Cry Me a River #WMT

Move over WWT; you've got some stiff competition.

First up...we have Chris Pine.
...that was the gist of the headline over at Gawker christening actor Chris Pine the “face of civil rights.” Why? Because he shed a lone, beatific tear in response to John Legend and Common’s performance of their powerful song “Glory” from the Selma soundtrack at the 87th annual Academy Awards.

That’s right: Blond-haired, blue-eyed Pine is a symbol of the black blood spilled by police dogs, billy clubs and Klansmen on roads from Mississippi to Alabama. His face, not that of
Selma star David Oyelowo—whose face was flooded with tears that caused a visceral, reciprocal reaction in many black people watching—is mainstream media’s symbol that we have overcome.
I actually meant to write about this a lot sooner, but let's face it...reading something like this takes time to digest.  I'm not surprised, mind you; allow me to make that clear.  News like this doesn't actually come as a shock.  In fact, in the face of constant criticism, I'm not surprised this year's noticeably white Oscars would have an incident/stunt/whatever like this...along with the Patricia Arquette fiasco (God, that was excruciating).  All that seemed to be missing was a performance from Macklemore dropping some rhymes about black-on-black crime.

But annoying as it is to see a heterosexual, able-bodied, wealthy, famous conventionally handsome white guy be branded the face of civil rights, it is far more disgusting to see a white cop from Ferguson crying over the DOJ report.
Speaking to Daily Mail Online, the Ferguson police officer said the report misrepresented not just the force, but the city.

'The report is hard to read, but that’s not me,' he said.

‘I am good with the people, the community. We have good officers. Do they write more tickets than some people? Maybe. But they are good officers.

‘This hurts, it really does. When you read it, you read it as a city as a whole. You read it like everybody is like that, but not everybody is like that.’

...Another issue raised in the report was how black residents were disproportionately targeted for traffic tickets which contributes to the expected court revenue of $2.4 million this year
(In a town of only 21,000 where 67% are black).

According to the report residents are seen ‘less as constituents to be protected than as potential offenders and sources of revenue,’

The officer said: ‘There are guys who write a lot of tickets, yeah, but I don’t think it was any different from other departments.

...The officer said that in the wake of the report the mood on the street had been hostile.

He said: ‘When we get to some of these calls people are yelling profanities...they are filming us and that didn’t happen before.

He added: ‘The biggest thing that hurts is how the community feels, what are they feeling. That’s very important to me.

‘Sometimes I just sit there and cry.

‘We need to open a dialogue with people.'
(Source)
We are Respectable Negroes weighs in beautifully:
The oral traditions of black and brown people contain wisdom about the power of white women's tears to make our lives a living hell (see the lynching tree in the United States). It would seem that white men have now learned the same lessons.

The deflection and denial by Ferguson's officials about the racist practices of their government, the predictable and on script screeds by the likes of Patrick Buchanan in defense of their hero Titan negro hunter Darren Wilson, and now the supposed pain of the Ferguson police in response to being called to marginal account for their bigotry, are (again) examples of white privilege and white supremacy as both quotidian behavior and political ideology.

A white cop's tears in response to the Department of Justice report on institutional white racism--white supremacy--in Ferguson presents another opportunity (there are after all a near endless supply of such moments in the Age of Obama) to sketch out the contours of Whiteness in the post civil rights era.
So let's recap...the Department of Justice found consistent, inarguable, documented evidence of gross abuses of power by a white-dominated police force against a black population, and we're supposed to care that one of those same cops cried and insisted that he and his colleagues "are good cops."  We are, however, not supposed to notice that after reading the report and no doubt witnessing this stuff first hand (despite desperate cries to the contrary), this cop's first and foremost concern is the fear of looking of bad.

*blink*

First of all, let's start with that line about needing to "open a dialogue".  I read this a lot from white people - "We need to have these conversations/We need to open up a dialogue/There's only one race, the human race" and so on, and so forth.  We don't need dialogue.  We need institutionalized equality.  The main problem here is that white opinion has teeth.  As it stands, white opinion can cost a brown person their job, their home, even their very life.  White opinion needs to be defanged, so that when its words are uttered, that's all they are - words.

This need to "open a dialogue" is merely a weak balm on a deep wound that won't be healed by words.

Ever watch Star Trek: Deep Space Nine?  It's streaming on Netflix and I think Hulu; if you haven't seen it I strongly recommend you do.  Fans will recall that this show stood out within its franchise because it begins with the end of a holocaust; a species called the Bajorans have been kept under brutal Cardassian rule for half a century, losing ten million citizens in the process. When various elements (terrorism, rebellion, intergalactic political pressure) force the Cardassians back into their own space, one of the former Cardassian Prefects, Gul Dukat, starts singing a new song to the tune of, "We're at peace now/ We're all friends now/We have to work together now/The Occupation was actually in Bajor's best interests...."  It get so obnoxious that in the episode "Indiscretion", a Bajoran coldly calls him out on it:
"The voice of the new Cardassia – so compassionate, so understanding. Almost makes you forget that five years ago, he was working Bajorans to death in forced labor camps, and shooting anybody who tried to stop him! Almost makes you forget."
In domestic violence, this is referred to as the honeymoon phase; after a period of abuse has passed or is in the midst of being exposed with the possibility of consequences, the abuser undergoes a total personality change and behaves like the most wonderful person ever, attempting to do and say all the right things.  The act is often so good that it almost makes the abused forget what a truly awful person it is they're dealing with.

Almost.

It is no different with the cycles of oppression in the social sense; Ferguson has spent months under the international microscope.  The Department of Justice has just aired all its dirty laundry.  Darren Wilson may be going free, but the residents will not be going back to pre-Michael Brown Ferguson.  Not willingly, anyway.  They will go on filming the cops, and they will continue to speak out about the injustices plaguing their community, and all the tears and sobbing and laughable protestations of innocence from the cops aren't going to change that.

The time for dialogue has passed.  Now's the time for action.



For the cop(s) crying about a hostile public: cry me a river.  You are servants of the people.  It's literally in your job description: to protect and serve.  Stop whining about our disrespect for your authority and start learning respect for us - we're your fucking bosses.  These civilians you're harassing and slaughtering have their hard-earned paychecks regularly gutted for the taxes which pay your salaries.  So when you come across an unarmed civilian who's minding their own business, they better be alive and intact by the time the two of you part ways.

I mean, you wanna talk hurt?  Let's talk dog-bite hurt.  Let's talk struggling to pay bogus tickets hurt.  Let's talk about the hurt of nightsticks, choke holds, tasers, bullet wounds and burying loved ones.  That's hurt.  Seeing your sins laid bare to the world isn't "hurt" - it's justice.

You'd think law enforcement would be the first to recognize it.

Comments

  1. Replies
    1. This is a fucking awesome post!!!!!

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  2. In fact, in the face of constant criticism, I'm not surprised this year's noticeably white Oscars would have an incident/stunt/whatever like this...along with the Patricia Arquette fiasco (God, that was excruciating).

    I concur, just like Patricia Arquette said, “American women of wealth, education, virtue and refinement, if you do not wish the lower orders of Chinese, Africans, Germans and Irish, with their low ideas of womanhood, to make laws for you and your daughters … awake to the danger of your present position and demand that woman, too, shall be represented in the government!” Ooops... I mean Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but they share the same sentiment.

    As always, your point rings truer than any bell. Some whites would have us believe that they are dedicated, -selfless to a fault- benevolent guardians of the helpless & downtrodden, devoted to the betterment of all people regardless of race, color or creed when nothing could be further from the truth. They are master manipulators, keen on preserving a narrative of centrality, by which a moral- altruistic image of themselves (espoused as the embodiment of whiteness) conflicts with the historical/contemporary distinctions most people of color know to be true.

    Nothing speaks more to this sense of self-importance than capturing a white man (the oppressor) weeping over refrains of the oppressed at the Oscars, before disseminating that propaganda for all the world to see. It’s a deflection, a ruse- designed to bolster the self-interests of those that benefit most from white hegemony. Likewise, white police officers would have us think they only have the public interests at heart as they tirelessly serve the public, yet privately they scheme to deprive us not only of our freedoms/dignity and humanity, but in many cases our very lives. Hence, a white cop's tears of deflection in response to the “Department of Justice report on institutional white racism” is tantamount to a brutal slave master feigning umbrage over criticisms from slaves/abolitionists.

    We are, however, not supposed to notice that after reading the report and no doubt witnessing this stuff first hand (despite desperate cries to the contrary), this cop's first and foremost concern is the fear of looking of bad.

    And that’s what fear of the R-word does to white people. What many fear most is the Stigma that could be cast upon an otherwise stellar police force, for with that baggage comes centuries of guilt by association. Such repute can be hard to shake once branded.

    We don't need dialogue. We need institutionalized equality.

    What Institutionalized Equality means for many is the loss of entrenched centrality/privilege. True to form, whites will set out to preserve (by any means necessary) what they’ve been denying (in practice) for centuries. News of them becoming a racial minority in 30 years or less, can only make them more dangerous. Equally, as their fears worsen- the sacred document known as The Constitution of the United States becomes less relevant/binding, the same way it does in Republican circles, now that we have a Black President.

