Racist is as racist does.

Five days after the black teenager in Ferguson was shot a white 20 year old guy was shot coming out of a gas station by a black cop. He was on a call that there was someone with a weapon inside the shop. The white guy (who was unarmed) walked inside to get a soda and had his head phones in and when he left he didn’t see the cop nor did he notice the cop speaking to him. As he walked away he reached into his pocket for his cell phone…the cop shot to kill. Right in front of the white guy’s brother. It didn’t appear that there was anyone – white or otherwise- with a gun at the gas station.

You don’t see white people calling the guy a bigot and rioting or protesting across the country. “Whites” didn’t even demand the name of the cop because it was seen that white people in general weren’t going to make it a race thing, even though it was extremely similar to what happened five days before. It was probably a mistake and could have been avoided if the boy didn’t have his head phones in and he probably wouldn’t have been shot because he could have complied with the cop.

The thing that bothers me about this case…is that this happened five days after the black teenager (sorry, I don’t remember the name of either victim) was shot in Ferguson. It got just about ZERO press. Even though I hate the man to death, I reference that even Rush Limbaugh said it didn’t get the press it deserved. The man is a racist so I don’t believe it can simply be 50/50 but I do agree that it somehow doesn’t matter when a white kid is killed (because of his race or not) by people of a different ethnicity. And let’s face it…there are just as many racists from other ethnic groups as whites…but somehow the stigma is that only whites can be racist because of history and they we somehow owe it to them to keep silent when a white kid is killed unjustly.

If the black cop followed the rules perhaps the white cop did too? Perhaps the only difference was how different races are received in their areas? I don’t even know.

All I know is that in my life white people killed as a hate crime NEVER get the same attention as minorities. Any race other than white who is killed by a white person is automatically assumed to be racist. THAT is racial profiling.

The thing I hate most though…is that even though we are ALL Americans first we act like we’re somehow different (sub-cultures aside) than our brethren of different colors. In my mind all Americans should be treated equally by each other until one or the other proves to be a gigantic douche.


16 thoughts on “Racist is as racist does.

  1. autumnstrength says:

    The policeman should be charged with manslaughter. But we all know he won’t be, and he’ll probably be protected and allowed to stay in the police force to abuse and murder more innocent people.
    I’ve been reading recently about how there is a historical relationship between the discontent of populations with how they’re treated unfairly by the government and authorities, and high crime and murder rates. This possibly explains why the crime and murder rates are so high over there.

    • IceBreaker says:

      That took balls to post this.

      As a black man, I think I’m supposed to be offended that you’d dare criticize us for being racially sensitive about the Ferguson shooting, that’s not politically correct at all.

      Yet somehow, I completely agree with you that I think we jumped wayyyyy too quickly to the conclusion that Michael Brown’s shooting was a racially-based murder. I think this became a race issue way too quickly. His killing MIGHT have been racially motivated-but we haven’t done our due diligence to let all of the facts of the case come out.

      And the rioting and looting? Possibly the most embarrassing thing I’ve witnessed as an African American. But, I digress.

      Good points made here.

    • Makes perfect sense to me. Look at every riot that has ever happened…the abused people completely flip out. I reference the New York Draft Riots during the Civil War.

  2. You are absolutely correct, Saoirse. The bigger issue is that people in power tend to exploit fear that exists in every community, and stir people up against one another- divide and rule.

  3. crumblesaway says:

    I understand the point you’re trying to make, but in my opinion, it doesn’t line up. There has been systematic and near constant racism in place in this country for a long, long time. The answer to a white kid being shot by a black cop isn’t to equate it to what happened in Ferguson. This isn’t about a single incident. If you want to bring more awareness to what happened to Dillon Taylor (the white kid), I’m all for it. If you want to suggest that this black cop was racist himself, that’s something that should be talked about. If you want to suggest that neither had to do with race and the only reason the Ferguson case is being discussed is because it was a black kid, that could very well be right. But there’s good reason for it. Whether you read books like The New Jim Crow, or look at the sheer disparity between white and black people in this country, there is still obvious and overt racism. The main reason it’s an issue is because white people are still more likely to be in places of power. When young kids in various minority groups have a fraction of the options afforded to most white kids, and the numbers in prisons are as lopsided as they are, there is probably a reason. Whether we all agree on the reason(s) is irrelevant. But pointing out a similar case is an oversimplification of a complex issue. It’s much, much bigger than one case.
    If your hope is to bring more attention to every injustice, I’m happy to join you, but I don’t think you should do it at the expense of a serious issue that needs addressing and fixing.
    Thanks for writing. I think this is an interesting topic that should be openly discussed more often.
    (Jon Stewart covered this the other day and did it much better than I could ever hope to. http://on.cc.com/1vlNkol)

