Not so long ago, me and others who are similarly positioned in society, were understandably upset about Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. being arrested in his own home after showing proof that he was, in fact, at home. In that case, a White member of one of the least governed, state-sponsored terrorist organizations arrested an esteemed Black Harvard University professor, reminding us all that some citizens’ rights are curtailed even in their own homes.
I can recall reading plenty of backlashes from the White community, coming to the aid of the police officer. Folk were claiming everything from the arrest wasn’t at all racially motivated, to Gates should’ve known better than to talk back to the police or to raise his voice or become annoyed or to feel indignant about the arrest. Jim Crow is alive.
Well, let’s try this story on the race aversive out there…
Two White women decided that a school’s safety was lacking. In order to prove it, one of the women kidnapped a six year-old Black child on his way from the school when she was picking up her own child. She took the child back to a friend’s house and both women refused to release the child to the school until the media was contacted.
After about 90 minutes, the two women released the child to the local police, and after a brief trial, the woman who actually took the little Black boy was found innocent of: 1) first degree kidnapping, 2) conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and 3) luring a child. All of these are felony counts. The second woman, whose home the Black child was kept in, was later convicted of conspiracy to commit kidnapping.
This story is dripping with White privilege and deluged with ridiculous wrongs and miscarriages of justice. I find it impossible to accept that this scenario would play out the same way if say, Earpiece and I took a little White child from school in order to prove that school security was lacking. Can you imagine what kind of outrage would be heaped upon us for doing such a thing? Organizations of mothers would rise in terrific anger calling for our heads to be cut off at the shoulders. We wouldn’t be considered noble or praiseworthy or righteous Robin Hoods trying to benefit the masses by exposing the faulty logic of the State. We would be no less than thrown under a prison, scorned on the way down. But here we are, in this nation, and two White women actually conspired and performed a felonious kidnapping—complete with demands, and one woman was set free while the other, convicted of conspiracy, apparently conspired with herself though she wasn’t the one who actually picked the child up.
Can you imagine two Black men stealing $100 dollars from a bank and then returning it 90 minutes later, resulting in one being set free and the other being charged with conspiracy? Perhaps I’m mistaken, but I understood a charge of conspiracy to mean that something was planned, but not carried out. Once the crime was carried out, it’s not longer conspiracy. I can’t be charged with conspiracy to commit murder or attempted murder if I was caught murdering someone! The crime was committed, willfully and without concern for the mother of the Black boy. I understand that these women wanted to prove a point, but they don’t get to do it while using a Black child as a prop!
What’s interesting for me is that for White people, racist events tend to be sprinkles in time, separated by chasms of context, and I suppose that if I were White, I would also choose to wear myopic glasses if for no other reason than I would be able to benefit psychologically from them. How damning would that be for Whites if they were to accept their responsibility—tacit and overt—in the degradation of an entire race of people? Meanwhile, for Blacks, a very linear line can be drawn between the various racially laden events that somehow benefit Whites far more often than Blacks so regularly that “systemic” and “purposeful” are the only words that come to mind with regard to racist institutions and cultural genocide that we continue to suffer while Whites are at reins.
When I say that we ought to rise and fight, I mean just that!