y’all in for a time
Oh you have a time machine?
How to be an Awful Fucking Human Being by Crackerhell
1. Completely destroy all progress made in human rights over hundreds of years by reversing it, and being a shitty racist human being to millions of other human beings!
So, we just had the second reported case this year of an unarmed Black youth, handcuffed in the back of a squad car, being shot in the head by the cops who then blamed it on a gun they somehow overlooked while searching him, despite having been restrained at the time they supposedly put the gun to their head and pulled the trigger.
I say “reported”, but really, the news media is treating it as a mild controversy at best and at worst is just straight up repeating what the police say, with neither investigation nor journalism being committed.
Unarmed kids shot dead for truancy and jaywalking and littering and looking like someone the cops want to shoot. Unarmed mothers shot for suspicion of shoplifting. Executions in the street for misdemeanor or even non-criminal inconvenience.
And the news dutifully reports every incident as… an incident. Not as one more unconscionable death in a wave of such deaths without an apparent end in sight. This is just how things happen. This is increasingly simply our understanding of what the police are and what they do. Cops call a man the n-word when he says he doesn’t want to let them in to answer a faulty medical (not criminal) emergency signal because he’s afraid they’ll kill him, and then they break down the door and shoot him. Dead. The act was recorded from at least two angles, with him visibly unarmed, and the news and the judge and the complacent white public at large believe the police over their own eyes when the police say he was armed and threatening them.
They called him a slur, broke into his apartment for no reason, and shot him, just like he said they would.
I don’t like to invoke pop culture in explaining race relations, but it’s like that scene in The Dark Knight where the Joker points out how nobody panics when things go according to plan, even if the plan is horrifying.
And what I’m getting at here is, if this progress, let’s roll it back. We have progressed to a point where we don’t talk about race, we just… let racism happen. The burden of actually being racist has been quietly transferred from individual people to faceless, unthinking institutions. You don’t need to don a hood and light a cross on fire on the lawn of your “undesirable” neighbors, because the banks and real estate agents just quietly steer them away from the “nice” neighborhoods. And if they want to live somewhere outside the invisible lines? They’re going to pay extra. They’re going to be given punitive interest rates on their home loans. They’re going to be denied discounts and bonuses they qualify for.
Nobody has to be fired or denied a job for their race any more, because almost all the states are “right to work” now and so nobody needs to give any reason for turning someone down or firing them. Why do white people keep getting hired and promoted out of proportion with our numbers or qualifications? No reason! Why do Black people keep getting turned down or shunted into dead end tracks? No reason!
I would argue there has still been a lot of progress in racial equality in the US since, well, slaves. It’s obviously not perfect, and obviously not everyone is an equality-minded citizen.
You make a strong argument that there has been no progress though. But instead of making white people pay, I suggest you try to peacefully create change. (you know, shit that actually stands a chance of working)
Did you notice how slavery ended, though?
Did you ever look back and notice what happened?
There wasn’t a moment when a slave asked us nicely to please stop or we had an epiphany come down like a bolt from the blue.
We had a war.
We didn’t have a Civil Discourse.
We had a Civil War.
It was the bloodiest war ever fought on U.S. soil. In terms of percent of the population of our own country who died, it’s the bloodiest war we’ve fought in, period. “Brother fought brother, families torn apart” and the kicker is that we weren’t even fighting over slavery, we were fighting over political philosophy.
Because that was more important to the bulk of the people in the country than the humanity of slaves: whether the union was indivisble or states were sovereign. Whether slavery was viable economically or holding the country back.
Oh, don’t get me wrong… the south was fighting to protect slavery. But the north wasn’t fighting to end it.
But it did end, because the war was so bloody and terrible.
Not that slavery wasn’t bloody and terrible. More people died in the Atlantic crossing than died in the Civil War.
But that’s what it took to end the institution. A great bloody terrible war.
