By Michael “Manny Faces” Conforti
Look. There are plenty of good, hard-working, God-fearing, tax-paying white people in America, many who self-proclaim to not be one bit racist but who just don’t agree with the #BlackLivesMatter movement or 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance or interracial marriages, whatever…
You might be one of them. I’m here to tell you that it’s perfectly OK.
After all. All lives matter, not just black ones, right? I mean, sure, some black folks have gotten the short end of the nightstick in life, but most of ’em are just like you and me. If we work hard and pull ourselves up by the bootstraps, anything is possible! They ought to know—they even got themselves a half-black president!
So I understand. Sure, you feel bad when someone is killed by police, but white people get killed by police way more! (Maybe not percentage-wise, but still!) And please, we all know there’s not a racist bone in your body. You didn’t own slaves! Why should you be made to feel bad because some black guy might not have complied with the potentially unconstitutional commands of a police officer and was, as tradition seems to dictate, summarily executed where he stood?
I mean, Blue Lives Matter too, right?
Besides, what about all that black-on-black crime happening in their communities? No one (except for lots of people) is talking about that! All the drugs and gangs and crime and rap music in neighborhoods that for years have been shut out of any possibility of advancement due to racist practices in nearly every sector of our fine, fair society from banking, to housing, to education, to healthcare, to criminal justice, to voting rights, to redlining, to Rockefeller drug laws…
Come on, black people! Bootstraps, remember?!?
So I get it. All of this nonsense on cable news and social media about #HandsUpDontShoot and #BlackLivesMatter and kneeling during the Pledge is, like, so annoying, especially when you want to read about Brangelina breaking up (if you’re a woman) or Donald Trump’s latest list of reasons why his business experience will help make America great again (if you’re “the poorly educated”).
Shoot. If you wanted to hear black people complaining, you would just ask a few to talk about the amount of times they were unconstitutionally stopped and frisked, amirite?
So listen. When your token black friend or your traitorous white one wants to pin the entire failure of black families and communities on YOUR shoulders, and make you feel bad about [insert most recent black person shot and killed and left to bleed out by so-called law enforcement officers], I want you to remember: You don’t have to feel bad.
He was probably not complying. And, as we all know, when anyone doesn’t comply with the police, that’s grounds for execution.
Just look at the recent Chelsea bomber who shot at…
Oh, no, wait…
Ok, ok. Look at these 8 white people who actually pointed guns at police and…
Oh. Wait. Never mind…
Anyway, the point is: Don’t feel bad. Our law enforcement officers risk their lives to keep our communities safe and they ticket other communities for all kinds of infractions to make sure they raise enough money to keep our communities safe! They deserve our respect and support.
The next time you get attacked on Facebook for defending the actions of an officer who “mistook” his handgun for a Taser, make sure you nitpick the confusing details of the encounter, blame the victim, place no culpability on the officers (who, come on, shouldn’t be expected to be able to subdue an unarmed, non-aggressive suspect without shooting them! What is this, England?) and sardonically mention that “you’re sorry” the black person is dead.
But you better make sure you completely miss the point that this tragedy is yet another example of the interconnected set of social systems that have caused the problems in the communities these officers have to work in, the same system that hires and trains officers to enforce these racist policies, upholding what is clearly a system set up to benefit those with power and hold back those without it so that they can never achieve true equality.
Please keep ignoring that these policies are tools of oppression, which, of course, you wouldn’t want to agree with because it would tarnish your carefully-crafted-and-protected-through-the-centuries notion of white privilege and self-worth, so you’d rather sit in denial, place blame on “others” and, quite frankly, happily and with no remorse, support a system of white supremacy.
And that is perfectly OK.
Enjoy it while it lasts.