- A black man is dragged to death behind a pickup truck in Texas
- An Egyptian immigrant is stomped to death by skinheads in Seattle
- A black man walking to store to buy a pack of cigarettes is found the next morning hanging from a tree in a town square in Mississippi
These are three examples of acceptable racism.
Not acceptable in the sense that people are not or should not be outraged but acceptable in that everyone agrees that the victims were killed because of race prejudice and the perpetrators were racists. On these events, there is no doubt.
- A thirteen year old boy is brutally murdered and his body dumped in a river, tied with barbed wire to a cotton gin fan only to be found two weeks later.
- The president of the NAACP in Mississippi, currently organizing a voter registration drive that if successful would change local politics forever is walking up the sidewalk to his home and as his family waits for him to come in the house he is gunned down in his front yard in front of his wife and children.
- A church is bombed in Birmingham and four black girls changing clothes for choir after finishing Sunday school are killed. Their lesson that day, The Love that Forgives.
These incidents too are acceptable incidents of racism and they have an added charm of historical distance.
Some things all these incidents have in common:
- The victims died
- The perpetrators were self confessed racists
- With the exception of Seattle, the incidents all took place in the American south.
People like to keep things in there proper places and people in their proper roles. and the proper place for racism is in the south (because that’s where Jim Crow and slavery were) and the proper perpetrators are admitted racists (no ambiguity, no doubt) and the proper victims are dead black people (postumous nobility).
Once you have established these boundaries, you need never worry about how to define what is and is not racist again. You know: Admitted racists in the south killing black people. Two out three will also define a racist act provided one of the two is admitted racist.
Anything not falling into that particular scenario, can and must be treated with suspicion. This is the first rule of acceptable racism, the prime directive.
- If it is not in the south, what proof do you have racism was involved because it’s southerners who are racists. The north faught to end slavery remember?
- If the victim lives, … This case looks suspiciously like Tawanna Brawley. can’t trust a live victim. Probably set the whole thing up.
- The perpetrators are not self confessed racists … Then how can we possibly know for sure that they are? We can’t trust the statements of black witnesses. They so often get racism wrong. Innocent until proven guilty I always say (accept when I don’t.)
The first rule (placing racism in the south exclusively) is the easiest rule to break as the Seattle stomping death of a brown skinned man proves.
The self confessed white racist is the hardest rule to break for under the white supremacy, the dominant group holds power of legitimacy of truth.
The dead victim is the most mysterious in that the requirement of it is almost a sacrament, the ultimate expression of the oppressed being allowed to transcend that oppression but at a price. There must be a sacrifice for only in mourning will the oppressor join the oppressed and, if only in a instance, both transcend oppression.
More to come …