"Run n-word run, Patty Roller will catch you, Run n-word run
I'll shoot you with my flintlock gun.
Run n-word run, Patty Roller will catch you, Run, n-word run, you'd better get away." - Slave police song.
Ok. You've seen the protests-cum-riots over the public torture and murder of an unarmed Black man in Minnesota. George Floyd's execution by a white police officer with his hands nonchalantly in his pockets has sparked public outrage all across America. And anger has turned to violence as the American Establishment was caught off guard and struggled to respond. Moreover, the dithering, foot-dragging and delay in bringing charged against the killer police officer, and his three colleagues who stood by, did absolutely nothing to stop the extra judicial murder, only added fuel to the long-simmering angry fire.
As video and photographs detailing public anger and outrage across America circulated, they sent shock waves to a power-structure long comfortable with whitewashing police wrongdoings, and looking the other way when white cops killed unarmed Black people and feigned innocence by claiming that "they resisted arrest." This ever-percolating and ever-toxic white racism was and is THE FOUNDATION of America and it has exacted gallons of blood, sweat and tears on the Black community for 400 years - and counting. So, now we come to the nightmare of 2020. The murder of George Floyd was a throwback to the old days of slavery when practices like these were commonplace. As a matter of fact, public lynchings of Black people were many times social events attended by hundreds of white, cheering townspeople with their children in tow.
And too, this system of white brutality against Black people has evolved over the years and have adapted to suit the times. Today's Ku Klak Klan supporter does not wear a white sheet or burn crosses. No, he wears Armani suits, sits on corporate boards, and may be even members of local political organizations. It is this that perpetrates the "great American divide" that was and is that of color of skin as the final criterion. Thus, by this dispensation, whiteness is about privilege, law, legitimacy, citizenship, the benefit of the doubt. Conversely, Black (not-white) is doubt. Being Black and not-white you MUST prove, not just once but over and over again.
George Floyd and countless other Black people - men and women - have all had to prove who they were. Being white as privilege means that a white cop can kill, murder, beat and brutalize ANY Black man or woman and be certain that there will be no negative repercussions. They're supported by a condescending kind of gaslighting politician that keep sermonizing to Black people for their alleged lack of "personal responsibility." Yet these same politicians remain blind to a form of non-confrontational personal responsibility that's enacted in some fashion several million times a day by Black people in America. George Floyd, even when the life was being choked out of him, respectfully told his killer "I can't breathe sir."
Hilariously today, as protests and riots rock a country facing high unemployment, a devastating pandemic, a federal government impotent and incompetent to handle these situations and "multi-task," these governments and leaders are asking people, Black people in particular, to "trust us." The challenge for these governments is that they cannot unleash the militarized and violent police forces to beat up, shoot, maim and brutalize protesters as they did say, 25 years ago, because of the Internet, Social Media, and millions of "citizen journalists" with smartphones with video and photo apps that document police misconduct. Had it not been for a very savvy and courageous 17-year old the public terrorization and illegal, extrajudicial murder of George Floyd would never have been exposed or the deliberate lie told by the arresting cops that "he [Floyd] resisted arrest."
Still, today in America, despite public pronouncements about "how far we've come," the vestiges of white racism and its corruption and contamination of the body politick still remains intact. America has a long history of racial preference that for hundreds of years produced all-white juries, city councils, legislatures, police forces, electorates, student bodies, faculties, executive suites, and labor pools. Things have not changed with the passage of time - 80% of the Minneapolis police department are white and do not live in the community - including the murderer of George Floyd.
Some informed scholars today have called this phenomenon the "soft" psychology of white supremacy, as opposed to the more febrile, brash and ultra-violent mentality and ideology of neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klanners, and the new political alt-right crowd. In essence, white supremacy by defaulta failure to see beyond whiteness as the presumptive norm, as the neutral and natural order of things.
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