Or A Caution to White
White folks are showing their true colors, their various and
many shades of white. Most white folks want to think the bright bright blinding
demonical white of the kkk are the only racists that exist in our country,
therefore limiting racism to the handful few.
Many white folks think racists are overt and ugly bigots,
and not everyday white people like every single other white in this country.
Well, Ferguson is bringing the anti-racist whites out into
the streets - and racist whites passing for not racists out of their closets.
I walked down the street yesterday with my shirt painted:
“Death to Racism”.
Please note: I did not say death to a person, but an
institutional, social, cultural structure that yes, operates daily to give very
personal advantages for whites. Some white people walking by had to do the
double take thing, confirming (maybe guiltily) I said ‘ism’ not ‘ists.
Many people, with and without color, responded positively
with thumbs up, bright smiles, even overt positive reinforcing comments.
But then there were the white ones who looked like they were
going to puke – you know the type “if looks could kill” was coined for. One
white woman cloaked in her Sunday best actually grabbed her young white and
very alive adolescent son, turning him abruptly inward toward a storefront so
he’d miss my passing.
Then a white woman with an ugly, belligerent frown aimed in
my direction hurled: “I say death to looters”. I quickly
retort: “Oh, you mean wealthy white people?”
She angrily shouted over her shoulder “No I mean looters last night”.
“Are you willing to kill them?” I’m now raising my voice in
my attempt to challenge her to finish her thoughts, to see where this “death to
looters” goes for her.
“Will you kill those who lit garbage on fire? Or those who
tossed rubbish thru a store window? Or maybe those who overturned a cop car?”
She’s scurrying away so fast but I want her to know I see
her: “Oh, yes protect property over human lives – the holy sacred golden idol
property and the easily dispensable life of a person of color”
I’ve a very silent
street audience that has slowed to almost standing still now so I continue, on
the cusp of screaming: “Death to the murderer of the 12 year old boy playing in
“12 YEARS OLD” my
voice quavers with tears and rage: “Pretend he was YOUR SON”.
She doesn’t even pause, striding away as fast as she can.