Ferguson: If Whites Became Black

Black lives don't matter?

Black lives don’t matter?

A lot of whites “don’t get” the uproar in Ferguson.

Why would anyone get upset over killing a thug who robbed and assaulted a convenience store clerk? A guy who struggled to get a cop’s gun? And who later charged at the officer?

Michael Brown is not an ideal martyr.

But the upset isn’t about Michael Brown so much as it’s about a world that says:

Black lives don’t matter!

Plenty of whites think we have overcome racism. They think blacks have the same experience with the police — and the world — as whites do.

Try putting yourself in their shoes.

What if whites suddenly found themselves living in a world where:

  • Whites had once been enslaved by blacks
  • After slavery ended, whites had to sit at the back of the bus and enter a restaurant from the rear door — if at all
  • Swimming pools were drained if a white guy jumped in — because he had just polluted the water
  • Black scientists infected white men with syphilis, and didn’t treat them because they wanted to see how the disease progressed

But things have changed, right? Still, that’s all part of the collective memory.

And nowadays whites experience this sort of thing:

  • Across the US white men are routinely pulled over by black cops for DWW: driving while white
  • Black Ferguson police officers frequently stop poor white drivers and fine them as a way to finance the county government
  • Unarmed white men and boys are shot by black police officers — with no official sanction. Videos sometimes show that the white victims had been cooperating with the black police. Or they were playing in the snow, just before being shot. They have names like John Ford, Oscar Grant, Levar Jones, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner.
  • A white man named Rodney King was nearly beaten to death by black cops. And a black jury said “That’s okay.”
  • Or a white kid named Trayvon sat in his car, sipping a Slurpie, when a man of color came over, argued with him, and killed him. A nearly all-black jury said that’s okay, too.
  • Meanwhile, studies show that when men appear in video games holding either a gun or a tool, people are much more likely to shoot a white guy than a black guy who is holding a tool
  • White mothers and fathers fear for their sons when they leave home to drive on city roads or walk down city streets
White officer -- one of the good guys -- hugs a black boy who is crying from fear that police officers might kill him because he's black. Officer Bret Barnum and Devonte Hart.

White officer — one of the good guys — hugs a black boy who is crying from fear that police officers might kill him because he’s black. Officer Bret Barnum and Devonte Hart.

And when a white Michael Brown is shot by a black police officer:

  • His body is left on the ground for four hours
  • The black prosecutor acts like a defending attorney before a grand jury, as if he were trying to keep the black cop from facing charges for killing a white guy
  • A mostly black jury determines that the killing of this white man by a black officer warrants no charges

Our white Mr. Brown is not an ideal martyr. But the outrage is not about him so much as a world that says,

White lives don’t matter!

For more on this, New York Times’ Nick Kristof has a series called, When Whites Just Don’t Get It.

Sociological Images has also posted a series of articles on the police and black Americans.

Related Posts on BroadBlogs

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on December 3, 2014, in psychology, race/ethnicity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.

  1. I really appreciate the insight into the constant stress and fear that is a very real part of many people’s everyday lives. I grew up in the Bay Area and while my highschool was somewhat diverse (large Asian and Mexican populations), we had only a handful of Black students that were just never in my social spheres. So while I have much sympathy for the situation, and fully believe that social injustice is still a problem in America, it can be hard to relate to and realize the full scope of how it must impact daily life.
    This post also reminded me of a much less serious example of the exact scenario you propose: what if white people became black? In It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia season 12 episode 1 the main cast finds out what life would be like in modern Philadelphia if the were all suddenly black. I think it’s another interesting take on the idea, although much more raunchy and inappropriate. Yet even the notoriously awful Sunny gang realize their privilege by the end of the episode.

  2. I enjoyed reading this article, because for the most part, it’s a serious conflict that’s seen throughout the whole world, and everyone should know about it, so that they don’t think that just because someone is a person of color, all of the sudden, is a real threat because they aren’t unless they are holding up a gun and is trying to kill you. I feel like nowadays, police officers should be retaught better when it comes to feeling potential danger, and and their values should be up to revalued.

  3. wow that’s very interesting point of view. When I was in China, I did not understand what is racism and stereotype. I never experience racism in my life. Once I moved to United State I started to understand more about racism from the US history. I don’t think White people have even thought of themself in Black people’s situations. If White people had put them in their shoes, they would not keep doing the same thing to hurt Black people. That’s very sad to see and hear inequality and stereotype are still happening in today’s society. I hope all races treat equally.

