To the TV and radio hosts, the columnists, the leaders of White churches, to the parents of White people: You really have to take the lead in teaching our community not to murder Black people. There is a sickness in the White community where we excuse police, where we excuse people who saw an unarmed Black kid with Skittles, where we excuse anyone who says they’re scared of Black people killing them. While each time it’s horrendous, last night, we saw as the toxic racism of our culture that hardly bothers to condemn the murder of Black people came to a head in a Black church in South Carolina.
Yes, sure, there is more to deal with than looking for every excuse after a Black man or woman gets killed by the police or by someone with a gun. Yes, we need to deal more specifically with the toxic aftereffects of slavery, and of Jim Crow, and of redlining. And we need to end the pay gap between Black and White people. We can deal with the school to prison pipeline. We can take Black people seriously when they talk about their own lives. We can cut the micro-aggression bullshit. But we can at least start with condemning it when Black people are killed in this country. We can at least not look for excuses.
All of that has to start with White people. A white person bought Dylann Storm Roof a gun in the first damn place. White people are the ones whose paranoid fantasies give space for this sort of thing. We’re the ones who make excuse after excuse after goddamn excuse.
We’re the ones who after the fact say selling loosies should have been a death sentence. We’re the ones who say being put in the back of a police van should be a death sentence. White people, and especially those with a platform need to confront the deadly racism in our community. As long as we keep making excuses, there will be more.