When you were a wee tot, a lil’ baby, did you ever play with some kid who kept trying to change the rules of the game in their favor? That spoiled chap would usually hold you to a rule, then turn around and change it for their benefit because they are used to getting what they want. Kneeling during the national anthem as a form of peaceful protest and “disrespecting the flag” is the rule that we were held to, which invalidated any talk of police brutality. We couldn’t even get the topic on the table!! We instead had to defend the method of protest and our own sense of ‘patriotism’. That is because it was a deflection tactic to invalidate and dodge the issue. Very cunning.
Now we have white people climbing and falling off of walls, breaking down the doors of the US Capitol, stealing in broad daylight and injuring and killing officers like it’s nothing. Hmm… seems like you’re not so worried about blue lives mattering, disrespecting the flag, this country, or our democracy anymore 🤔 WEIRD!!!
It was an act of terror by Vanilla Isis in this country. And they want to talk about WHY they did it. Even if the claims of election fraud are baseless and certified false by their government, they won’t stop until the issues are addressed. Let me stop and ask if anyone does NOT see the double standard here? Our issues, of being brutally killed without cause (literally reported on and proven in so many cases over the last couple of years and beyond) or justice were deflected by the privileges of this country, but when there are issues (conspiracy theories or not) that they want to talk about, there will be hell to pay, and the same rules DO NOT apply. Those are the facts.
I’ve seen deflection and gaslighting tactics being used quite a bit, in politics, in media and on the posts of that one newly radicalized Trump supporting acquaintance you had from high school that is still on your Facebook. These tactics are used to neutralize any talk of racial inequality and make the argument about something else entirely. “Athletes shouldn’t be talking about politics”, they should “Shut up and dribble”, they “Play a kids game”, “My grandfather didn’t serve in the war for this” (yes, he literally did)… We could probably start a trending Twitter chain with all of these deflection comments that we’ve all had the misfortune to read or hear. They want to get you talking about and defending any other aspect of the conversation BUT the actual matter at hand.
Privilege is defined (with a quick Wikipedia search) as a “special advantage or entitlement, used to one’s own benefit or to the detriment of others”. Now, this doesn’t automatically mean that your life isn’t hard, it just means that your skin color is not one of the things that you have to worry about as making your life harder. LearningforJustice.org had this to say about white privilege specifcally: “White privilege is—perhaps most notably in this era of uncivil discourse—a concept that has fallen victim to its own connotations. The two-word term packs a double whammy that inspires pushback. 1) The word white creates discomfort among those who are not used to being defined or described by their race. And 2) the word privilege, especially for poor and rural white people, sounds like a word that doesn’t belong to them—like a word that suggests they have never struggled”. Privilege is also something that can be used for good… so please… get over it. We need you keyed in here.
Cries for help and justice shouldn’t need to be worded or packaged perfectly for you to have your human compassion kick in. Remember that. Don’t let people highjack your holding and delivering of truth just because its not convenient or easy for them to hear it. I couldn’t believe that Emmanuel Acho would let Colin Cowherd imply that. People are being targeted and brutalized due to their skin color, but GOD FORBID that Colin should feel uncomfortable! The attempted coup at the capitol showed us that when the tables are turned, doing what you feel you have to do is no longer an issue.
The cannabis industry is another perfect example of this. The war on drugs locked up so many black people (destroying lives, communities and families) for something white people are now being praised for getting rich off of. The crime bill made it so that weed could get you 15 to life… ISN’T THAT INSANE?! Weed was criminalized and stigmatized for us. Now everybody is trying to get into the cannabis industry (billboards on Venice Blvd., weed cafes where hipsters can go, weed theaters are being planned, Budweiser invested millions to get a piece of the pie, whole new government departments for it). The rules that were used to punish us are now being changed (because ‘suburban moms’ are now more comfortable with it) so that the kid who has the leverage can benefit.
It’s not about the letter of the law anymore, because that has been used to extort us. We need to look at the systems in place in this country and talk about how they affect our communities. Why is it that we all know this interaction would’ve been MUCH different if it were a black lady? I could’ve chosen any number of videos or cases out of the grab bag…. law enforcement takes much better care of white bodies, and white people have come to expect their rights. Can we all get that from those who are supposed to PROTECT and SERVE?
And so, let’s call it what it is and admit that the rules and mechanisms of this country are set up to protect and serve a specific group of people. This is America. That must change. We have to call out deflection tactics and push past privilege. And i do mean WE. You have to call the entitled kid on the double standard and let them know you’re not playing those little games. I can only hope that Drew Brees comes out to denounce the capitol breach as loudly as he came out against his own teammates kneeling for injustice 👀