You are a victim of white supremacy.
I saw Candice Owens’s video. I didn’t know who this woman was and had to look her up. Apparently people care what she says, and she’s well-known enough to have a blue check mark next to her name. She is, and you too if you agree with her, are victims of the white supremacist narrative and don’t realize it. Here’s why.
You think the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is making a martyr of George Floyd.
Why is that? Who said it? Have you heard any community activists say this? What is a martyr exactly? You’re smart. You’re educated. A martyr is someone persecuted for their beliefs. What about George Floyd’s death was about his beliefs? If it’s not martyrdom than what is it? George Floyd’s life is being memorialized and celebrated. He was important to the people who cared about him.
What is wrong with celebrating the man’s life? What is wrong with many people celebrating and memorializing a man’s life because he was killed unjustly? That doesn’t make him a martyr. BLM’s ritual of saying the murdered man’s name, remembering that he was a person, a Black person, using the hashtags and painting murals have nothing to do with martyrdom. They have to do with asserting the man’s humanity. Humanity that was stripped away because his murder was racially motivated. The celebrations and memorials assert the fact that his life mattered.
Did George Floyd’s life, not matter? Do you think we should let someone unjustly killed die in obscurity? Forgotten? If so, you are a victim of white supremacy. White supremacy applies a double standard for who should be remembered and who should be forgotten.
We should remember Columbus, who “discovered” America and committed genocide. We should forget the names of the indigenous people who defended themselves against violent white settlers. White supremacy lists the names of war veterans on memorials in DC: those who killed others to protect freedoms. White supremacy wants us to forget the names of the people who were murdered because of the color of their skin. If you are upholding this double standard by rejecting the notion that George Floyd ought to be memorialized, celebrated, and remembered, you are a victim of white supremacy. White supremacy has convinced you that it isn’t worthwhile to remember. White supremacy doesn’t want to remember, because it does not want to change.
George Floyd was a criminal, you say.
He committed horrible crimes. Held a gun to a pregnant woman’s belly. It was bad and wrong, but he served time already. Is he beholden to his crimes for the rest of his life, even though he served time already? Yes?
Then, you are a victim of the white supremacist belief that Black people are criminally inclined. You are what you do. Commit one crime, you are a criminal for the rest of your life. White supremacy believes George Floyd’s crimes matter more than the good things he did in life.
Why do you think people look up the criminal history of every Black person killed by police? To justify to the death? Assault someone, you were a bad person and deserved to die. Stole something from a convenient store 5 years ago? You are a bad person and deserve to die. No? Why does their history criminal history matter if they’ve served time?
Oh he didn’t deserve to die? He should have gotten a fair trial? Then why do you mention he was a criminal? Why is that important for us to know? Is it about getting the full story? A way to justify the police’s actions? A way to determine how Floyd should be treated?
If that’s what you believe, you are a victim of the white supremacist belief that a Black person’s criminal history needs to be discussed in the conversation about whether their death (while being arrested) is justified. You are a victim of white supremacy if you believe people, despite their history, can’t be reformed, redeemed, or improve their life circumstances.
But George Floyd didn’t improve. He had drugs in his system when he died, you say.
Does that make him a criminal or an addict? Both? Is addiction a mental illness? Can someone with a mental illness be reasonably expected to make good choices? Do people with the mental illness of addiction make choices to fuel their addiction? You still think Floyd was a bad person, that he shouldn’t have tried drugs in the first place? How did he get into drugs? Does anything about his life circumstances make him more inclined to try drugs? Rough neighborhood? Bad influences? Lack of proper health care or lack of mental health care? Was he self-medicating for depression? Stress? Anxiety? Physical pain? Did he lack of education about drugs? Did he have easy access to drugs? Did he try them before he knew better?
Do you believe he should have had the mental fortitude to say no to drugs with the circumstances of his life? If so, you are a victim of white supremacy. White supremacy aims to blame Black people (the victims) for their own condition: if he didn’t have those drugs in his system, he wouldn’t have died. White supremacy distracts from the real issues: A police officer having his knee on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes; And White supremacy created the conditions in which Floyd decided to ingest illicit substances. For instance, Floyd may have lacked adequate health care and self-medicated for a mental or physical condition.
If you follow the law, don’t do drugs, work hard, drive the speed limit, speak politely to police officers, pull up your pants, do well in school, go to college etc., your chance of being a victim of police brutality or harassment is low.
Why do you think this? Who can do everything right? Who is so perfect that they overcome their environment entirely? Who doesn’t have some vice they are battling daily? Does everyone have an adequate support system? Does everyone have access to the resources they need (education, health care, and monetary) that they can behave like a model citizen all of the time?
What about children who grow up without their parents working all the time? What choices can they make? How can they learn well when their local schools are under-funded?
If you think Black people are 100% responsible as individuals for improving their own condition you are a victim of white supremacy. Doing it alone is a white supremacist lie. Many long-lived corporations and wealthy families used slave labor to build their fortunes. Wealthy people have access to the best health care in the world. But individual people, Black people, have to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, alone.
You think you are different than Black people who have committed crimes. You just were born into circumstances that supported you. You live in a community that doesn’t require constant policing. You see the police around less often. They can’t harass you unless someone calls them. People in your neighborhood don’t commit crimes, so you’re unlikely to have the police bust down your door accidentally. Your local convenience store doesn’t get robbed. The police never look for someone in your neighborhood, someone who fits the description and only looks like you because they’re Black. You didn’t need a fake $20 to fuel your addictions or pay for groceries because you have access to money.
The only difference between you and “them” is economic class. Discrimination based on economic class is real and it’s multiplied when you’re Black. You, however, have access to the knowledge and resources to minimize the effects of racism and overcome generational traumas.
The fact that you distinguish and distance yourself from Black folks in a lower economic class makes you a victim of white supremacy. White supremacy aims to divide people of color. United Black people are a threat to white supremacy and capitalism.
You say that Black on Black crime is still a problem. We have to do better.
How do you suppose you could convince gang members to stop killing each other? What life circumstances led to the Black on Black violence in the first place? Why did Black people start killing each other in the first place? How do we correct the attitudes that lead to violence? How do we eliminate economic disparities that lead to drug dealing?
There are many problems in the Black community that were created and perpetuated by white infiltrators. These Black on Black problems have not occurred in a vacuum.
And if you think there is just something wrong with “us,” and that Black people are the problem, you are a victim of white supremacy. White supremacy aims to destroy our self-worth (and financial worth) as Black people. Research Black Wall street of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
I’m not saying we can’t make changes as individuals and collectively to improve our condition. But it is very difficult to improve oneself when you are actively being murdered.