The headline from the July 5, 2020 “Chicago Sun Times”: “79 shot, 15 fatally, over Fourth of July weekend in Chicago” From “The Daily News” in New York City, the same date: “Shootings overnight and Sunday in NYC kill at least 9, wound 41”. And the question I’m often asked, “With black-on-black violence like this, blacks clearly don’t care about themselves, why should I care about them?” The clear implication is that if Blacks don’t care about themselves then why should I, as a white person, care about the principals of Black Lives Matter? Racist problem number one: the assumption that all of these shootings involve Black people. Is some of this black-on-black violence? Likely yes, considering the racial populations of the cities involved. But is all of it? Doubtful, yet the assumption remains.
On June 17, 2015 a 21 year-old white man walks into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC and opens fire. He kills nine, injures one more, all of them African-Americans.
On August 3, 2019 a 21 year-old white man drives to a Walmart in El Paso, TX with a semi-automatic weapon. He kills 23 and injures 23 more. Most of the victims are LatinX.
On October 27, 2018 a 46 year-old white man goes to the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. Before his shooting rampage ends he’ll have killed eleven and wounded six.
Note: every one of these murderers has a name. I intentionally have NOT included them here. I will not in anyway do anything to dignify their heinous crimes by remembering nor writing their names.
So ask yourself, how many mass shootings are committed by white men? Most of the mass shootings, done as acts of hate, are by white men. Almost every school shooting is committed by a white teen male. There are countless acts like these. So what do we do as a White community? We condemn the attack, separate from it, and, at least mentally, say that is not us, that is not what and who we are. Racist problem two: how do we, as White people, not accept responsibility for crimes like these when we turn around and expect Black people to accept responsibility for INDIVIDUAL acts in their communities? Why do we expect Blacks, African-Americans to clean-up “their” community when we don’t do the same with “ours”? This dichotomy is especially ridiculous when we consider that every one of the white crimes above was perpetrated by someone acting on behalf of what they believed white America is and should be. They believed they were acting on behalf of white America, for us as white Americans.
Quite simply, disassociating from whites committing crimes and assignment of blame to a group, a race, when the crime is committed by a Black? Hypocrisy. Racism. How can it be labeled any other way?