MUHAMMAD: White People Just Don’t Get It

Askia Muhammad
Askia Muhammad

White people live in two realities.

The first is a lacquered, recruiting-poster version of how they see themselves.

Then there’s the swine farm sewer in which too many of them take comfort, wishing someone would come along and make their lives Great Again.

Typically, the genocidal march of the United States across North America is depicted by white folks as brave adventurism.

The white consensus opinion “stipulates” to a world condition which puts everyone else at a disadvantage. And then that white supremacist world view wields its power, its manifest destiny, in a cruel and ugly way against the “others.” The funny thing is that generations of down-on-their-luck, poor white people have been content with wretched conditions because they always rationalized that at least they were white Americans.

Ever since black people have been among white people in this country, black people have been abused. Whites whip their black subjects, then dare them to not cry out in pain.

Never mind that this white consensus opinion doesn’t even recognize that black people might harbor painful feelings about ongoing police cruelty — sure there are plenty of “bad hombres” who are black and need to be dealt with, but what we’re seeing now because it’s caught on video, is nothing but cruel, vicious, hate, practiced upon captive black people by an imperial power: Mighty Whitey.

Never mind that sewer slime reality. This is America. White people want to canonize these hate-filled, racist cops instead of prosecuting and punishing them.

White people just don’t get that. They know a thousand and one justifications for wicked behavior by cops. They ignore the pain it causes. They don’t get it.

In my home state Mississippi, four white high school students recently put a noose around the neck of a black child. No one has been punished. I can’t understand how there was not universal outrage especially among white folks? Do white folks think it’s OK for children to put a noose around a black child’s neck? What if it had been a white child?

In Mississippi — anywhere on earth! — that scenario is all about race. Black people get “woke.” White people, come to your senses! I’ve seen this same kind of disgusting behavior by white folks, for no reason except hate, since I was a child.

But white folks don’t even want black folks to so much as say, “ouch.”

So San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick figured this thing out — taking a knee during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before a game, and now the white world has gone bananas, reacting to black people’s reaction to the pain white folks are inflicting.

All over the country, privileged black folks — high school, Pop Warner, college, junior college athletes and anthem singers — are saying as if in one voice: “Stop!” And white folks just aren’t getting it, even as they see their fiendish behavior exposed, they just pretend the videos don’t prove, what they seem to show.

Stand tall and kneel, young black folks.

It’s estimated that if Donald Trump is defeated in the presidential election, about 40 percent of his supporters will believe it was a rigged election and it was stolen from Trump. Congress has already, long been in deadlock, can’t get anything done. This kind of banana republic-election dissension makes the country virtually ungovernable. And yes, some — including a sitting governor — are calling for and predicting violent revolution as the only course which can right the sinking U.S. ship.

The country will really be ungovernable. White folks don’t get it.

Americans are supposed to be in front, on top, in the lead. That is stipulated in the consensus opinion, which by the way cannot be questioned.

Sure, sure, a lot of white people do get it. But there should be universal outrage around some of this madness. Nooses, even without their racial baggage symbolize savage, hateful, mob, lawlessness, the worst kind of behavior in organized societies.

Why don’t the perpetrators of this kind of behavior (and, of course, the rash of fraternity pimp-and-ho-themed Halloween parties and worse) get publicly shamed? Because white people don’t get it!

White people have a totally different standard for evaluating human behavior when all the folks involved are white. It’s possible — reasonable even to expect — to anticipate a recruiting-poster outcome when only white folks are involved. Cops don’t shoot nearly as much; teachers find a way to challenge and develop far more students; better jobs are abundant; health care; every one of life’s outcomes is more predictable, more “American,” when whites are engaging only one another.

But then there would be no slaves to do the work; there would be no treasures to rob and exploit for the benefit of the white consensus. Maybe they really do get it, but are simply unwilling to be fair.

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About Askia Muhammad 61 Articles
WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.
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