In Search of White Outrage

Remember that situation with the guy from Duck Dynasty?

He said what amounted to him remembering when, back in the Jim Crow South, blacks were a-happy and a-singin’ and were not ever oppressed (from what he saw) – and something about this being because it was before “entitlements” (like welfare).

I’m honestly just going from memory – I wrote about this earlier on this blog (my very first post!), but not sure I care to reread that racist bit of coded language.

When this man was sanctioned (put on a brief vacation from his show – it wasn’t even cancelled, i.e. he still has a job) white America was outraged – yells about how this was a police state and how his First Amendment Rights were being stamped on by the big boot of the law – not bothering to try and understand that a private corporation, like the one that runs Duck Dynasty, has the power to do that. Silence someone. It’s probably in his contract. And absolutely legal.

At least that’s what I saw from many of the white people on my Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds – and the comment sections of articles about it.

Yes, I know, #NotAllWhitePeople

But listen up.

Since the crazy shit unrest has unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri, there have been marches and outrage as well – mostly from minorities.

There are actual First Amendment violations happening in Ferguson – reporters covering the brutality have been arrested, peaceful protestors attacked by the police – these are things that the First Amendment protects us from, things the government cannot do (read: government, not a corporation).

So, with that in mind, where are all the enraged pro-First Amendment white people who went to bat for the Duck Dynasty guy?

When I say “in search of white outrage,” I understand that there are individuals who are white who disagree with and are outraged about this situation.

Think bigger.

Why is it that, as a whole, white people are more likely to speak out about a man’s right to say something offensive, and more likely to remain mostly silent about an act of racism – an innocent, unarmed 18-year-old, being shot by the police?

Your silence is not golden.

We need all American citizens to stand together in collective outrage, as well as acknowledge that this most recent bit of racism is not a recollection of past generations, but an ongoing struggle for those who are black in America.

Maybe you’d like to think things have gotten better, but Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Ezell Ford, Jonathan Ferrell, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Renisha McBride, and the countless other unarmed black people, 136 in 2012 alone, who were shot by guards, police, and vigilantes, probably disagree with you.

And so do I.