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.

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3 thoughts on “In Search of White Outrage

  1. Well said, CP&C.

    I was reflecting on this (and the curious silence of much of the Tea Party) over the past few days.

    Yes, some white people are speaking out, but many of them are using it to fit their own agenda of being oppressed. Some are even drawing parallels to the Holocaust and how people didn’t speak up because their group wasn’t yet threatened.

    I think they are missing the point; white people, as a group, are never going to be credibly threatened by this stuff. I keep reading hand-wringing about this as a new phenomenon, and certainly, it is worse now than ever, but it isn’t new for people of color, who have been subjected to this since the birth of our nation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. I too, have seen that analogy, and it doesn’t fit because white people will never be afflicted by white on black racism.

      In addition, something I’ve seen a lot is essentially all white people posting their ALS bucket challenges, and these same people ignoring the situation in Ferguson, and racism generally, one friend of mine responding to a critique of this with “white people can’t even donate to charity without being criticized!” It is pretty offensive, to say the least. Here’s a Facebook post that I saw that addresses this well:

      “Just need to take a moment to be real. As of late I’ve seen many people posting videos in support of the battle against ALS, a gesture that I find commendable and support wholeheartedly. The overwhelming support for the struggle against this disease has attracted the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Henry Lundqvist, and many other celebrities/ icons.

      However, in the United States there is another major issue that needs to be tackled. There is another disease that has been eating the country inside out that has not been addressed, either due to people’s ignorance (and I’m not using the term in a negative manner) or people’s unwillingness to face the truth. The problem to which I am referring is the systematic targeting of black males by the United States police force. I know what you’re thinking, “Here we go again, another angry, upset black person making a facebook status about something that happened days ago. It’s not such a big deal, it will blow over!”

      I’m sure many people have already stopped reading this status. For those of you who have continued, I thank you. Because this isn’t a situation that we should breeze past, nor is it an isolated event. Over the past week, we have seen the power of social media and how it can inform people about terrible afflictions such as ALS, a disease that directly affects 5,600 Americans a year. It would be really cool to see a similar movement to strikeout the institutional racism that affects the (roughly) 38 million black people in the U.S.

      I could go on for hours about what is wrong with these shootings, but instead I’d just like to ask the question, “What if it were me?” What if I had been gunned down en route to my grandmother’s house? Would I just be another dead black boy? How would the media portray me? As a thug? A delinquent, perhaps? I’m not sure. And that’s scary. People may think I’m being overly sensitive. Playing the ‘race card’. But we all play the cards we’re dealt, and at the moment, it seems as if this is the only one that counts.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Exactly–I’m frustrated seeing (a lot of) white people I know describing this as something other than racism. As such, it can never & will never affect them; the postings all steer the issue towards white concerns, however.

    I have a longer thought, which I’m trying to work out, related to the second part of your post. I agree with the content and the message of your friend, though, and I think it’s a shame that he has to preempt the inevitable accusation that he is ‘playing a race card’.

    Like

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