And yeah, that was progress. No more slavery. But what about the slaves? They were turned loose with no wages for a lifetime of back-breaking labor… for generations of back-breaking labor. Their former slavers (let’s not say “masters” or “owners”) kept all the proceeds of hundreds of years of labor, plus interest. The freed people? They had no money, no home, and often no one was giving them any prospects except the people with fields that needed tending. Many freed slaves ended up right back where they started… in theory being paid, but Google “sharecropper” and “tenant farmer” and see how much progress was made from slavery in the first generation.
White society… including the industrial society in the north… had a four hundred year head start. The poorest of us could own a patch of dirt long before slavery ended. Banks would deal with us. Businesses would deal with us. We had family connections. Former slaves were lucky to even have their family together. Our head start didn’t shrink in the century after slavery, it grew. More of that progress, I suppose.
And here we are today, and your big concern isn’t whether things are fair or right or just in a “who lives, who dies” or “who eats, who starves” fashion, but whether or not someone is talking about the system in a way that makes you feel bad.
It’s not fair to you and I that crackerhell talks about doing to white people what’s been done to Black people? That’s so horrible?
Would you trade places?
Would you want to be the descendant of slaves, boxed in by institutions and racism both overt and subtle, shouting about what you’d like to do if the situation was reversed… or would you rather be the one being shouted at? Which is the better deal?
As for your note in the tags: literally all I said about police was to mention specific actions… specific murderous actions. You’re telling me I should have more respect for them than to mention when they kill Black people. That’s literally what you’re saying. Pointing to a pattern of lethal violence… a predictable, provable pattern… is too much disrespect.
And what else did you say? “Don’t let a few rotten apples spoil the bunch.” That’s exactly what I said people do. You want to treat the pattern as a bunch of disconnected incidents. No. We’re talking about a murder every day and a half, statistically. In shockingly similar circumstances again and again. And there have been studies! People have looked at the science of what goes on in people’s heads—police and “civilians”—when they look at a “suspect”. This is happening like clockwork because it’s so predictable, because it’s the natural effect of the cause when we have a racist institution in a racist society and we empower them to use lethal violence with little or no consequences so long as they’re only shooting at the “wrong sort of people”.
Am I saying that all policemen are evil storm troopers out to get another notch in their gunbelt? No. Read what I said. I said nothing like that. I’m being quite reasonable and laying out my point step by step. The only reason to jump to “cops are Hitler” or wherever you want to take this is because it’s easier to refute that as being ridiculous. What I’ve written isn’t ridiculous and isn’t easy to dismiss… which is why you ignore it and pretend I’ve said something else.
Do I think what crackerhell is saying is helpful or productive?
Better question - why is it on a young Black college student dealing with their own problems compounded by racism (not on top of, but multiplied by) to “help” and “be productive”?
Why is racism their problem to solve?
Why is your response “Ask me to be not racist ncier.” instead of… not being racist?
And don’t tell me you’re not racist. Look at the ridiculousness of your position here. I’m guessing you did actually know that the Civil War happened. So how is it that you managed to think that civil discourse is all that’s necessary for progress? That’s an element of entrenched racism. That’s part of how it entrenches. We dismiss the angry, the radical, and the militant without giving a second thought to what they have to be angry about… and once we’ve established that anger is an invalid response, we can keep lowering the bar on what counts as anger.
There is no level of the oppressed calmly and proudly standing up for themselves that will not read as hostility to the defensive and privileged.
But to get back to the point: if you’re not racist, if you’re not reflexively protecting racism, how could you go through the mental contortions necessary to suggest that slavery was solved through peaceful means? It just doesn’t make sense.
You’ll never go to a Klan rally and you can probably say that everyone’s equal with a straight face, and mean it… but our society itself is racist and we were brought up in that society. It’s in us. It’s part of us. It informs our thinking and reactions. If you’re not looking for racism in yourself, if you’re not on the lookout, then you can bet your bottom dollar you’re going to be acting on it.
Reblogging for comments and again why no one can ever say “That’s history, it doesn’t matter now” or “I wasn’t there so I am not responsible.”