It’s time to get uncomfortable and confront racism, white America. #IAmNotMikeBrown

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Written by: Alissa Kokkins | The Anti-Media

 

 

I am a racist. Not a white hood and robe wearing KKK racist. Nor a shaved head, swastika loving, Dr. Martens with red laces, neo-Nazi racist. I am a woman who walks through this world living the white experience of power/privilege plus prejudice, racist. IS-His-Life-Worth-More-Than-Mine
Confronting the internalized racism embedded in my soul as a mostly white American has not been easy, comfortable or enjoyable. It has been a long arduous road filled with denial, pain, disappointment, self-critique, education, self-hatred, shame, deconstruction and growth. To this day, oppressive language and actions stumble out my being no matter how hard I try or aware I believe I am. It is the unavoidable reality of the white experience in a white supremacist society. Even in this very piece, there will undoubtedly be something overlooked, phrased wrong, over simplified and so on – that reveals the racism that comes with bearing the preferred skin pigmentation of our empire. This is one of many symptoms of my individual racism and white privilege.

Whether I like it or not (which I don’t), I have to accept the fact that I am racist if I want to end racism. All white people do. Racism being bred into us via our environment, media and culture is not right and will never be. But it is the reality of the white supremacist society we were born into. And for those who don’t want another Mike Brown, Ezell Ford, Trayvon Martin, John Crawford III or any of the too many names to list people of color murdered, to die, you too have to accept this. Because the only society where their murders would be deemed unacceptable by the people at large is a not post-racial, but a post-racism America.

The deconstruction of structural racism and white privilege is a never-ending onion that forever peels back to reveal itself. Even now as I write this a few miles from Ferguson, MO, I am still discovering racism embedded in me. A couple of weeks ago when I was asked to help organize a hands up march in Los Angeles for Ezell Ford, Omar Abrego, Mike Brown and all victims of killer cops, I almost said no. Why? I generally avoided organizing against racist, killer cops. Not just because the gravity of dealing with senseless death hurts my heart in ways that cannot be verbalized, but also because my white skin is the exception, not the rule, in this struggle. Instead, I primarily left organizers of color to do the tough job that I did not want to take on.
Another layer of the onion unravels; I was not doing what I could do because I did not have to. Or so I thought. Although I nor anyone in my blood family lives in fear of being shot while unarmed like Ezell, Omar and Mike, the reality is, white people and especially white allies are an important component in the struggle to end racism. It is through our actions, silence, apathy, cognitive dissonance and complacency that white supremacy is upheld.
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
― Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
It is white people who slowly kill people of color every time we do not call out racist actions, comments, jokes, and microaggressions. Especially, when there is a chance to do so in the place they are most prevalent: all white spaces. A space that actually presents an opportunity for real talk with fellow white people about the racism we individually and collectively perpetrate. With flaws and bizarre questions on display, this is the safest space for white people to get uncomfortable and confront racism in without causing further harm to those who experience racism every day. Not to be confused with denying racism when the subject of racism is brought up in non-all white spaces; that behavior is racist. But by calling out and discussing racism, the only place white people can go in that moment is one step closer to the vaccine that will forever rid this world of the racist disease permeating out of our white bodies.
Seemingly a small thing, this is where racism starts. It is how racism slowly etched itself into our culture and first became ingrained into once untainted white beings. And when you stack the thousands of racist incidents happening this very moment, they are like an army of needles pricking the skin of people of color. Each prick dehumanizing entire races. In ten minutes, a thousand more pricks. By the end of the month, a million small holes are inflicted. Until, that little prick you silently let pass by adds up to so much pain that tear gas is flying down the burning streets of Ferguson and cries to put an end to racism in America are sounding around the world.
The ongoing stereotyping and dehumanization of people of color that structural racism perpetrates is what informs institutional racism. The deadly combination of which is what allowed Ezell Ford, Mike Brown and Omar Abrego to die not once but twice. After being physically murdered, the three mens’ characters were then assassinated by police and the mainstream media. Ferguson police portrayed Mike Brown as a cigar thief despite the store never calling the police while many media outlets still continue to explore if Brown has gang affiliations. As if any of this justifies his murder.

Police claim that the coroner’s report says that Omar Abrego, who died after being beaten by police for ten minutes as seen in this video, was “combative and confused with acute cocaine intoxication” and driving an Amtrak truck even though “he did not work there.” After Ezell Ford was shot in the back three times while unarmed, LAPD released a statement after the killing, stating: “It is unknown if the suspect has any gang affiliations.” If it is unknown, then why is this included in LAPD’s statement? It is unknown if Ford liked cheese on a burger, but I don’t see that mentioned.
Atop that, when Ford’s mourning cousin, Ceebo Tha Rapper put out a music video titled “Fuck tha Police” to honor and call for justice for Ezell, LAPD put out a citywide alert that accused the rapper of using the video to call for revenge and made accusations of gang affiliations. In the wake of his cousin’s death, Ceebo was then paraded and shamed by the press. The music video is seemingly mild compared to the songs white artists, such as MDC’s Millions of Dead Cops, have made without causing citywide alerts or public shaming. Hear more about this from Ceebo himself in this exclusive interview.

