White on White

Gun law debates, targeted bombing of civilians in their homes, school shootings and religious extremism within the USA can only mean one of two things. One is that we're stuck in an M. Night Shyamalan movie, and the other is that there are some deep underlying social problems in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The collective imagination of white America has painted the homes of people of color as wild, chaotic and uncivilized.  From the stories of the 'Wild, Wild West' with little Laura Ingals being terrified of the 'savage natives' in Little House on the Prairie to Cynthia grabbing her purse while crossing the street because she saw a Black person on her way from Chipotle and later tittering to her friends about how she walked through COMPTON, little has changed in how we imagine communities of color. The picture painted is filled with war and violence.

In juxtaposition to communities of color, there is the safety of white suburban communities; the safety of which must be protected at all cost. What suburbia fears the most is diluting its purity. Brown people and their offspring infiltrating that space often represent the diluting of that insular and safe world, whether it is changing demographics or busing kids in for educational purposes.  As though crime is a spectre or lost Pokemon attack that Black people can summon at will to terrorize them. 

Here we often see political 'pundits' suddenly lose the ability to read and understand American history. Ignoring a history of Jim Crow, segregation, red lining and systematic disenfranchisement of Black communities, we get the ever popular refrain of 'Black on Black' crime. 

Since, the discussion about Black on Black crime seems not to be about facts, what is it anyway?  Getting roasted for your lame sneaker game?  Not my fault you got roasted for orthopaedic shoes back in seventh grade, Ben Carson.  I'll give you a clue right now, it was never about the shoes, it was always about you being a lame. 

Incorrect representation would not be complete without a self-serving politician who wants to talk about black on black crime. Listen we all loved Jah Rule's raspy nursery rhymes back in the 90s but I don't want to hear him talk about complex social and political situations. There's usually a litany of these artists brought on board.  Art is political, especially Black art, there are political artists, however these are usually not the ones on screen in the USA.  Airtime is given to the ones that speak on these topics with same off-key tempo and nursery rhyme ass bars they use in their songs.

While the media has focused its attention on what makes the brown people so savage, we have neglected something very important. We have neglected to have any critical analysis or discussion in regards to what really is plaguing American society in terms of violence. When will we talk about white on white crime and its prevalence in America? White on white crime and our inability to deal with will continue to exist if we simply continue to scratch our heads and not address the fact that white society and its patriarchal structures allow for mass murder and violence against women to be an ongoing cultural phenomenon.

P.S. I am ready for a white version of The Wire where we follow white supremacists being sociopaths. Or even better, a crime about violence on college campuses and binge drinking.  Are we not ready for that TV show yet? I will help make it, call me.

The library is open children, let us begin the read.

School Shootings

Whether there is a gun problem, a cultural problem, an entitlement problem, a toxic masculinity problem, or simply a mix of all these things, it is clear there is an issue with the way we handle and discuss violence.

Lots of people on both sides of the fence want to blame gun violence on simple things like gun control or white boys not getting enough hugs, but clearly there is something larger at play and it seems as though all trails lead to the cultural norms of how human life is perceived in America. We are taught that any small blemish, any small failure, any small slight is something for us to look down on someone for. As a culture we revel in our belief that we are innately superior to others, and no one is taught to believe this more than white men. There is no value in the lives around them, because their life is the one which should have agency over others’ lives at all times. We never talk about how this is a fundamental part of American culture and until we do, guess what? There is still going to be an excess of mass shootings to validate the white male ego and continue this white on white crime.

Fraternities

Fraternities don’t care if you are a white woman or a white man. The sexual harassment, the hazing, the drinking, it happens and it often spills over into the area of crime. Have you ever heard of someone making another person themselves to death at Howard or Hampton? Neither have I (don’t worry though, they might only embezzle your money  #Tyrone).

There was one time I was at Cornell and a friend I made over my summer there was chased by some drunken white frat boys while she was running in the morning. She was saved because a man riding by on a bike stayed by her side until she reached safety. In my whole life as a Black woman who grew up in a place that were called dangerous, just because it was poor, I had never been chased by a group of drunken men of color. 

I had a friend who knew a guy who sold some weed on the side, no one asked him for roofies unless they were Amherst frat boys. Think about that.

I have often thought about violence on college campuses and how frats play a part in that especially after my friend’s experience at Cornell along with all of the other horror stories you hear. It was one of my reasons for looking at Women’s colleges or Historically Black colleges.