    • I understand what you are saying and I’m NOT trying to say that they are the same. In general American society is more critical of African Americans than whites because, as you said, there is a disproportionate number of whites with power.

      I’m sorry but I think you misunderstood what I think. I’m well aware of the previous and current bigotry in this country and the challenge victims of racism face. I was treated like a 3rd class citizen for five years in Hawaii. I was jumped and spit on, sexually harassed and a million other things that made me suicidal. I understand. I’ve experienced more racism than most whites.

      However, when there is someone white killed by a racist person of another ethnic group it gets little better (if that) than local news. If the same situation happened with a black victim we’d have huge protests. It would automatically be assumed that it was racially motivated. When it was obviously a racial thing with a white victim no one cares. THAT IS HYPOCRITICAL! Every. Victim. Counts.

      There was a black woman who kidnapped a white infant and killed it with a blow torch because she was racist. That’s not a slow death either. Didn’t hear about Jesse Jackson giving a speech about equality and his dream that someday racism will end. It won’t end if all groups keep perpetuating it. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Ever.

      • crumblesaway says:

        If you aren’t trying to compare the attention given to these separate cases, then I’m not sure what your point is. You brought up a case when a white kid was killed and asked why it’s different when it’s a black kid. That sounds like you’re comparing the two and asking why they aren’t receiving equal attention. My whole point was this isn’t about one case so discussing specific incidents is irrelevant. This isn’t about ferguson. It’s about America in general and the need for systematic change. Bringing up instances when a black person or a Hispanic person was racist doesn’t change this need. That doesn’t mean we should ignore when that happens at all. The acts you described are despicable and should be punished without a doubt, but the bigger issue remains and that’s what all this attention has been about.

      • I never said or implied any of that and yet you treat me as if I’m ignorant of what has been going on. You’ve repeatedly misunderstood me. I’m starting to think you don’t want to.

      • crumblesaway says:

        I don’t think you’re ignorant at all. I was asking for you to explain why you keep bringing up specific cases if not to compare them against Ferguson. You actually do say “white people killed as a hate crime NEVER get the same attention as minorities.” and “If the same situation happened with a black victim we’d have huge protests.” Those are the statements I’m responding to.
        I agree with your main idea (to act against every injustice and not accept any racism and that every victim counts). And I also agree that what happened to Michael Brown might not have anything to do with racism. My whole point has been the need to separate these single incidents from a larger narrative.

  4. Let me explain a little more.

    1.) I’m fully aware that, socially, African Americans are still mistreated. Not uncommonly by law enforcement. The people haven’t remembered it, white or black, but he is supposed to be treated as innocent until proven guilty. When there is video of it…it obvious that becomes impossible to anyone that has any moral fiber in their being.

    2.) I fully understand that socially the white hate crime is NOT the same thing. However, I believe that a hate crime is still a hate crime regardless. Any hate crime should be widespread so more people can get involved in stopping it for the most part. A tragic loss of life is a tragic loss of life regardless of ethnic group or culture. It needs to be made aware that it is something that happened to all races in this country and we need to examine why. Having this law in American society is victimizing all Americans. It may have been done for different yet not dissimilar reasons. Some go overboard like some whites do (I reference the African American woman that burned a white baby to death with a blow torch for no reason other than the fact that she hated whites…also she’s probably mentally unsound to even think about doing such a thing) There was a group of black friends that tortured/raped/beat a bunch of young white people and then drove them out and killed them execution style with a handgun…except one girl because the bullet mainly struck the hair clip she was wearing. Obviously, the perpetrators represent no one but themselves but it’s another example of a horrendous hate crime that got no attention because they were white. A similar story happened in Hawaii but the perps were Hawaiian. It was covered up by many of them because like the police, they protect their own. Believe me I know the story…I used to live there, after all. It had happened (and it wasn’t the first time) while I was there but I didn’t know about it until it was one of those murder documentary things.