  4. I thought it was very interesting how you switched the roles in each situation. It definitely gives a new perspective. I understand how difficult it must be to be an African American in this country. America promotes the message of equality and freedom, but how come these rights aren’t exercised with people of color? We see examples of this when whites owned black slaves and continued with injustice and mistreatment even after they were freed. I’m not sure what this will lead to but recognizing and acknowledging that ALL RACES MATTER is a start.

  5. ” a much higher percentage of blacks are in poverty compared with whites. This leads to a lot of other problems:

    . They are more likely than other kids to be hungry — and kids can’t focus in school when they’re hungry
    . Brains don’t develop properly when children don’t get enough nourishment — and then kids can’t learn for the rest of their lives
    . Kids who don’t have proper medical care (a toothache, eyeglasses, hearing aids, General sickness) cannot do as well in school
    . Their parents are less likely to be educated and able to help them with their homework”

    When I brought up white poverty, you said it wasn’t related or something, but it is. You said higher percentage of blacks and what this poverty does. True the percentage is higher, BUT, as far as population goes, obviously the number is greater of poor white people, yet they are not complaining and trying to get by.

    • When you have a combination of poverty plus oppression things are worse, which is why you get white gangs and higher crime rates among whites when the poverty is combined with other forms of oppression. Then you get white gangs whether they are Irish, Italian, Or whatever. What was the race of the white gang in West Side Story? I can’t remember.

      I think poverty is a problem, regardless of who is facing it, and have written about it.

  6. “I don’t think you have ever tried to put yourself in the place of Black people. I tried to help a little with this post, and I suspect that even with my post you never really tried to put yourself in their place. I suggest you spend much more time understanding their history and experience in America to really understand what’s going on with Ferguson.”

    What crazy discrimination? Nothing is perfect and sure there is still some racism, but white people and society are not keeping school and education away from blacks. Nobody is holding them down, like some apparently think is happening. There’s a good sized city and has a ghetto part of the city, and last time I check there are schools there, kids even poor black kids can get their education and make something of thesmevles. But nope, everybody wants to play the victim race card and blame cops, blame white people and so goes the cycle. People playing victims don’t do shit in life and become losers. Life is tough and unfair, but doing your part during such times and being resillient is what makes people successful. It’s pretty interesting, black people I’ve seen even if they grew up poor. The one’s even if growing up poor, who were go getters and didn’t play the victim are the one’s who became successful in life. It’s the one’s who play the victim card are the one’s who knock up the 16 year old girls, but then leave the girl and baby behind, drop out of school, do drugs, join a gang, etc, and become losers in life.

    Stephen A Smith, Oprah Winfrey, and so many other successful black people were dirt poor, and thought they could have moped about their life and they simply pushed on and worked hard. They also didn’t feel entitled for assistance and worked for their success. Too much entitlement these days. Some just point to the system, I don’t. The thing is, I don’t think black people are inherently more violent than white people and my criticism is not exactly that. I don’t want people to think it’s that. I truly feel it’s the “ghetto attitude” that is a big reason for the continued cycle and making excuses over what can be done better and not for themselves but their children and future generation from their actions. This crime and action is because they feel powerless? Well stop feeling powerless and look for a more productive effort than crime, or we can keep making excuses for bad behvavior while just paying attention and poiting fingers at cops. What I mean no outcry or ignored is how much the media has ignored and people have ignored the knockout game bullshit simply because its black on white violence.

    • If you have a ton of talent and the right opportunities — especially in high paying fields, you can be successful regardless of where you start out.

      But the truth is, there is not an even playing field for black-and-white.

      . Studies have shown that identical resumes sent out with a black or white name are more likely to get a response if the name is white

      . Because blacks are stereotyped as being less intelligent, they often internalize the view and underestimate their abilities — so on average they have lower aspirations

      . Due to a history of discrimination, in which blacks were not able to save and pass on wealth to their children during slavery… and later were not able to get jobs due to discrimination, a much higher percentage of blacks are in poverty compared with whites. This leads to a lot of other problems:

      . They are more likely than other kids to be hungry — and kids can’t focus in school when they’re hungry
      . Brains don’t develop properly when children don’t get enough nourishment — and then kids can’t learn for the rest of their lives
      . Kids who don’t have proper medical care (a toothache, eyeglasses, hearing aids, General sickness) cannot do as well in school
      . Their parents are less likely to be educated and able to help them with their homework
      . Disadvantaged boys all ethnic groups, from at least the Irish, have tended to join gangs. That leaves them more likely to die and go to prison, And not get a good education

