Tim Wise: Imagine: Protest, Insurgency, and the Workings of White Privilege
If not, I'll excerpt a small bit of it for you:
Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters--the black protesters--spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government. Would these protesters--these black protesters with guns--be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that's what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation's capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country's political leaders if the need arose.As you can plainly see, there is a whole lot of stuff wrong with this. I don't need to spell out all the bullshit for you.
But I am going to point out something slightly less obvious: how fucking racist Tim Wise is. In fact, I will go so far as to say the people who read this and nod along in agreement are just as racist.
In order to accept this screed at face value, a reader must make several assumptions. Among them:
- All of the Tea Party protesters are white.
- All black people think the same way.
Let's go over this again.
We all know how erroneous is the assumption that the Tea Partiers are white. As has been amply shown, the racial breakdown of the Tea Party closely mirrors the racial breakdown of the US in general. Hell, my own photos from last year's Tax Day Tea Party put the lie to the claim that it's all-white.
To deny the existence of "People of Color" at these Tea Parties, you have to, again, make several dangerous assumptions (all of them grounded in the "all black people think the same way" meme). You must assume that black people don't care about having large chunks of their pay checks disappear to taxes, that there are no black small business owners who care about their future, that there are no black folks who have decent health insurance (that they don't want to see taxed with this new health care bill), that black folks who are in the bottom tax bracket are gonna be more than happy to see their taxes raised by a third with the death of the Ebil Bush Tax Cuts for the Rich (y'know, the ones that dropped that bracket from 15% to 10%), that black folks don't care about the strength of this nation's economy vis á vis the ballooning national debt, that black people are a-OK with being out of work right now, that black people don't care that their children are going to be saddled with huge debt and government oversight, that black people aren't politically active (just in case they do believe these things), that black people are all Democrats, etc etc.
Furthermore, to claim that White America would shit itself at the thought of heavily-armed black people, you must again make dangerous assumptions: that black people don't own guns (well, legal ones at any rate), that black people don't give a flying fuck about their Second Amendment rights and--probably most telling of all--that the Right is just as afraid of the thought of Armed Black Men as the Left is. Y'all remember this photo, right? It wasn't the Right that flipped out over a man carrying an assault rifle openly (nor was it the Right that cropped that photo so that the race of the arms-bearer wasn't immediately apparent) And from the same source, a much newer photo with much the same punchline.
As for myself, I grew up on the East Side of this fair city, and thus spent my formative years surrounded by black folks. What this means is that I have had quite a few black friends over the years (as I've said elsewhere, my best friend happens to be black), and because of this I have learned a lesson it seems a whole lot of folks on the Left haven't.
What is this lesson?
Let me put it in single-syllable words so that, hopefully, the Left can finally understand it:
NOT ALL BLACK FOLKS THINK THE SAME WAY.
*Yeah, I know there's more to minorities than blacks, and that Mexicans, American Indians, Asians etc also aren't a monolithic-thinking block of people, but Mr. Wise chose to use black folks as an example, so I will too.