    3.) I agree with August, the cop should be convicted of manslaughter and further more I think they should make an example of him as a deterrent to other policemen. It needs to be done. Many police aren’t this way but it’s not uncommon. There was a white cop not too long ago that responded to a police call at this black kid’s home (I forget what the call was, I think domestic abuse) andthe cop saw that the kid didn’t even have a bed to sleep on. A week later he came back with a bed, a Wii, games and a bunch of other stuff. Spent his own money. If I were to guess I’d say that the shooter of Brown will probably be re-assigned to a different beat after this whole thing is over…he’s on paid suspension or whatever, right? It’s obvious that he’ll probably get off. Mark my words.

    4.) It’s not only African Americans that are enraged by Brown’s murder. If you watch the protests/look at the pictures you’ll see quite a few white people there too. However, the negative stigma with whites is the auto-racism assumption. When I was in Hawaii I was once kicked at by a stranger who called me a racist because I was white. Because of the stigma. Many white people feel the same way and are always nervous that they’ll be somehow offensive.

    5.) African Americans that have money aren’t harassed as frequently as impoverished African Americans. At least that’s what my middle-class black friend told me. I’m not sure how wide spread that is. Perhaps it’s just in my area. Things, while not as good as they should be in America but are steadily getting better. It’s a big deal to have a black president after all, but that doesn’t mean that everything is socially equal. Not yet. It’s worse but it’s similar to how women are treated. Things are a lot better but we’re still treated like lesser people sometimes. I know that in every place I’ve worked that I have to be above my male counterparts before I even get noticed for doing a good job. Never a raise though but the men who did a shittier job than me. I’ve gotten a good dose of both racism and sexism in my life (a lot of violent racism…towards me…by strangers…) and even though it was only for half a decade and not my entire life but for a teenager that is a large portion of your life. I forgot what it was like to not have my ethnicity “noticed”…I hazard to say this, but I think that I’ve experienced more racism towards me than SOME African Americans (not many, the more affluent ones to be sure. In this country money = respect)

    6.) As for myself I was completely ignorant of racism until I was about 13. I lived in an area where it wasn’t an issue and I didn’t even know the racial slurs (besides the N-word) and didn’t find out until I saw Clerks 2 when Randall counts off all the racial slurs for African Americans when he insists that ‘Porch Monkey’ was a term for a lazy person, not a black person. I was pretty “what the shit” about it. Most of them didn’t even make sense to me. I didn’t know what a ‘wet back’ was for Mexicans either until I moved back to Cali and saw a group of Mexican kids at my new high school calling each other that. I asked what it meant and they laughed, and laughed, and laughed. I think a lot of my “innocence” comes from being raised by a hippie single mother. My mom said that when I was three I asked when I was going to turn black. She asked me why I would think that and I explained that I thought every person went through a color change the older they got and I wanted to know the color order. Apparently that was the cutest thing I’ve ever said.

    7.) This doesn’t really have anything to do with it but it should be noted that kids from a primarily white area are confused by black children and why they look that way. I used to volunteer at this day care on Mondays and Wednesdays and there were two black kids, a boy a girl, who were consistently there (my area is mainly white [mostly Portuguese and German Americans], Mexican and Chinese) and a few of the white kids remarked on how “weird” their hair was and wondered why the palms of their hands weren’t the same color as the rest of them. It wasn’t that they were racist, it was more that it really was something they didn’t see very often and were curious. We actually studied that in my Early Childhood Development class. It mainly concerns the color of African Americans and the eyes of Asian-Americans. When we hear that we’re supposed to tell them that they aren’t weird, just physically different and she’s just as beautiful as the next kid. It also covers getting kids to accept strange accents so they don’t make fun of kids that don’t have a local accent. I also would ask them to find something they liked about the child and asked them to compliment them if they were comfortable with it.

    8.) This is an essay so I’ll stop here. :-p

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