That’s misleading. It should say something more like “looking at the 500 year history of European domination and subjugation of non-white peoples”. But that’s too complicated. And we fucking hate complexity.
We’ve been having this discussion for a few years now. It started with the election of Obama which opened the can of worms labelled “racist white people”. And it flares up every time the news decides to report a case of racial injustice. We wring our hands, bemoan our past, and bemoan those in society that hold such abhorrent views. But then a few weeks go by, and we’re back to watching Jurassic World and Modern Family and forgetting about all of this.
This feels different though. At least to me. I think it’s because it was a church. The church is sacred. Atheist or not, a site of religious worship holds a tremendous amount of cultural weight. A site of religious worship is meant to be respected. I feel like it’s one of the unwritten codes in the human condition: don’t kill in the church. Granted, it should actually be “don’t kill”. But beggars can’t be choosers.
I’m just so sad, so angry and so frustrated. Liberal white people will immediately leap to the defense of their kin, and try to argue that it’s an economic issue before it’s a racial issue. They’ll try to argue that poor white people are also getting fucked over by capitalism, and that really, truly, capitalism is to blame. Fuck that. If the shooter was black, he’d be dead. The cops would have shot him. He was white, they peacefully arrested him. There’s no economics there. Just black and white.
Trayvon was walking down the street with a hoodie. If he was white, he’d still be alive. No economics there. In Ferguson, if the protesters were white, the army wouldn’t have showed up. Remember Occupy? Occupy was largely white. The army didn’t show up. No economics there. Just black and white.
Yes, absolutely, economics play a role. After race is negotiated. Economics comes after race. Yes, there are poor white people fucked over by neoliberal capitalism. Brown people too. And yellow people? (fuck this colour spectrum horseshit, can’t we just be fucking humans? Oh wait, we can’t. Divide and conquer forever and always) But people of African descent are consistently targeted by policies, institutions and white society writ large. Because they are black. Not because they are poor. Poor white people kill poor black people because they are black, not because they are poor.
You know, I really do understand how Jon Stewart feels in this clip.
Wringing his hands. Exasperated. I just don’t even know where to turn, what to do, what to say. It’s just painful. It’s so meaningless. It’s a fucking church. You don’t take a gun into a church and shoot people. That’s humanity 101. The church is sacred. Yet…
And I repeat one more time. If the shooter was black, he’d be dead. The cops would have shot him. Now try to tell me that’s an economic issue.