Recently there was an article published in The Atlantic, written by Ibram X. Kendi and it accurately accesses how we view white on white crime as something which is excusable because the perpetrators are white men. There is one quote from the article by Kendi which I believe sums up the problem with fraternities and its relation to excusing violent actions when committed by white men:

“Hazing and discriminatory membership policies have prompted politicians and    institutions like Florida State University and Harvard University to punish fraternities in recent years—not the preponderance of evidence of sexual violence. The Obama administration tried to push and prop up reluctant colleges. In 2011, the Office for Civil Rights urged campus officials to respond more promptly to reports of sexual violence, and use a less-rigorous standard for determining whether a sexual assault occurred. But neither Democrats nor Republicans appear willing to declare political war on those sexually violent frat men in the way both declared political war on those violent gang boys in the 1990s, in the way Trumpian Republicans have declared political war on gangs today.”

While he continues on in his analysis of comparing gangs and fraternities, his article states that this double standard is due to social-economics, race, and ethnicity. There is an issue with how acceptable toxic masculinity is by American society and there is a lack of analysis of how toxic masculinity flourishes in supposedly “liberal” educational settings. Anyone who has worked in academia or who has been on a college campus knows that the ideas which are sold often do not contradict white supremacist and patriarchal ideals.

The legal system, the justice system, and college institutions are designed to protect and serve white men. Their actions are never magnified they way Trayvon Martin’s were. You can be in a frat, do drugs, binge drink and never have your misgivings questioned. You can be the same frat boy, grown up and do cocaine in the banking world and that is seen as an acceptable habit. Walk home and have smoked weed before and your life is being marked down because you never met the standards of full humanity to being with. Remember every small misstep a person of color makes re-affirms that their life is something which is not to be valued.  

How will we ever fight white on white crime if our supposedly liberal institutions of higher learning continue to coddle and support the idea that the white male body is entitled to the determination of all others?


Religious Extremism

The U.S. has a long and sordid history of immigration. New immigrant groups have often saught the coveted status of white.  Many have gone through the U.S. court systems to separate themselves from blackness and attain a reality which is assimilation and no seasoning.  Keeping this in mind, it might come to as a shock to some, but not to others, that Arab Americans are legally considered white, you got it, white. 9/11, that was white people. Boston, white people, California, white people.  When you think of the majority of terrorist attacks, which have been extraordinarily less than that of school shootings, then you have a case of white people going and attacking other white people. While meatloaf eating Americans might want to see themselves differently than their hummus eating cousins, the fact of the matter is terrorism in terms of Islamic extremism is white on white crime.

Now Christians, don't think you are going to place the blame solely on another group of people. In the words of M'baku, "We will not have it oh." White Christian extremism, which exists in the U.S., has involved the bombings of black churches, black mosques, and the homes of black people. Don't forget, the KKK is a Christian organization and they were committed to the terrorism of black people all over the south, and are still committed to that message today.

Israel has gotten away with genocide in the American media, point blank.

What we have is not a religious problem, but a problem where white males use the message of religion to uphold and uplift their views of them being the sole en-actors of justice. If the white savior narrative is not dismantled, we will continue to have issues with white on white crime.

P.S. most terrorism in the United States is committed by white, non-Arab men. check this out if you need a good read: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/26/alt-america-terrorism-rightwing-hate-crimes

Facebook & Cambridge Analytica

After about 200 years of the U.S. taking down any geo-political rivals within its hemisphere to maintain power, at last the powers that be are tired of messing with elections and political stability in Latin America and the Caribbean. They have set their sights on themselves. White people have finally started messing up elections for themselves and are debating whether it is a crime or not.  Alright, Senate hearings lets see these guys get off with a fine they can pay with their pocket money. If there is anything white people should be upset about it is the crimes which occur against them in the most basic forms of day to day life. The fact that companies are selling your data creating Bernie Bro bots and let Russian money filter into their election advertisements, should send people into total and complete rebellion against massive tech companies who are a part of tipping the scales of wealth distribution in the U.S..  White people have committed the greatest crime against each other and that is going after the one thing they value more than Starbucks, it is the surface level of freedom and self-determination and the idea of democracy which they have brought into for themselves at everyone else’s expense and finally that expense has come to devour them as well.