With claims that all three men are guilty, police then proceeded to withhold the autopsy reports and names of the officers who killed not one, but all three men. To this day, the autopsy reports and names of the killers of Ezell Ford and Omar Abrego have not been released. However, last night, Jasmine Cannick, one of ESSENCE Magazine’s 25 Women Shaping the World, leaked the names of the two cops who she claims killed Ezell Ford. Unarmed killings, withholding of evidence, and desecration of the dead, inflicted on the THREE families whose loved ones were killed by police, would never, EVER, be accepted in this country if these men had been white. Never. Let alone all occurring within the same two weeks. Travesties all made possible by racism.
“We need to come together and stop fighting each other because you’re African American, or Latino. Police are doing this to Latinos and African Americans, they aren’t doing this to white people.”
– Yanelly Abrego, Sister of Omar Abrego
Does this mean you need to organize a hands up rally to end racism? No. Even I am still critiquing and deconstructing my own position on playing the roll of organizer. Especially, since I, like many white people there, put my hands up and chanted: “Hands Up! Don’t shoot!” Ignoring a quiet voice in my head that said, “White people should be screaming ‘hands up’, while people of color put their hands up and chant back ‘don’t shoot’.” Which is a more accurate representation of the dynamics of our society. Similar to #IAmNotTrayvonMartin, various critiques and social media posts are now emerging about how uncomfortable people are seeing white people put their hands up, chanting the final words of Michael Brown. Why? Because white people are not and have never been Michael Brown.
Time and time again, I have heard from people in St. Louis that what is most needed and desired from white allies is not the organization of rallies (although attendance is appreciated), but for white people to confront racism in their selves, families, and communities. Of course, this is uncomfortable and takes courage. But it is not half as frightening as the realities portrayed in the video below that people of color must live as an “other” in America.

Compared to experiencing racism, confronting racism is a walk on the beach with a slight chill and hazy sunset. A walk that gets easier the more you do it and with the more company you have along the way.
White people have allowed white supremacy to reign supreme in America; and it is our job to smash racism. Not the duty of people of color who suffer the consequences of our individual and collective negligence. Racism in America begins and ends with white people. An ending white people have owed to those who suffer from the epidemic that is racism for four hundred plus years.
A better world eagerly waits for the final dawn of this racist society; a beautiful world where freedom and liberation are not just words, but a tangible reality for every single humyn being we walk amongst. But to walk upon her untainted surface, white people must embark together on a fight that requires many small steps. Small steps that will become jumps and leaps the more we confront personal and collective racism.
White people have an opportunity to stand on the right side of history. If we do it now, forty years from now our children will be able to live in a post-racism America. A society that I cannot fabricate in my mind because this one is so mired with oppression that the public execution of men of color without consequence has become the new normal. Like an addict fighting for sobriety, the first step to ending racism is admitting there is a problem. If you are ready to do it, pull up your bootstraps and let’s get uncomfortable, white people. Ready? Say it with me, “Hi, my name is ___________ and I am a racist.”
See? That wasn’t so bad. Now go out and change the world.
To find out more about you can do to end racism, please continue to educate yourself and your white peers about racism and the true history of society. If you would like to show monetary love, please donate to the memorial fund for Ezell Ford.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Just because you are a racist doesn’t mean that everybody else is a racist. Pick up your shit and go to therapy. I can coexist with other races and have done so on multiple occasions, so has everybody else I have ever seen.

  2. Another 1%er crying about how hard their life is. How painful it is to behave like a decent human being and treat others with respect and kindness. Some of us didn’t have nannies and driver. Some of us don’t look down our noses at “the help”. Some of us are actually the help. We were raised in little town in little houses and had to eat fried spam once a week. And we were taught to be decent human beings. We were taught to hold doors and get up and let our elders sit down. We were expected to respect our elders and say please and thank you. And it didn’t matter one bit what color or station another person was. Everyone was to be treated with the same respect and kindness or your mother or father handed you your ass. It’s just more hate fueling excuses for why the rich should be excused for treating people that are “beneath them” like shit. The most racist people in this country are the government, media and the fortune 500’s. If I treat you poorly it’s because you’re an asshole, no matter who you are.

