Reminding white allies that it's not about them right now


#1

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Why do we keep talking past each other?
#2

I couldn’t see the link:


#3

“anger with the police” Um, generalize much?


#4

kick police barricades

They did WHAT?!?! clutches pearls


#5

So now you’re accusing black protesters with different tactics of being pearl clutchers? Puhleeze read the post in question, helpfully linked above by daneel.

White people do have a tendency to hijack spaces and efforts organized by POC. It’s like they can’t bear to be off center stage. You know, helping, when asked. Instead, they tend to insist that they know what the real issues are, and what should be done about it.

Reminds me of the shift in conversation that’s repeatedly occured around Ferguson, that shift from anger police killings of so many young black men, to so much (mostly white) concern about the militarization of police departments. Yes, that’s an important issue, but it’s a different one.


#6

On the one hand, I don’t want to see conspiracy everywhere. On the other hand, we have leaked emails showing that newsrooms purposely shift coverage. It sucks that the true message is slipping away - the one that our society considers black lives less important and/or more inherently dangerous. The danger was never truly based on race. The dangerous are those who have nothing left to live for - the disenfranchised. With few exceptions, you don’t become all the negative stereotypes associated with blacks if the dream of a college-based career is realistic. Plenty of whites, asians, etc have become dangerous when they felt they had nothing left to live for.


#7

I appreciate the sentiment, but I think you just displayed the very same white tendency that Jetta Rae DoubleCakes pointed out. You did so by basically saying, “Yeah, black men are getting killed, but other poor people got it bad too, ya know.” IOW, if more people jumped on board with you, the conversation would shift, from one about racism to one about classism.

What Jetta Rae is pointing out is how often, and how unconsciously, white people tend to hijack other people’s efforts like that.


#8

As a foreigner I thought the most pressing issue is state sanctioned (=because no consequences) police violence not some sort of weird competition who the most oppressed is.


#9

A Reminder To White Protesters [sic] From A White Ally

Isn’t this a little hypocritical? “Dear white people, make sure you don’t make this about yourself. That doesn’t help black people and they don’t want it. Signed, white person.”


#10

How so?

Writing a post that points out something white people often get wrong isn’t hypocritical and “making this about yourself” just because a white person wrote it.

In fact, isn’t it the very kind of thing white people SHOULD be doing?

(I assume, also, that the post’s author name is a psuedonym, something that is also the opposite of narcissitically making this about yourself.)


#11

Actually, what I MEANT to say (perhaps I wasn’t successful) was that it’s dumb for cops to be automatically violent to blacks and this is why - because poor people without hope are likely to be into the same stuff. I didn’t mean to say “poor poor people”.


#12

I think there’s a lot of ableism in the ways people blame Eric Garner for being too vulnerable to murder, or blame every victim for not obeying orders.

So yes, this is a race issue, and I don’t want to erase that, but this is also a disability issue, and I don’t want anyone to erase that.


#13

When your response to people protesting police violence is “the real danger is from poor people,” don’t expect to be hailed as a liberator.


#14

I think you’re definitely touching on a part of it. And to stridently disagree with the presumptive attitude of the “White Ally” writer, a whole lot of us are angry and pissed off past the point of it being a “black VS white lives” issue. It’s not too hard to scratch the surface and see the larger, more intrusive issue of overwhelming state aggression against all citizens.

I’m angry at the way LEOs crackdown on black citizens, but that same arrogant power wielding has started bleeding into the way cops patrol protests, serve warrants and kill with impunity. They show the same repugnant cover-up attitude when they’re gunning down teachers or flashbanging children in cribs. And the white people who treat it as only a remote, racial issue are dangerously unaware how little regard most cops have for their rights or lives.

The idiotic blame-game about whether Garner “resisted” arrest or whether choke-holds are truly illegal, is as repulsive as being illegally spied on by the “why object if you’ve nothing to hide” crowd.


#15

It has fascinated me to see numerous commenters blaming Mike Brown for his killing because he was fat, and blaming Eric Garner for his killing because he was fat.

Brown’s fatness apparently made him a “human weapon.” (I am still gobsmacked anyone was able to use that phrase seriously)–in other words, he was too tough to not be killed.

Garner’s fatness meant that he could be killed by a chokehold that had been banned because it kills people–he was too delicate to be allowed to live.

Once again, @MarjaE is right–their race is absolutely central to this–but what people reached for when they flailed for a way to blame the victims is telling too.


#16

So what you’re basically saying (in yet another hijacking way) is, “All Lives Matter.” :-/


#17

Neither in perception or reality do police have the same level of impunity with all kinds of citizens. Believe it or not, no-one wants to be singled out by police for execution. I get that you can’t be bothered to read anything about police racial bias before reaching your conclusions. But patting yourself on the back for that cultivated ignorance isn’t a great look.


#18

There’s a few billion people on the planet and enough voices and ears for more than one converasation at a time.


#19

Duhr!

So have those conversations somewhere else. Don’t hijack and drain the energy from this one.


#20

You may have missed the “smashing shops” bit from two words earlier.

With protests like this, it’s hugely important to keep anything that even resembles violent protest at zero. We saw with Occupy that the right-wing press will happily spin so much as a thrown Starbucks cup into “all protesters are violent thugs.” Venting your anger at the police feels good (until you get your head broken), but it doesn’t help the movement.