Black person covered in sticky notes
Photo by Yasin Yusuf on Unsplash

How we hate ourselves isn’t racism

Here’s why at 4:30 AM my time I’m a little batty about his post: [link lost to time]

One, when skin color is still the statistically relevant factor for education, health, and income disparities, as well as on proportion of political representation, “the painful past” is now.

Two, unless there was a chimp at a keyboard, 100% of the comments were from that young woman’s own race. The HUMAN race, that is. (He’s talking ethnic groups and still deferring/referring to it as race. The “our” is skin deep, literally.)

Three, he conflates in-group behavior (and all its pettiness) with the power of white supremacy. See point one above. There’s a difference — a tremendous, political and economic power difference – and it matters.

I get what he’s getting at: it’s enraging to see “our” people tear each other down in the ways “they” do. But internalized racism is what we’re talking about here. It has a name, it has clear dynamics, and it is part and parcel of the continued structure, influence, and power of white supremacy in U.S. culture today.

Today. Not the past. Today.

“We” can challenge each other to do better by each other as human beings, yes, but let’s not confuse/conflate responsibility for that with the larger picture within which Trayvon Martin’s case falls.

We’re here because another young black man was slain based on mere suspicion alone and the policing and criminal justice systems were slow to respond and defend his right to life.

Were Zimmerman immediately taken into custody after the incident, this wouldn’t have become the media circus it did and this young woman – and her capabilities – wouldn’t be in the spotlight.

Racism in criminal justice brought us here. Today. Not in the past. Today.

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