them. I’d imagine there were people in the sixties that told themselves all sorts of bullshit to insulate themselves from the message of the Civil Rights, Black Power, anti-war, women’s, gay and lesbian movements.
It’s like they’re holding their hands over their ears and saying Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah …