Someone Said That I Hate White People…
I was told on my Facebook page by an acquaintance that I should just start a Facebook Fan Page called, “I Hate White People” due to my rant about white police officers being afraid of patrolling black neighborhoods. I saw a Baltimore City police officer pepper-spraying only black people who were yelling at him about a man being shot in front of all of them on Pennsylvania Avenue. The white people who were taking pictures and filming right next to those black people were not sprayed, but were more in the face of the cops than those men and women who were yelling.
That is police cowardice. If you’re THAT scared of black people while doing your job, you should probably only patrol in South Baltimore or North Baltimore or in Eastern and Northern Baltimore County. You will be yelled at by people who are angry at your brothers/sisters in blue claiming to be Batman except that they’re violently killing black and brown people across the country without ever owning up to it (even when caught on camera) or paying the price for it (thanks to sympathetic grand juries or juries or prosecutors who are way too in bed with cops).
When I thought about it I got annoyed that I was accused of hating white people. I simply replied, “I don’t hate white people at all,” and just dropped it. I really don’t hate white people. And if you knew my friendship history…or better yet my dating history…um…not that that proves anything, but…I’m just saying…I…uh…yeah. Hate? Chile, boo.
Honestly, I’m tired of explaining this to some white people: My pro-blackness and pro-black-people-need-to-live-and-not-die-at-the-hands-of-a-system-that-should-value-their-lives-as-much-as-it-values-white-people’s-lives stance has nothing to do with hating white people. I am not going to shy away from painful and hard conversations about racial inequality in America and America’s constant need to uphold white supremacy above all things. I am not here to make you more comfortable talking about racial discrimination by not showing my anger in discussing it. I do not feel sorry that it makes you uncomfortable or scared. I’m trying to live. Your silence and condoning of police violence with “But if I may…shouldn’t you not run?” defenses in the face of my pleading to save black lives is just as mean and uncomfortable and ill-spirited as your feeling of my talking about this topic.
That Facebook comment reminds me of a time I was discussing race relations with three white friends, one of whom is a Southerner. She and I were the main contributors to the conversation and we discussed stereotypes which may or may not apply to the black and white races in the U.S. and which side should claim responsibility for fixing which problems. It was a good conversation and neither side was angry. Lo and behold, a mutual white friend said, “Guys. This is making me uncomfortable. Can’t we just talk about something else more pleasant?” Without missing a beat, my white friend (the one with whom I was mostly conversing) told her “No, we can’t. We’re not having a heated debate or hateful conversation. And even if we were, this stuff needs to be discussed. This is an uncomfortable topic and people need to stop running away from it.” Then we continued the conversation.
That’s the kind of response I would like to see from white people who are conscious and actively engaged in this conversation about anti-blackness pertaining to police brutality and white supremacy today. Engage your other friends and try to make them more conscious and aware of their privileges and the disparities in race, class, and economic standing in America, where we are all supposed to be equal. Do not allow them to change the topic. Force them to see an uncomfortable reality. Break their rose-colored glasses. Don’t say that I hate white people simply because I am against white supremacy, am against anti-blackness, and am against police brutality!
White friends and acquaintances, actually listen and hear what others are saying about the country in which you live. Stop blaming minorities for the problems about which they are complaining. Stop quoting Martin Luther King, Jr. as a method to silence black people. (“Would Martin Luther King agree with your complaining? He would want you to shut up and just let things be.” – read what he said about the white moderate and how they are worst enemy of American black people [even more than the KKK].) Just do better overall, please, so that you can keep your Whole Foods on Santa Monica Boulevard before it burns with the fervor of a CVS in Baltimore.
I really don’t want it to get to that point before you “get” it. Because that would mean you value property more than lives taken by bad police officers who get away with it. And I’m sure you’re better than that, right? Right?