If all that you have is a “woke” hammer, then everything looks like a fucking nail. And if you hate whitey enough, you can blame whitey for everything — even five black cops murdering a young black man in a city run largely by black people.
As I indicated in my last post, a central problem that I have with “woke”-ism is that not only does it reduce all of our sociological problems to race and racism, but it also simply reverses the racism of the past; in the past, it was white people good and black people bad, and in today’s topsy-turvy, “woke” sociopolitical environment, it’s black people good and white people bad.
We’re not going by character or conduct — but only by race. Which is — I can’t say it enough — racist.
Even though Tyre Nichols was murdered by five black cops, the “woke” media are falling over each other and twisting themselves into fucking pretzels to find a way to blame Nichols’ murder on anti-black white racism nonethefuckingless.
To be clear, anti-black white racism is indeed the background in which the United States of America was founded, and of course it remains as part of the American backdrop. (Also, of course, there is an ugly history of white racism against Native Americans, Latinos, Asians, et. al. Historically in the United States, whites even have hated other whites, such as how the Irish were discriminated against by other, non-Irish whites.)
However, try using this background racism as your criminal “defense” in a court of law. (Seriously, good luck with that.)
No, in a court of law, you are responsible for your own fucking conduct. The law does not even attempt to sort out how much of your criminal behavior is or is not because of systemic racism.*
An example of the “woke” media that I mentioned above is The Washington Post piece titled “Black Memphis Police Spark Dialogue on Systemic Racism in the U.S.”
If you click on the links naming the three authors of the piece, you’ll see from their photos that all of them look like they just crawled out from their collegiate “safe space” yesterday.
Not to side too much with the Repugnican-fascists, but methinks that today’s young “reporters” indeed have been indoctrinated with “woke”-ism.
To be clear, we need to talk about systemic racism. It’s a thing. It’s been with us Americans for a very long time and it will remain with us for some time to come.
But it’s intellectually lazy, if not also intentionally intellectually dishonest, to think that we can ascribe everything to systemic racism. Again, when all that you have is a “woke” hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Not to pick on The Washington Post; for the most part I think that their reporting and analysis are fairly solid, but can we please please please have some older people — you know, people with some actual life experience — doing more of the reporting than newly minted college grads? (I get it that younger people will work for a lot less money than older people who know when they’re not being paid what they’re worth, but Jesus fuck.)
The aforementioned Post article does contain some useful information — information that contradicts its own headline, actually.
It quotes an Ayanna Robinson saying that “one of the major reasons she thought many people seemed more subdued in response to the Nichols death was that the five officers charged in beating him are Black. If the officers had been White, [she said,] ‘All hell would have broken loose. The city would have been in war.'”
Yup. That’s pretty much what I said yesterday.
The aforementioned Post article also notes:
The Memphis Police Department, which has nearly 2,000 officers, is 58 percent Black, the result of a decades-long effort to field a police force that resembles the city’s 64 percent Black population. Unlike in several recent high-profile police brutality cases, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis, who is Black, and other officials acted swiftly in firing, arresting and charging the Memphis officers in advance of the release of video footage.
So the Memphis Police Department is led by a black woman and 58 percent of its officers are black. It sounds to me like blacks pretty much run the Memphis Police Department.
And that’s fine by me, since the city is 64 percent black; a police department should resemble the city in which it operates.
But how in the fucking fuck can we contort ourselves enough to assert, with straight faces, that even though five black cops in a majority-black police department in a majority-black city led by a black police chief brutally murdered a young black man, it nonetheless was because of whitey?
How about addressing toxic masculinity? How about addressing authoritarianism? How about addressing police brutality?
Oh, we can (and probably will) continue to ignore those problems and still find interesting ways to make everything all about and only about race and racism (which, usually under “woke”-ism, can be perpetrated only by white people, of course — by definition).
But if we do that — if we don’t put down our hammer that’s only in search of “racist” nails and pick up some other tools for fucking once — it’s clear that only more black people are going to die at the hands of cops (cops of all races).
What does it say about us that rather than seek real solutions, we’d rather just knee-jerkingly, “woke”-ly label everything “white racism” — and just be done with it already?
P.S. Also, of course, the “woke” “argument” that the five black cops who killed Tyre Nichols all were just more or less hypnotized by systemic anti-black white racism strips them of their agency. Do we think so lowly of black men that we believe that they have no agency, no free will, but that they are mere puppets of their societal background?
Is that really our “argument”? Because that sounds not only incredibly condescending, but also ironically racist, to me.
*I know this firsthand; I was an alternate juror on a murder trial in which the defense attorney, who was incredibly lame, tried to claim that his black defendant, on trial for the murder of another black man, was there in the courtroom, being tried for murder, because of racism.
The tactic failed spectacularly. (The defendant was found guilty and is now in prison, by the way; as an alternate juror I didn’t get to weigh in on the verdict, as no regular juror had to drop out, but had I participated in the verdict, I’d have deemed him guilty, as the state’s case against him was strong.)