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The Privilege of Crying on Camera



This is a problem.


We’ve now allowed this white woman, charged with brandishing her weapon on an unarmed Black woman and her two daughters, to get on the news and cry as best she could. To talk about how she was the victim and afraid for her life — keep in mind she got out of her car with her gun drawn and chambered a bullet.


But that’s not what I want to call attention to because unexplainable fear that you will be killed by these Black people is just a symptom of racial bias. I want to talk about the question posed to her: how does she feel being called ignorant and racist and what does she want for the people on the other side of the case?


Look, very few white people consider themselves racist. I’m surprised she doesn’t think she’s ignorant to a lot but it didn’t surprise me one bit that she pulled the “I’m not racist” card. Of course, she doesn’t.


Of course you don’t think you’re racist.


But what about racial bias? What about the stereotypes that she believes about Black people that made her think she could die in that moment? What about the images she’s seen on television and media of Black people being shot and killed with impunity that made her think I am right and valid in what I’m doing right now?


Look how easy it is for her to center herself— she just doesn’t want them to feel how she’s feeling in this moment. Ma’am, you’re the one charged with a felony. You had your gun loaded, chambered, and you were screaming at a woman with a camera (without a mask). You were terrified and you and your husband both had your weapons drawn.


Sigh.


This is why it’s a challenge for white people to interview other white people about whether or not they’ve committed an act of racism. There’s no connection because all they can think of is whether or not they would do the same actions. They aren’t thinking about how Black people would see these actions and so they can’t frame their questions in a way that gets to the true conversation.

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