    I mean, you wanna talk hurt? Let's talk dog-bite hurt. Let's talk struggling to pay bogus tickets hurt. Let's talk about the hurt of nightsticks, choke holds, tasers, bullet wounds and burying loved ones. That's hurt. Seeing your sins laid bare to the world isn't "hurt" - it's justice.

    Like many whites, the Melanin-challenged Officers of Ferguson share one commonality that renders the discussion of our grievances a moot point. That being Empathy. There can be no dialogue if you’re unable (even for a moment) to walk a mile in our moccasins.

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    1. "Like many whites, the Melanin-challenged Officers of Ferguson share one commonality that renders the discussion of our grievances a moot point. That being Empathy. There can be no dialogue if you’re unable (even for a moment) to walk a mile in our moccasins."

      The thing about empathy is that, deep and not-so-deep down, they know that they treat POC like s*$%, and they know that they do not want that type of treatment for themselves.

      "What Institutionalized Equality means for many is the loss of entrenched centrality/privilege. True to form, whites will set out to preserve (by any means necessary) what they’ve been denying (in practice) for centuries."

      Yet at the same time, they do not want to be branded bigots for their mistreatment of others. They are not stupid. Even a blind White person who has never seen a Black person or any Non-White person knows that it is better to be White than Non-White. Plus, they fear payback which is why they are acting the way they are.

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    2. Plus, they fear payback which is why they are acting the way they are.

      Here's what I don't get. If they fear payback so much, why make things worse? So many of them are busy thinking POC are going to punish them for slavery or Jim Crow when really, if we were to "punish" them, if it would be for the all the new shit that's happened since. Tony Robinson was gunned down in Madison, WI, slowly turning Madison into #Madison, and as we learn about the city's Ferguson-like problems, that's what pissing brown people off.

      George Zimmerman killed Trayvon and became a celebrity. He might as well have his own reality TV show. Darren Wilson, for all intents and purposes, hit the lottery once he killed Michael Brown. That's what setting brown people off.

      So if white people are so terrified of the consequences, why keep doing it? Or maybe, this is about the lack of consequences. This is about Michael David Dunn casually writing from prison suggesting that if white people "killed more of these animals", maybe said "animals" would get the message. This is about George Zimmerman being annoyed that his killing of Trayvon Martin didn't blow over in a month so he could get back to his life.

      And in the wake of #Ferguson, this is about a teary-eyed cop bitching that the DOJ's report makes his department look bad.

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    3. "Plus, they fear payback which is why they are acting the way they are."

      "Here's what I don't get. If they fear payback so much, why make things worse?"

      Because they need to be reassured racism is still effective. Like testing a smoke alarm to see if it still works. They need to know that they still have control over black people by seeing how many racist things they can get away with and our reaction to it. For whites racism is a safety net.

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    4. “So if white people are so terrified of the consequences, why keep doing it? Or maybe, this is about the lack of consequences. This is about Michael David Dunn casually writing from prison suggesting that if white people "killed more of these animals", maybe said "animals" would get the message. This is about George Zimmerman being annoyed that his killing of Trayvon Martin didn't blow over in a month so he could get back to his life.

      And in the wake of #Ferguson, this is about a teary-eyed cop bitching that the DOJ's report makes his department look bad.”

      Police Officer Caught On Video Calling Michael Brown Protesters 'F***ing Animals':

      The tension in a St. Louis suburb following the shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager by a police officer was thrown into stark relief Sunday night in a video captured by CNN of a police officer yelling a derogatory phrase at protesters. "Bring it, all you f*cking animals! Bring it!" the officer said in the exchange.

      I concur, whites fear being branded “Racist” more than they fear repercussions from a people they don’t even view as human. Even when they’re caught red-handed in a racist act or comment, they’ll swear before God and man that they aren’t racist. Even when the frat boy was Caught on Tape leading a racist chant, in his apology he swears he’s not racist. What he essentially did was make a mistake (he alleges), it certainly wasn’t the purposeful act of a person who has serious issues with non-whites. The same goes for that Dear… Sweet Old Lady who served as House Mom for the Frat House. God forbid that anyone would think She’s racist:

      Also Tuesday, Beauton Gilbow, the fraternity's "house mom," issued a statement that addressed a video from 2013 showing her repeating a racial slur as music plays in the background. Gilbow said she was singing along to a song. She said she was "heartbroken" by the portrayal that she was racist but understood how the video must appear in the context of the week's events.

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    5. Speak of the devil. Here is an article about the fear of revenge:

      http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/noam-chomsky-slavery-and-white-fear-revenge-deeply-rooted-american-culture#.VQtHxxAH-HE.twitter

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  3. When it comes to white's interactions with POC whether the white people are liberal or conservative, rich, poor, or middle class they basically run on two things: 1. Will it make them look good or better than. And 2. Will they lose any real power.