      Add it all up and these kids have less opportunity

      . And, studies have shown that if someone is holding either a gun or a tool, people are much more likely to shoot a guy with a tool if he is black (Studies use video games, But you see the same pattern in real life)

  7. To be quiet honest I was immediately attracted to the article because of one word “ferguson”. I have had many disputes and debates about these recent shootings with close friends as my close group of friends come from very privileged parents who live in Los Altos, Mountain View, and Los Altos Hills, areas known to be populated by white families. Now knowing these friends for a while I was very interested to hear their take on the ferguson case. My greek orthodox republican friend attending Santa Clara University was so disgusted my arguments of my replacing Michael Brown with a white male but this post just knocks it out of the park. This explains the way that everyone who is outraged is thinking as well as representing how other refuse to understand their thinking. It is hard for privileged people to see and understand that they are privileged; its the same thing as whites being privilege when it comes to the law because they have never had trouble with the law. This article just proves how many people refuse to understand protestors prospective.

  8. Your post lends perspective to both sides, georgia. The ferguson incident and other similar episodes in the past are only tip of the iceberg. The causative factors of racialism are not confined to events in history and it is not just limited to Americas, Europe and Oceania; it is a disease far deeply entrenched in societies worldwide due to prejudices consolidated over centuries of mental conditioning arising from religion, art, literature and philosophy. White has always been associated with everything good, whereas black has all along been related to evil and everything negative; white is fair and black is foul, white is angelic and pure, while black is satanic and gross; white is holy and sane, black is blasphemy and depravity, white is brightness and beauty, black is darkness and intrigue. Thus humanity may need to further evolve through a total paradigm shift reflecting equal sanctity in black and white, equal value in black and white defined as multiple dimensions of goodness and beauty as in the grandeur of starry skies and serenity of sunshine days, in the colours of bright spring compared to sober shades of autumn grey….best wishes…Raj .

  9. lespinozagarnica

    If one lives in a community where there are hardly any black people then you are less likely to believe that this was unjust killing. A lot sympathize with Darren Wilson because as a cop he is seen to be just doing his job. But cops hold, and deserve no sanctity and deserve to be investigated and working for every American, not just for the benefit of the white suburban neighborhoods and the resident’s peace of mind.

    What people fail to realize is that no one wants to be poor or discriminated against. News and media inundate the nation with little coverage of what corruption is going on in our legal systems, how disproportionate arrests of black men are to whites, how poorly minimum wage workers are treated, and how indecent the conditions are for those on welfare, who are homeless, or who are illegal immigrants. These are not societies problems; what happens to a generation of upper-middle class citizens will always be at the top of media coverage and the few people of color who become successful will always be held as the idols white people will objectify as their figure which pardon’s the centuries of racism and institutionalized discrimination.

    Having more fear instilled into you just because the person that walked next to you was black is internalized racism and leads people to not see the humanity in those who are living in poverty and are forced to live in these conditions because the mainstream portrayals of them makes it seem that it is their own fault. Policies don’t save people, its conviction and morality. Those who have the money and the right skin tone can shape the principles of legislation to fit their own needs and fulfill their self-interests while those who do not fit the bracket get the raw deal of a corrupted system that puts a price tag on justice.

  10. Yeah many people have some racism to them, but that’s not white people, it’s all races. You’d be surprised how racist asian (minorities themselves) are or can be towards black people, hispanics toward blacks and blacks towards hispanic people. One guy I know is more racist toward blacks than most white people I know and he’s venezualan, a correction officer for many years. He’s dark skinned, but doesn’t care too much for many black people. Some might think he’s a black man, because his skin tone, but he’s not a black man, but hispanic. So it just goes to show. It’s not ok, but if people were honest, people of all races have some racism to them. And sure, it;s a bigger deal for white people to be racist to black people compared to blacks to white as the history and power, I get it. Usuaully I agree, but there are some instances, where it’s not good and yet the media and it’s ignored by others just because its racism in reverse. What I’m talking about is when it comes to violence and a trend that started a year to two ago. It’s not rampant but practiced by black teenagers and young men througught the US now. A white man died, as a result. And it is racist. Every heard of the “knockout game”. Not only is this violence uncalled for and disgusting, its also racist.

