“To be sure, [black radicals] may be the minority in the black community, but truth, despite democracy, can never be measured by numbers. Truth is that which places a man in touch with the real; and once a man finds, he is prepared to give all for it. The rebellion in the cities, then, is not a concious organized attempt of black people to take over; it is an attempt to say YES to truth and no to untruth even in death. The question, then is not whether black people are prepared to die—the riots testify to that–but whether whites are prepared to kill them. Unfortunately, it seems that that answer has been given through the riots as well. But this willingness of black people to die is not despair, it is hope, not in white people, but in their own dignity grounded in God himself [sic,]. This willingness to die for human dignity is not novel. Indeed, it stands at the heart of Christianity.”- James Cone, Black Theology And Black Power, page 30
On Saturday, after the verdict was given in the
Trayvon Martin George Zimmerman trial, well even a week before, conservative talking heads and friends on social media were feigning concern for retributive violence by swarms of angry black people. Black people were once again portrayed as violent and criminal. One person even insinuated its been 20 years since the Rodney King riots, so maybe some blacks wanted new televisions. I would not want this brand of racemongering turned on anyone or any population. But black people have to endure this bullcrap every day because white supremacy still reigns in the United States. There’s only one group of people who have a history of nonviolent protest, and there’s another group of people who are responsible for the largest race riot in the history of the country. Can you take a guess?
White people, especially the leaders of white nationalism and the LGBTQ community, try to hijack the Civil Rights movement as their accomplishment. They’ll nod their heads in agreement about how great MLK Jr. and maybe Bayard Rustin, but then after that, white supremacists say “they are the new Civil Rights Movement“; cue Glenn Beck:
Or haven’t you heard, gay is the new black!?!? You can name all the heroic people of color you want, your histories do not get to replace another people’s history. You need to sit down, and take several seats!
The hypocrisy behind both liberal and conservative white supremacists going on and on about blacks rioting is that they get to maintain their privileged positions of labelling blacks as violent and criminal while at the same time stealing the nonviolent legacy first paved by Indians and Black Americans. That’s how institutional racism works. Whites get to claim innocence, while blacks remain guilty until proven less guilty. No one examines the Tulsa riot this way as indicative of all white people, because first, we don’t talk about it (geez I wonder why!!) but yet riots in Harlem & Los Angeles & Detroit will always be placed on the shoulders of blacks and their children. That’s institutionalized racism in our media and education system, hard at work. Whites are freed up to play the victim card in the culture wars while blacks remain the servile, crooked suspects that need to be profiled and disciplined.
The fear of blacks having a mass violent uprising is only possible through the perpetuation of negative racist stereotypes, with the help of being reinforced by racist practices such as racial profiling and the whitewashing of history. In spite of the truth of current events, as well as the historic witness of nonviolent protests lead by people of color, race prejudice prevents white supremacists from seeing the truth, the Real. This is why dismantling white supremacy/institutionalized racism is important, so that we all can be as one as humanity in our nearness to the Truth.