In a white supremacist system, there exists a class of oppressed people who charge at the opportunity to console white people when they have been placed on public spectacle for more egregious examples of racism such as racist remarks, blackface, discrimination, police brutality, etc. When these incidents happen they run in to console the offender because for decades proximity to whites afforded one access to resources and opportunity. As a survival mechanism, these folks offer themselves up as a contrast to the more staunch and stern, who are adamant and clear that the offense is rooted in a continuum of offenses specifically institutional white supremacy and systemic racism. For the staunch and stern there is no consolation in words. You gonna have to change systems and atone and repair before there is even a consideration of reconciliation.
But for the others, the ones that run forward ready to forgive – all you gotta do is say you are sorry. Shit you might not have to say that. They just want to be close to white folks because they know when yall sorry and feel guilty you start opening up the bag and try to find any black or brown person to bestow your efforts to atone upon. To get back to feeling like you aren’t passive aggressively racist. They ready to make you feel better. So get your checkbooks ready Northam & Herring – there’s about to be a stampede of folks at your door ready to exchange your I’m sorry for a seat next to you and the access being close to you represents.
The missed opportunity in this moment is that there is a litany of institutional disparities resultant from systemic racism that we can point to. But yall stuck on individual racism. Kwame Ture pointed this stuff out in his book black power. But yall dont read and that’s why I get frustrated with yall. In his book he talks about the difference between institutional racism and individual racism. How individual racism looks like blackface, somebody calling you a niggeror some other inflammatory explective, a person wearing a Klan hood and saying black people are inferior or marching in Charlottesville with a tiki torch. Individual acts done by one person against against another individual or group of individual. But institutional racism – that requires more analysis. You have to know history and understand systems to identify institutional racism. Institutional racism looks like housing discrimination, wealth disparities, health disparities, mortality disparities, healthcare access and treatment disparities, maternal mortality disparities, incarceration disparities, school funding disparities, transportation disparities, immigration law enforcement disparities, voter district gerrymandering, gentrification, eviction disparities subprime mortgage lending, black farmers land loss, slavery, Jim crow, convict leasing, you get the point – and each of these disparities black people are on the bottom and white people are on the top.
When racial incidents of an individual nature occur, it is easy to isolate the individual perpetrator and say we got him boss! He is the one underneath the Klan hood! Like a scooby doo episode at the end when they reveal the villain. What I need all of us to do is draw the connection between these individual acts of racism and the institutional systems of racism that are interlocked and interwoven into the fabric of not just America- but the GLOBE. Worldwide!!! Not just Virginia.
Yall look real foolish running up forgiving somebody who lied to you to your face and ain’t did nothing to prove to you that they are sincere. Shit I read The Case For Reparations in an hour! That’s all it take? For him to pick up Roots by Alex Haley? Wtf. Really? How about the destruction of black civilization by Chancellor William’s, how Europe underdeveloped Africa by Walter rodney. Powernomics by Claude Anderson or Blueprint for Black Power by Amos Wilson. Who chose those weak as texts bruh. Come on. How bout Randall Robinsons The Debt? The Color of Law, how to kill a city? You gonna let this grown man – this dr. read high school black history lit text as an apology. No medical apartheid at least?
In closing, let’s not by ashy in this moment black delegation. The whole world is watching and you ready to let the governor of Virginia sell you a bill of goods that you have no clue he gonna make good on. All the while this is the 400 year commemoration of the first Africans to be brought to this state. You think our ancestors would be cool with yall forgiving somebody who ain’t have the balls to tell you he wore blackface before you voted him in office? Yall crazy…