The Thin Black Duke published this smart, thoughtful piece on Medium this week. I asked him if I could share it here, and he graciously agreed. ~WaterGirl
by The Thin Black Duke
Sometimes there is no goddamned bottom to how cruel white people can be, especially when you’re a dead black man in White America:
BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A judge denied mistrial requests on Monday at the trial of three white men charged with murdering Ahmaud Arbery after defense attorneys claimed jurors were tainted by weeping from the gallery where the slain Black man’s parents sat with the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Sure, the defense attorneys are doing their job, but their motion for a mistrial was callous, idiotic, and reprehensible. And in spite of their ridiculous courtroom theatrics, black people aren’t going to forget the reason why this murder trial is happening:
Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael armed themselves and pursued the 25-year-old Black man in a pickup truck after spotting him running in their neighborhood on Feb. 23, 2020. Their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan joined the chase and took cellphone video of Travis McMichael shooting Arbery three times with a shotgun.
Then again, the defense attorneys didn’t care about the black people in the courtroom, not at all. No, the targeted audience was the other white people in the crowd, and the distasteful and unsubtle implication the lawyers were trying to make was how awful it was that black people were openly expressing their grief in front of everybody.
They were speaking in code, a secret and ancient language that only white people in White America can understand, and when you read between the lies and translate the hidden message underneath, this is what’s really being said: How dare you try to make us feel guilty?
Trouble is, white people aren’t always innocent bystanders, and looking the other way most of the time when bad things are happening to black people makes them accomplices. That realization makes them uncomfortable.
Not surprisingly, that discomfort probably explains this:
Support for Black Lives Matter movement is declining, according to new poll
A new poll shows a decline in support among Americans for the Black Lives Matter movement, a year and a half after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and other high-profile deaths of Black people in encounters with police sparked a global outcry.
Unfortunately, some white people are only comfortable being around with black people when they’re being entertained by them, and when black people aren’t singing or dancing or telling jokes or catching a football, white people get nervous. Especially when black people ain’t smiling.
And in White America, when white people get nervous, black people die.
As comedian and radio host D.L. Hughley commented, “The most dangerous place for a black people to be is in a white man’s imagination. We live in an America right now where we have evolved … but we inherently believe black people are criminal.”
And I’m sorry, but these are facts, not opinions. (What some white people call “paranoia”, black people call “common sense”.)
Tamir Rice was a child playing with a toy gun who was shot to death by a white cop. Breonna Taylor was asleep in her bed when three white cops rushed into Taylor’s apartment and shot her. Stephon Clark was in his grandmother’s backyard holding a mobile phone when he was shot twenty times by white cops.
So many unjustified fatalities, so little accountability.
However, the three cowardly white trash morons who murdered Armaud Arbury are going to jail because even though they’re white men, they made the mistake of shooting a video of the killing and, more importantly, they weren’t wearing police badges.
Still, thinking about black people in White America as target practice is infuriating, and it makes me sick to my stomach. It doesn’t help that expressing grief or outrage at this never-ending brutalization is either ignored or trivialized by too many white people.
It brings to mind a sign I saw at a BLM protest that clearly and powerfully expressed the frustration black people feel about the dilemma we’ve been stuck in for most of our lives:
“We march, y’all mad. We sit down, y’all mad. We speak up, y’all mad. We die, y’all silent.”
Conversely, white men in White America not only have permission to be vulgar, mean-spirited assholes in public, they’re rewarded for it. Worse, you can even get away with murder. The latest odious example is Kyle Rittenhouse, the stupid Pillsbury Doughboy of white male mediocrity and remorseless killer of two unarmed men.
I really hope I’m wrong, but I believe that Rittenhouse is probably going to walk out of the courtroom a free man.
Why? Because this punk is the embodiment of the hatred that White America has for black people, so Rittenhouse’s murderous rampage was inevitable, and the systemic racism deeply embedded in this country made it ridiculous easy for him to get a rifle and act out his violent fantasies.
(Hey, you’re gonna need a AR-15 when a savage horde of predatory jigaboos drive up in their Cadillacs looking for the white wimmen. Ain’t got no time for no nonsense like “background checks”.)
Although the two men that Rittenhouse killed were white, don’t forget that the reason this wannabe Rambo traveled to Kenosha in the first place was to “protect” the city from BLM protestors.
Greg and Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan are going to jail because every once in a while White America needs sacrificial lambs to pretend that racism doesn’t exist. But if Rittenhouse is acquitted, he’s a role model for all the other copycat vigilantes in White America to admire and emulate, and the United States becomes a more dangerous place to live in, and not just for black people. Everybody.
(Killer cops don’t need anymore help killing black people. Seriously.)
Ironically, Kyle Rittenhouse is the homicidal sociopath that a delusional White America imagines black people to be. Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, Stephon Clark and Ahmaud Arbery weren’t criminals. Rittenhouse is.