    You can look at nearly anything that involves whites and any type of social justice and you can see the pattern. On one hand you have the " we're losing the country", "I'm proud to be an American", " my 1st my 2nd my whatever amendment right..." types who don't want to lose any power and come right out and say it. They also like to and need to feel they are better than other races. Then on the other hand you have the " the only race is the human race", the "this racist, sexist, homophobic etc. joke is funny because it's ironic. I'm not really racist, sexist, or homophobic", the colorblind, Cumbya, "we are the world" type. Once again they don't lose any real power because they like to pretend or may actually believe we are all equal thus they don't have any power (deny they have privilege). Also they like to feel they are sooo...progressive and such a great human being (they love saying human being it makes them feel enlightened).

    You'll notice none of this helps POC or any marginalized group, our only role in that is prop. Whites are either looking down on us to feel better about themselves or using us, our causes, and our experience in America to show what great person they are.

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    1. When it comes to white's interactions with POC whether the white people are liberal or conservative, rich, poor, or middle class they basically run on two things: 1. Will it make them look good or better than. And 2. Will they lose any real power.

      Excellently stated. That's why I never bother with "dialogue"; the conversation from them always stems from a self-serving angle. Even the ones who mean well often end up anxiously babbling about how they don't see race.

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    2. If white people want to truthfully have a conversation about racism, that's a conversation they need to have with other white people, preferably with the the white racists. White supremacy racism was create by them and for them, they should know how it works and how to end it.

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    3. "If white people want to truthfully have a conversation about racism, that's a conversation they need to have with other white people, preferably with the the white racists. White supremacy racism was create by them and for them, they should know how it works and how to end it. "

      The problem is, Rose Z, is that:

      1. Whites who are not racist also benefit from White Supremacy. Why would they stop a system that benefits them as well?

      2. Racist Whites scare non-racist Whites. As a result, non-racist Whites will not usually go toe-to-toe with them. Some will, but they are the minority by far.

      Ankhesen-Mie has an interesting essay on here that was posted years ago by a White woman who said that POC should not look to non-racist Whites to assist them because they have to deal with the racist Whites themselves.

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    4. Ankhesen-Mie has an interesting essay on here that was posted years ago by a White woman who said that POC should not look to non-racist Whites to assist them because they have to deal with the racist Whites themselves.

      Which one was that?

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    5. @ Mickey

      That's exactly why I put in "truthfully have conversation about racism" most Whites, racist or otherwise aren't looking to have a real conversation about racism, they just want to absolve themselves of any wrongdoings by saying "I don't say the "n" word", "I believe all races are equal", " only race human race"...etc. that's why they prefer these conversations with POC, it's easier to dismiss us, thus dismiss themselves. A white racist however will let them know all about institutionalized racism and how they benefit from it. White racist don't care how it looks on them. They will proudly say they are racist and who they hate. They believe by virtue of being white they deserve better treatment than minorities.(They will probably use a different word than "minorities") but you get the point.

      Like I said above white people only want race conversations that make them look good and where they don't lose any real power.

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    6. @ Ankhesen Mie,

      I do not remember the exact title of the essay, but it was written by a White, I believe European, young woman who gave a detailed essay about why Whites who are really against racism never really like to confront the overt/covert racists. I even mentioned it on another website.

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  4. I want to hug you......you have expressed everything I have been screaming at the top of my lungs for years.....I don't want to talk anymore, I don't wish to teach whites about racism....that time is over...we are doing, action....

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  5. " We need to have a dialogue.."

    Yeah..that would be nice except for one thing: when are cops going to take responsibility for their actions ?! I mean, communities have been having such dialogues since..hmmmm...forever?! People have expressed their grievences to them, asked for their protection, wanted fairness and still..nothing. Far as dialogue..as the Ferguson cop asked for..the song is getting lame. Unless cops are rightfully punished for the crimes that they commit against humanity, there is no use in having them. Far as I'm concerned, I see these " dialogues" as nothing but cop outs.

    I

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  6. Excellent post and responses!
    They only want a dialogue now they are slowly being held accountable for their actions and their mud is sticking. they are waking up to the fact that once again enough is enough for us and we want real structural change and they want to dictate the pace and changes THEY can live with. Too damn late for all that.
    The white people who say we can't ask them for help are conveniently forgetting that their white voices and privilege get them heard by the racist whites. They too do not want to face the loss of their privileges and power by standing up to them. They are faux allies. they speack to POC to absolve themselves of guilt and pat themselves on the back, but won't do a single tangible thing to help the cause. White privilege is a hell of a drug. They are just as culpable as the racist whites, they use them as a yardstick to measure themselves by, not because they are interested in freedom and equality for all. KMT

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