Here’s the thing:
It should be evident by now that people like the woman who called the police on a Black man in Central Park, or the man in Minneapolis who threatened to call the police on Black men working out in a gym, are not the exceptions but a horrible and unspoken rule.
Their acting like they didn’t know about a White Entitlement is nonsense, otherwise, they wouldn’t have threatened the men in the first place.
They both knew exactly what they were doing, did it with passion, fake tears, and malice. Their after-the-fact apologies were not real apologies at all, but a confession that acknowledged their status and had no problems with using it.
We should all Thank Christian Cooper and the young men in Minnesota for recording these events. As Will Smith once said, “racism isn’t getting worse, it is getting filmed.”
What we are seeing is a mentality that has driven this nation for four centuries, being so clear that it required special laws to grant basic human rights to people who should never have needed such a measure.
It is a mentality that followed the “shocking” election of a Black citizen to the highest office in the nation with an openly racist man who rose to political prominence by challenging the legitimacy and birth of the man he replaced.
It is a mentality that blames the dead and exonerates their murderers. And don’t get me started about how jailing people for filing false police reports will have a “chilling effect” on people reporting on real wrongdoing. The fake report is the wrongdoing.
White Supremacist Ideology – let’s call it what it is — is a creation of people who chose that designation for themselves, then created a legal, scientific, and social framework to normalize it. It is an Ideology that must be destroyed by those who continue to see themselves as so defined rejecting the very definition and embracing a true humanity.
There is no such thing in nature as White, Brown, Red, Yellow, Black. And we are all living with the fallout of an abomination of a worldview that values color over character.
This is an ideology that no person of color can “fix.” We didn’t create it, and our talking about it is not what makes the issue “divisive.” Doing nothing about it is.
As we continue to bury more of our sons and daughters, murdered by the police, I am reminded of Freddie Gray here in Baltimore, and all of the other “Freddie Grays” that we have lost or nearly lost.
I am beyond outraged. That emotional response was used up years ago. I am beyond sadness, beyond grief, beyond shock. Even beyond hate.
White Supremacist America has repeatedly shown me what and who it is. It seems to be in no hurry to change itself, comforting itself by sending out “thoughts and prayers,” or advice on how to “comply,” how to comport one’s self when approached by police officers, how to demand to know why we have been detained — advice that, if used by me on a Monday would mean funeral arrangements being made on a Tuesday.
As I have said over and over again, this brutal mentality informs every interaction — from who gets profiled, to who gets into college, to who gets hired, to who gets fired, to who dies.
As it turns out, Colin Kaepernick was right. And regardless of what you think of him as an entertainer, he sacrificed that career to give a voice to the voiceless, to raise an issue that too many of his critics still try to ignore.
Are you listening now? Or are you still hung up on his Castro t-shirt, big afro, and passer rating?
We are beyond merely talking about this. I don’t want your guilt, and while thoughts and prayers are wonderful, said feelings need the force of action to make them more than convenient catchphrases.
I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.
This needs to stop, White America.
You need to stop.
James Michael Brodie is a Baltimore-based writer, journalist, and author. His books include “Created Equal: The Lives and Ideas of Black American Innovators” and “Sweet Words So Brave: The Story of African American Literature.” A University of Colorado graduate in English, Brodie’s current project is a collection of personal narratives titled “The Black and Gold Project.”