Black Americans are confronted with many instances of white privilege. American history will be scarred for one of the most blatant moments of this privilege during the confirmation of President-Elect Joe Biden’s electoral votes during the planned siege of the Capitol Building at the request of President Trump. This occurred at the same time when news outlets reported that no charges would be filed against the officers responsible for the shooting of the innocent black man Jacob Blake. You need not look further than these two occurrences and how they contrast with each other.
The double standard of American justice for white Americans was just on full display for the world to see. Only White America could storm and interrupt congress, destroy government property, loot and steal from the highest government ranking officials, openly carry firearms in Washington D.C., and be called “protestors.” Only “they” could be calmly escorted out, not call in the national guard as quickly as possible, and be encouraged by the sitting president to run amuck in a rally beforehand where he encourages them to do what hasn’t been done since the War of 1812. Only “they” could bring pipe bombs into our nation’s capital, and it not be that big of a deal.
There is no earthly way possible that Black Lives Matter protestors would do this and not get labeled thugs and domestic terrorists. At the end of the day, the double standard is clear. White people have a privilege card of the benefit of the doubt when in clear view of violating the principles we are told we hold so dear. While it should have been a day of celebration as Georgia has elected its first Black U.S. Senator, Reverend Raphael Warnock, many right-leaning white people seem to be under the impression something like this is not possible. Yes, it’s possible; and it’s being realized before your very eyes (thank you, Stacey Abrams).
The problem is that America has been just kicking and stuffing its dirty laundry under the bed for so long that it’s spilling out for the world to see. The one positive from a Trump Presidency that I can think of as far as decorum goes is that he’s made the veil of white American privilege more obvious to those who are often so oblivious. If you consider yourself an Ally, don’t think, oh, America grew a spine today as it relates to certain republicans and companies like Social Media sites disowning the sitting president’s commentary. The reality of the situation is that you don’t get to create a monster, slay the monster, and then parade yourself as the hero.
To those daring to say that democracy was in danger due to the election being rigged in specific states such as Georgia, I’d recommend you look closely at the lack of proof of such accusations. I also believe that not counting someone’s vote is lacking in our principles of a democratic government. I believe this to my core due to my grandfather fighting for Black people to have the right to vote. So if anyone understands voter suppression, it should be the black guy born in Jackson, MS.
The truth of the matter is that Stacey Abrams mobilized Georgia’s people to get organized and purposeful in letting their voices be heard. Too often, Black Americans (especially black women) find themselves having to rescue the fabric of these ideals that support our concept of a free and just society according to the constitution. In contrast, these same Black Americans find themselves being denied the same dignity as our white brethren. Our rights, safety, and quality of life remain second class. The same day as the Coup d’état, it was announced that there would be no charges filed against the officers involved in the Jacob Blake shooting. The double standard exudes the spirit of white privilege.
What did I think of what we all watched? That truly, and unsurprisingly for many black Americans, it is the reality of what has plagued our people for so long. I know for a fact in my very fiber of being that there would have been many bodies in bags if that were a Black Lives Matter event. When I say many, I’m definitely taking more than 4 or 5, with an all-out bloody stage of beatings for the world to see. Our current commander-in-chief would describe BLM as the villains, all while being told to stop behaving like children. Ironically, the very people that said “Blue Lives Matter” to counter the “Black Lives Matter” movement were completely disregarding and endangering the same authority at the president’s orders.
This election did show something that should be encouraging, and that is significant. That we did not stop to make our voices heard despite being marginalized. The vote was indicative of an organized answer to political mayhem. We must continue to keep the pressure on for racial justice. To hold the very people that placed Trump into office accountable. To close the racial wealth and health disparity gaps. To bridge the often distanced “American Dream” from the citizens and ancestors of the people that built this nation but were never allowed to attain the ideals we preach to the world. While I hope that we can cross the bridge that separates us from the fairness and equality that often evades us, just as John Lewis did, I also believe that we must have the ability, to be honest with ourselves about how far we are away from the gap being closed. Because in the great words of Donald Glover, “THIS IS AMERICA.”
This post was previously published on Medium.
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