We White people are always looking for any reason to justify our fear of Blackness. Well, we just got one. We have a video of 4 Black teens torturing a kidnapped special needs White kid. These images are now seared into our minds and placed in the box that says, “Justified Reasons to be Scared of Black People”. We can sleep good at night knowing that we aren’t racist. We are justified.
We are justified for still seeing that image of the white truck driver pulled out of his truck and beat during the 1992 LA Riots every time we drive through any Black neighborhood. We’re justified for making sure our car doors are locked, music turned down, while simultaneously making sure not to make eye contact with the Black person in the car next to us. (If for some silly reason we happened to be driving in a Black neighborhood.)
This torture video along with an earlier video where a White man was pulled from his car and assaulted by 5 Black adults, and also knowing the amount of murders in Chicago, make any and every fear we have “justified”.
We don’t actually care about solving the problems. We just like to reference these things when we tell someone who accuses us of racism why they are wrong. I mean we white people do not commit acts of hate, we don’t vote for people who perpetuate hate. Whiteness is under attack. C’mon these two videos prove it.
We don’t actually care about helping reduce the amount of violence in Chicago. We just care that that violence doesn’t come anywhere near whiteness. (Just look at Mount Greenwood) We are scared by the falsity of Black on Black crime, but horrified by the sheer possibility of Black on White crime, no matter how minute the chance.
Don’t question us either, because we will say, “Chicago has had 762 murders last year, don’t you care about that?” or “You must be a Black Lives Matter supporter, they are a terrorist organization, why don’t they protest in their own communities?” We say these things because it is easy. We have been conditioned to say these things. We have been conditioned to believe that a vocal black person is scary. We have been conditioned to believe that people in Chicago do not care about stopping violence. We don’t want to know about all the community organizations that have been working on reducing violence and improving Chicago for years. We just care that we have “proof” to justify our fears.
These are what the arguments sound like. These are things that White people say. This is why there are times when I am ashamed to be White (yes, to the White people freaking out, I just said that). Whiteness is a cloak we like to pretend does not exist. But when an isolated terrible incident happens we rally in our Whiteness.
When something happens to a White person by a person of another race, especially by a Black person, years of fear all come rushing back. Fear passed down through the generations. Fear spread sometimes intentionally but often times unintentionally at family gatherings. The time my grandfather talks about how he got robbed by a Black person spreads the fear down the lineage. The story of my grandmother sharing about how it’s a good thing we sold our house in the city and left for the suburbs, because that part of the city is now so terrible.
We say, “We aren’t racist, we just believe in law and order.” We don’t need to think about how purposeful disinvestment from neighborhoods in Chicago has led to more violence. We don’t need to think about how neighborhoods do not have job opportunities let alone commercial areas. We do not care that the schools in Chicago aren’t fully funded, or that they are run by the mayor and his hand picked puppets on the school board, or that over 50 of schools were closed. No way that any of that has any impact on violence.
We don’t care that Chicago Police have tortured, harmed, and killed citizens that they are supposed to protect. We don’t care that Chicago claims to be broke, yet takes TIF money from neighborhoods to continually beautify an already beautiful downtown . We don’t even want to think about how any of that could possibly impact the levels of violence. We don’t worry about that. We worry about keeping Whiteness safe.
Hopefully people know that I am not on the side with those who are looking for any and every way to protect Whiteness. Now people will look to discredit me, people will see that I am a teacher. People will say things like, “You need to worry more about your students and not worry about writing ridiculous articles like this”, or “You must be a terrible teacher because Chicago Public Schools are ‘failing’”, or maybe even something worse. Like so many people working to improve our city, teachers are working to improve our schools. People likely don’t care or you will falsely claim that school choice and charters will save our schools. But actually improving our schools will help reduce the levels of violence in our city.
If you would actually like to learn about organizations working to improve our city (which will reduce the levels of violence, which will also help us reduce our fear of Black people) then please begin clicking on any of the following organizations. (This is by no means anywhere close to a complete list, these are just a few of my favorites.) Young Chicago Authors, Mikva Challenge, Chicago Teachers Union, Assata’s Daughters, Black Youth Project 100, Resident Association of Greater Englewood, Youth Peace Movement, Showing Up for Racial Justice Chicago, and here are 41 more.
If you have no desire to try to break your stereotypes and educate yourself then in the words of N’Sync….
To view this piece published on Huffington Post click here.