    Every video and action is a young black man or boy walking by and punching a person walking by in the face and seeing if they can knock them out. Every single case and video is the black boy punching a white man or white woman. Don’t tell me that’s not coicidence and they aren’t a target. This is in cities and you know damn sure that those boys have walked across a black man and woman, but ignored them, and then punched the white guy or woman walking by. A man died in a city 40 minutes from me where a man got knocked out and fell unconcsiously and hit his head hard on the concrete. Was taken to the hospital and died.

    • I just said that it’s not just white people that have racism. When you live in a culture that puts down a particular group of people, the message unconsciously sinks into everyone’s brain. As a result, even black people are more likely to think that black people are less intelligent and more criminal, studies have shown. And even women are more likely to think that women are less rational and less able leaders — to take another example.

      And that leads to too many unnecessary deaths and blockages to advancement, generally.

      • So why is it fine to excuse racism for blacks towards whites and assume racism from whites to blacks because of a police related things. It can be, but it can be just as much a cop dealing with a thug too and doing his job, yet still demonized because cops is white and thug is black. Yeah I know the history and power and why its seen as worse for racism towards blacks and agree for the most part. I don’t agree that absurd violence like the knockout game should be ignored or excused, but yet it is. I don’t see the outcry for that or injustice and naturally al sharpton disappears when something like that happens.

        And the percentage is higher for blacks, but as far as population goes, there are more poor, very poor white people than black people in America. Such white people have much reason to be violent and frustrated and angry, yet violence is still quite a bit higher amonsts blacks and hispanics.

      • I’m not sure what racism toward whites you think is being excused.

        And yes, blacks are more likely to riot than whites, but it’s not because there are more poor blacks than whites, as you point out. It’s because there’s much more prejudice and discrimination against them. Any group of people tends to behave that way when they feel powerless in the face of ongoing prejudice and discrimination. Oprah Winfrey did an experiment with her audience where some wore Green collars and faced discrimination because of that. They got really angry after a while. And it was just a short experiment it wasn’t their whole lives.

        The number of white versus black rioters or criminals there are is beside the point in this case. Even if someone stole from a convenience store, that’s no reason to shoot him. You shouldn’t get capital punishment for the crime. The police need to unlearn the prejudice that they have internalized unconsciously, Or at least find some way to deal with it, because it is deadly.

        I don’t think you have ever tried to put yourself in the place of Black people. I tried to help a little with this post, and I suspect that even with my post you never really tried to put yourself in their place. I suggest you spend much more time understanding their history and experience in America to really understand what’s going on with Ferguson.

  11. Carol Lynn Langdon

    My issue with the entire thing is how quickly things become race issues. It wasn’t like the cop woke up that day and set a goal to kill a black man. I am judged harshly based on the fact that I am white, and I have literally had people tell me I am racist and that my family must have owned slaves. Which, they didn’t. I understand that society doesn’t treat people equally, I am very fully aware. But the backlash I receive from these issues and having a strong opinion about is ridiculous. Forensic evidence proved what happened, yet society still sees it as a race issue. It makes me wonder how things would be different if the media and society portrayed these situations as human vs human, instead of black vs white or white vs black.

    • Of course he didn’t wake up wanting to kill a black man. Unfortunately, all of us hold racism unconsciously in our heads — sexism too. Women hold sexist ideas in their heads. Blacks hold racist ideas in their heads. That happens because we unconsciously absorb/Internalize the sexist and racist ideas that bombard us in our society.

      In video games, people are more likely to shoot a black man holding a tool than of white man holding a tool.

      That’s similar to what happened here. It leads to a lot of unnecessary death and suffering.

      As a white woman, I haven’t noticed much problem with reverse racism.

      • The issue with this post and the media with using blacks as martyrs and focusing on stuff like this is that it’s one sided. Like the person above said, carol, it sure feels like white people and cops are being attacked and blakcs innocent martyrs when its a two way street. This blog doesn’t seem objective. Cops can be unfair to blacks sometimes, but cops deal with thugs and gangs everyday who are black and shooting and attacking cops. There are incidents like here where the garner case seems like a cop being brutal, so the cry for racism seems fine, but then michael brown fought wilson, tried taking his gun and that one to me is more of a cop feeling he had to use self defense. Yet society wants to paint the broad stroke for all this stuff about how america is against blacks, yet no accountability the other way.

        To get through this it takes accountability on both sides. Cops being indicted for criminal behavior and bad cops held accountable as well as making an effort for cops to not profile and treat blacks better. But this isn’t happening if the attitude isn’t better for the inner cities and thugs fighting cops or playing victim without accountabilty themselves. This problem isn’t getting fixed until both sides take accountability. The way it’s shown though is that cops are in the wrong solely, not the other way.