  3. Im so glad you feel privledged because of the color of tour skin…let me tell you a bit about my “white privledge” my dad took off when i was young leaving my stay at home mom to work in a chicken pricessing plant beheading and gutting chickens for 5.25 an hour. When i was 12 she could not afford to keep lights on muchless have any other luxuries. I started doing odd and end jobs at 12 to help keep bills paid so we could eat…all while i was still going to school…fast forward…my mom marries a man that has his own business but barely makes enough profit to cover taxes…this causes me to be denied any financial aid or help for college and i choose not to go i to debt for a paper that doesnt gurantee me a career to pay it off…ive busted ass for everything i have…i try to set a good example for my child…i lead the way as they say…the stereotypes given to races are usually grown out of some factial basis…if black folks want to be treated like human beings then perhaps the majority should step in and stop with this gangsta mentality that has so many in its grasp. I grew up poor in a crappy neighborhood in houston…somehow the streets didnt infect my head … Probably because my mom enstilled values and respect in me. I am not saying there isnt racism…bit i am saying that it might be easier to change peoples minds if so many black folks didnt live up to the ghetto stereotype they are labled with … Same goes for the racist white folks…but do not sit there and twll me i need to own up to being a raciat…i grew up side by and became best friends with people of all color…i love everyone…and judge you based on tour actions and not your skin color.

    • now if your white and act like a nigger..like you just did..u get treated just fine, championed, or even praised. Thank you for make the difference clear

    • “Act like a nigger get treated like a nigger”, unless you are a nigger named HillybillyBrains. In that case no one singles you out for being a nigger…until now.

  4. Did you know that more white people are killed by police than black people and that 20 years ago, twice as many black people were being killed by police? Where were these bleeding hearts, “black lives matter” people 2 decades ago? White lives matter too but you don’t hear about any of them in the news, do you? Jesse and Al are racist to the bone. Look at the facts people. Cops killing African Americans isn’t some new epidemic. It’s actually less of a problem now than it used to be. Why aren’t people chanting, “lives matter?”

    • There is over 50% more whites in the country. Of course there should technically be more deaths. The gap in those murders isnt as big as you would think with the percentage difference. One last point, what is the #1 race of the cops causing these deaths?

  5. My problem with this entire post is the fact that it only focuses on black lives , that’s racist on its own. I’m no racist but honestly let’s be realistic for maybe 10 seconds , don’t act stupid and don’t do stupid shit and you won’t get shot by the cops. Go about your business and don’t cause problems for anyone and you won’t get arrested. Don’t run from a cop and they might not shoot.

  6. Only white people can be so stupid to disregard their own race in favour or racial diversity. Only white people can be so reckless to let immigrants establish their ways of living in white countries. Only white people can be so racist to think all non-whites need a white, helping hand.

    As a latino, irreverent white people like you disgust me.

  7. This article is so off base and is contributing to perpetuating racism. Pointing fingers at an entire race is what we are trying to eliminate. I understand that the author had good intentions, and we do need to have a conversation about racial issues in this country; however, articles like this will only move us backwards. White, black, or purple if you make a generalization about a race of people, then you are racist.

  8. That is the most retarded shit I have ever seen. I want my 5 minutes of my life back. Those “thugs” in that video were acting like animals. You may want that influence in your and your childrens lives but I DON’T

  9. The top photo in the article is racist in its assumption. Both signs should say either “less” or “more”, but both should say the same.

  10. I’ve read the first two paragraphs and couldn’t force myself to read this benign racist bullshit any longer. I am a young white male, and I am definitely not a racist piece of shit like you. In fact, most of the racism I’ve ever seen in my life that wasn’t in the media was from black people, not me nor any of my family, which some of whom ARE black or half black and white. This entire article is a projection of yourself, not others. Besides, how hard is it to show respect to another human being? All you have to do is plaster a smile on your face, nod and wave. If you feel that white people are priveledged then you can fuck off. My first hand experience has taught me that NOBODY is going to be there to give me welfare or food stamps, and if I die no one except my loved ones will care even though I’ve never robbed anyone or bull rushed a cop. When the crack heads are living it large with the money that a man or woman, black white or green has made with broken hands and feet and those hard workers can’t feed themselves let alone their children with no help on the way to save them; and on top of it we have people trying to divide us because of the color of their skin rather than the strength or purity of their hearts.. We have only ourselves to blame, not white people or black people. Don’t be a guinea pig, and don’t be a fool. Love and respect others the way you want to be loved and respected, and maybe this world will change one day..

  11. This site used to seem to be at least partially legit but now it just seems like it a tool of racism this site isn’t anonymous it’s a fake want to be anon site look at this and other racist shit it post anon is not racist saying all whites are privileged is as stupid as saying all blacks are on welfare in short fuck you and your racist site may the Nsa fbi or whomever give you what you dserve!
    sincerely cocojones

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