Tired of explaining racism to white people, yet?
Clay, you have the patience of a saint; all of us can’t do what you do.
For those of us who have decided school is out, we have our reasons.
Here are two of my essays where I address why said racism hasn’t changed despite our twenty-four/seven explanations of how being a person of color is a non-stop fiesta of pain and micro-aggressions, made worse by the thoughtless words of a president dedicated to creating racial division for no reason other than he can.
What else explains the casualness of his attacks on people of color during his campaign and his directed efforts since taking the presidency?
The melting pot is beginning to boil over as White people who fear the end of their three hundred years of cultural and economic hegemony coming to an end, they live in fear that they will be treated with the same disdain, contempt and economic disenfranchisement they have utilized against every other social group for this entire time to maintain their power.
A world where ICE agents and police officers allegedly engaged in racial profiling, conducted warrant-less searches, detained people without probable cause, fabricated evidence, and, in one case, caused two people to die in an accident leaving their six children without parents. But that’s just the beginning.
Paraphrasing the so-called national religion they scarcely seem to remember but want to throw in our face regularly to explain our failures to succeed in a world completely stacked in THEIR favor.
“As you sow, so shall you reap.”
…which they wave at you to remind you of the personal consequences of one’s actions are in proportion to the good or bad intentions towards others.
Given the treatment of minorities in this country for three hundred plus years, I suspect this beloved aphorism lies at the dark heart of the treatment of minorities today, an overwhelming fear they will live long enough to be subjected to the treatment they have allowed to take place for centuries.
Maybe they should be afraid.
Their fear won’t fix anything, but if they know even a tenth of the consternation they propagate in their media,
- how they condone the murder of minorities in the street by their police without accountability, justifying it with lazy and specious commentary essentially deciding the victim deserved to die.
- how they justify the murder of citizens of color, or worse, ignore the pathology of white men who, using their patently accepted violence to take lives of citizens of color without consequence, or without recognizing the pathology of a disease where they isolate the killer without recognizing the cultural vectors which condone his actions.
- In Las Vegas, hundreds of people were harmed and killed yet the national media had the temerity to paint the shooter as a sympathetic individual. As if that should matter to the lives of people whose worlds have been forever changed by his privilege of accepted cultural violence.
- How they undermine the self-esteem and lifelong economic prospects of minority citizens with their hiring practices which use the excuse “diversity of thought” as a means to avoid hiring anyone but White people and legalize their racism.
- How they watch the staggering loss of qualify of life by their harassment and extreme imprisonment of minorities, the crippling effects of drugs on the lives of millions,
- how most minorities struggle with the constant fear of the social fabric around them fraying with a single mistake, any interaction which displeases a White person can end in their exile from opportunity through arrest, prison, blackballing, or in the case of so many young promising people, capital punishment without the benefit of judge or jury under the premise the lives of White policemen are justifiably more important than anyone they gun down that day.
Perhaps if they knew the potential for every encounter with the police being a life and death event, maybe, just maybe they could be empathetic and consider changing how racism affects our lives while they still have the capacity to do so.
Because no minority person can fix racism. Only white people can dismantle the engine of oppressive racism and all of its attendant constructs which empower them and disenfranchise everyone else.
One of the greatest minds of our times said racism was “a disease of white people.” Far be it from me to argue with Albert Einstein.
Racism is an affliction of White patriarchy, of White thought, of White leadership, of White fears, of White oppression. It is part of the national pathology; never cured… at best, in remission for a short time before reasserting itself.
It is their fear consuming them. “Physician, heal thyself,” has never had a better target. Anyone who says racism isn’t real and hasn’t caused harm to hundreds of millions of people over the last three hundred years, is disingenuous, at best, and I wouldn’t hesitate to call them an outright liar to their face.
I hope for empathy but given the track record of this nation’s most powerful and economically elite, which sets the stage for everyone else, this won’t be an orgy of enlightenment.
I expect our simmering soup of racial intolerance to reach a fever pitch, as the Great Orange one promises things he will never deliver, to white people who, mislead by the media, are doing what they have always done, to great effect in this nation: “When White people are suffering, blame the minorities. Minorities are easy to recognize and those of us in power, far above the fray in our gated communities, don’t have to do anything but watch them destroy themselves, oblivious to the true architects of their suffering. Pass the Grey Poupon, please.
America, the nation, has never been able to admit it’s wrong. It has never been good with apologies. The more egregious the sin, the more likely it will be swept under the rug to fester. If the nation does have a moment of enlightenment, it is always generations later, after everyone affected has died.
As Starbucks become battlefields and football players take a knee to explain racism to an intolerant nation, as the police-sanctioned murders increase, as the homelessness and exile of minorities expands, I am reminded of one thing:
Your overwhelming optimism. Your belief in the greatness of the Human spirit and how you believe we will somehow, against what has been the nature of this nation, find our way.
I love you, Brother Clay. Yours is the optimism which may save us.
I just wonder how many of us will be left to celebrate.
My People: It is not your job to educate racists.
You are tilting at windmills with little chance of success
The Cognitive Dissident