      • The thing is that they are much more likely to accidentally shoot black men than white men, So there must be some racism involved–and it’s quite likely unconscious racism.

  12. Usually I refrain from discussions on race. Today, I will indulge you.

    I often ask myself just why are people racist? or sexist? Being Black, I ask, “Just what in God’s name is that so many White people fear about Black people?”

    When you look at the data, there is no valid reason White should fear Blacks. 95% of crime in America IS intra-racial (white on white or black on black). I could never understand why White simply did not care to live around non White regardless of socioeconomic status….

    Now I digress. I once worked for CalFed’s mortgage lending arm once located in MD. I can recall many workers relocating from various parts of CA to MD. Nearly all were White. Several had the audacity (or comfort) to say the sole reason was to get away from the immigrants in CA (mainly Hispanics). Not a single one had ever been victimized in any manner by any immigrants! They just did not like the simple presence of “too many” non Whites. This I just cannot understand. Never could. Some did not like the Filipinos, Iranians….Strange as hell to me.

    Oddly, at the same time there was a mass movement of Whites from Montgomery County, MD to the county where CalFed’s offices were (Frederick, MD). That county (Frederick) was 93% White. Today, it remains overwhelming White. Most of the growth in its populations in the last 30 years has been from people moving there from adjoining Montgomery County. Most of the people have been White. If you don’t know anything about Montgomery County, MD…..it is one of the wealthiest in America…


    It is also one of the most diverse. It is also home to NIH…and very snooty and elitist Chevy Chase, MD.


    But, even though most of the immigrants are well educated and high income, the Whites continue to flee. Again, it seems as if too many Whites simply have an issue (or fear) of being around non Whites. But, the opposite is not the case.

    So, is it fear? If so, fear of what? Wealthy, highly educated immigrants? So, the message that many Black people get is that Whites in general just don’t seem to really like any damn one that is not White. Now, I know this is not true. But, when you see so many Whites running away from even highly educated and well to do non Whites, you kind of wonder. What is really going on here.

    Honestly, I am at a loss for an answer.

    • I don’t know all the answers but I do know a few of them.

      When you decide to enslave a group of people you have to come up with a myth that will allow you to feel okay about doing that. And so you devise a myth that says black people aren’t quite human. Because you can’t enslave human beings, That would be wrong!

      So when almost everyone who is black in America is seen as less than human, the view starts to be generally taken up.

      Add to that discrimination. When a group of people is oppressed they are more likely to commit crime as an alternate way of earning money, Or riot out of anger. Any group who is oppressed behaves that way. But when people of color are oppressed, people start to think of them as criminals. Stereotypes are created that overtakes the reality that the vast majority of people of color do not behave that way. And people don’t see the social causes behind the behavior of those who do — they just think they are genetically inferior.

      Plus, some powerful interests have created think tanks that find ways to blame people of color for the sins of the powerful. It’s easy to refocus blame on a group of people who are generally stereotyped.

      For example, powerful interests gave big campaign contributions (Legalized bribery) which deregulated the banking system and benefited a lot of people on Wall Street. But it led to the housing bubble and economic crash of 2008. Instead of blaming the wealthy interests behind deregulation, you blame Fannie and Freddie who give a high percentage of loans to minorities.

      Or, wages aren’t rising because powerful interests are sending jobs overseas, busting unions, outsourcing jobs, lobbying against a minimum wage increase… But then you blame immigrants — they’re taking your jobs! (even though most whites don’t want to do the low-paid jobs that immigrants are doing).

  13. Fleeing from Africa where presidents rule as “kings”, and where the human life is undignified to the United States of America, a country that provides a structure of safety, protection, and security for individuals regardless of their color or origin.
    Upon seeing what happening now to the black folks, I am scary, very scary about my own life as a black in America. I feel like my dream of living in a country of freedom and dignity is being overshadowed with this “black serial killing”. I don’t know if I’m wrong, Am I?

    • You’re probably safer here. But people here probably have a much higher level of expectation for how just and respectful the police should be toward them. But Black men are more likely than others to be pulled over by cops just for driving while black. And that gets them in more trouble than other races. If you don’t act completely respectfully, You can get into trouble, for instance. Statistically speaking, though, you are unlikely to be killed by a police officer. A lot of the problem is simply a message that is being sent to the black community — that’s their lives don’t matter, based on how often and how easily — compared with whites — their lives are taken.

