“When the anonymous black person enters the white space, others there immediately try to make sense of him or her—to figure out “who that is,” or to gain a sense of the nature of the person’s business and whether they need to be concerned … Accordingly, the most easily tolerated black person in the white space is often one who is “in his place”—that is, one who is working as a janitor or a service person or one who has been vouched for by white people in good standing. Such a person may be believed to be less likely to disturb the implicit racial order—whites as dominant and blacks as subordinate.” – Elijah Anderson, “The White Space”
Weaponizing the power of the state against black bodies is as American as apple pie. In Trump’s America, however, it has taken on a new meaning. We have now reverted back to the days of Jim Crow where white people call the police on blacks, not because they’re genuinely afraid of us, but because they know there is a high probability that it will cause us harm, and this is what is desired by this particular subsection of America.
In the past month, the list of things black people are not allowed to do without the cops being summoned ranges from, taking a walk with their child, sitting in a Starbucks, eating at Waffle House, golfing with friends or working out at the gym to moving into a new apartment, barbecuing at a park, shopping for a prom outfit, checking out of an Airbnb and taking a nap while studying.
Deploying the police against black people has been a form of violence utilized since 1619. It was terrorism then and it is terrorism now. The only difference between 400 years ago and today is that white America uses feigned ignorance and gaslighting to make black people doubt our own reality while being subjected to terrorist acts. Trump’s America has empowered these terrorists into believing that all spaces are white spaces and that black people have no right to exist in their world.
Just last week, Natia Shim–a black mother– and her son were on their way to fill out job applications when they were accosted by a truck full of white people who rammed their car while driving.
“They tried to run us off the road saying, ‘You nigger, get the fuck out of our country,’ and we were like distraught because we didn’t know exactly what was going on,” Shim said.
According to Channel 13 in Albany, five people got out and “began destroying her mirrors, hitting the car with bats and smashing in a window … while shouting obscenities and racial slurs.”
“They’re screaming, ‘We are the white supremacists,’ and niggers do not belong in their country,” Shim said. Luckily for Shim and her son, there were several witnesses to the incident to corroborate their story to the police.
Many of the stories coming out show that the aggressor in each of the above situations was the white terrorist. The black people involved were simply minding their own business and confronted for the crime of having black skin. White terrorists know that no matter what they do to instigate or escalate a situation against a black person, their story will always be believed first by police and black people will be viewed as criminal.
Jason Johnson, an editor for The Root, gave an interview to NPR where he explained this in detail. “When white people call the police, they know no matter how shaky or inconsistent their story is the police will listen to them first … white people know this.”
We’ve talked about implicit bias among police and their use of force but another huge problem is how the police are used to enforce the racial biases of the white public — the enforcement arm of the social hierarchies. #starbucks#yale#LakeMerritt
— jelani cobb (@jelani9) May 14, 2018
The white woman who called the police on the black people barbecuing in Oakland is a prime example. In the nearly 25 minute video, filmed by a white bystander, the woman can clearly be seen admitting that she stood there for two hours harassing the people. Other witnesses on video stated that she used racial slurs against the group.
Once the white bystander comes and gives her a taste of her own medicine by constantly filming her, she cries to police on the phone that she’s being harassed. When the cops show up, she descends into an avalanche of white tears and falsely claims she had been harassed and physically assaulted.
This behavior is ingrained in the white terrorist from birth and goes all the way back to slavery. Thousands of black people were lynched for nothing more than the word of a racist white person. Calling the police on black people and putting our lives in danger, is the modern-day equivalent of slavery and Jim Crow-era lynchings.
John Crawford was shot and killed at an Ohio Walmart for carrying an air rifle, an air rifle that Walmart was selling, which he intended to purchase with the rest of his groceries. Crawford was immediately shot on sight by cops because a white shopper called 911 and told dispatch that Crawford was pointing a gun at customers, a claim which was patently false and confirmed by store security cameras.
The L.A. Times and Bitch Media published stories imploring white people to stop calling the cops on black people due to the threat it poses to our lives. Unfortunately, these calls will fall on deaf ears because the audience that these articles are directed at already know this. That’s the point.
White America must be classified as a terrorist organization. Not only are the majority of mass shootings perpetrated by white males, but the treatment of black people by white America mirrors the stages of genocide, an act of terror.
The stages of classification, dehumanization, organization, preparation, persecution and extermination have been enacted upon the black population already and wielding the police as a weapon simply allows white America to do the ultimate level of harm while keeping their hands, figuratively, clean.
The only way to fight back against such an evil regime is for black people to continue to exist in so-called white spaces and to be backed up by those who consider themselves white accomplices. Stop being a passive bystander when you see a white terrorist doing harm. Use your white privilege to step in and do what black people cannot, which is stand up for ourselves because we know that the white voice will automatically be believed over anything we say.
Call out white terrorism, film encounters and stick around for the police when they’re called on us so you can use your white privilege to bear witness to what really happened. The most powerful weapon of the white terrorist is their tears and unless there is a white accomplice present to refute them, the black person will suffer.
The first Black-American genocide occurred from 1619 to 1965. The second one is happening now. Unless white America is labeled as the terrorist organization it is, and anti-racist whites step in to help stop it, it will happen again and blood will be on the hands of all who turned away and buried their heads in ignorance. So, take action. Stand up for us. Be on the right side of history.
And, in the meantime, be a good white accomplice and bust out this handy dandy flowchart for your fellow white people and teach them to follow these steps for the sake of black folks everywhere.
This post has been updated to include video of the Lake Merritt/Oakland incident.