  14. Great explanation especially when you switch roles.
    I believe that racism is killing all of us. White can’t have healthy children if they keep showing them how to keep inequalities among races. Black people feel insecure always having to watch for if you heard their back if a white policeman is ready to shoot. I don’t know where this is going.. do we really want genocide? Because well it is some roots forming now. I mean we just need to accept each other because nothing positive can come out when a group feels insecure and powerless against another in the same society.

  15. I do feel differently for the Eric Garner case though. The choke hold when he couldn’t breathe, but that’s my point some of the guys are innocent and cops in the wrong, while others attacking a cop and a different situation like the wilson case. Yet people mesh them all together and make it like all these incidents are all on the cops and not objective about it.

  16. http://downtrend.com/71superb/unarmed-white-man-shot-by-police-no-riots-al-sharpton-silent-obama-keeps-golfing/

    Black cop shoots white guys, where’s the media outcry, oh yeah I know why. Either way, I doubt the white guy is an innocent as they are claiming too for the cop to shoot him.

    Except there’s more to the Rodney king story that you and others like to not dicuss, but I’ll get into that and other things after you see these posts. I have a lot to say on this issue and sources and stats, which is ignored.

    And keep this in mind that I’m saying this with knowledge that there are bad cops and corrupt ones. I know cops can be dick heads and abuse their authority, but I realize the shit they have to deal with everyday too, so I can’t villify cops because a some are bad or jerks.

    • Where’s the outcry?

      It hardly ever happens. As I try to express in the post, it’s the whole piling on.

      And as I also tried to express, it’s not that the victims are all completely innocent. But I was just reading something about some 40 year old white guy who was armed in Kalamazoo Michigan and the police tried to carefully talk him down. As opposed to killing the 12-year-old boy who was playing with a toy gun — within about two seconds of arriving. Have you seen the video?

      And I didn’t vilify cops, generally. I included a picture of a white cop who is hugging a scared little black boy.

      • Yeah I have someone called because they feared danger. The cops are coming in and hearing that the person has a gun so on alert for something more. The media is vilifying cops and the outcry is too. That’s all I see is this cop and that, and the assumption from the media and liberals is that it’s racist cops out to abuse these black men and boys. When some of these are black guys resisting and fighting the cop, when it’s common sense not to. The 40 year old white guy was armed and cops tried to talk him down, probably because they were nervous he’d start shooting at them and other innocent people nearby. Different situations. The attention is always about racism when I think much of it is it’s simply difficult to punish cops because they are a position of authority of the law.

        I like how people ignored this and shows how one sided it is. Look at this

        And the black cop that shot him, hasn’t been indicted either and family for this guy upset and wanting the black cop punished. If it was all race, this black cop would be punished. A person with the badge is more protected, it’s just that more white guys are cops than black guys.

      • I think someone has said that there is actually a difference between racism and racists. At least if you define it this way:

        Racist: someone who hates people color and knows it

        Racism: something all of us have internalized, including people of color.

        The outcry among liberals isn’t so much that the cops are racist (in the sense above) as that all of us have internalized racism. And that ends up hurting blacks more than whites.

        See this post: Think You’re Not Racist? https://broadblogs.com/2011/02/07/think-you’re-not-racist/
        (I’ve defined racist here as I defined racism above)

        Just quickly, the post talks about studies that show that both whites and blacks are more likely to think of blacks as criminals (and as negative, generally) as compared to how they see whites.

        We live in a society that tends to see this:
        Black = criminal
        Police = law and order

        That probably explains why black men are more likely to be shot by police and why juries so often let the police off the hook.

        The concern is to motivate all of us to work to overcome our internalized and unconscious racism. One way to do that is to become much more aware of good black people like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Junior, Toni Morrison, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Alice Walker…

  17. Beautiful way of breaking it all down.

    I actually never had to think much about my own race until I moved to America… in the Philippines I could just be female… here I am constantly having to qualify… I’m Pacific Islander woman- and when people go, you don’t look that, you look Latina, I have to explain why I really am P.I. I haven’t experienced most of what you mentioned above-but I am always aware that I am not White living here. And from what I’ve know, Asian men have it harder in other ways.

    • I think it’s hard for whites to really understand the black experience and this post will only give them a small taste. But I hope it helps.

      Yeah, Asians and blacks have nearly opposite stereotypes. Asian men are thought of as above average in smarts and perfect behavior and below average in athletics, criminality and coolness. For blacks it’s the opposite. And the stereotypes end up doing a lot of harm.

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