When discussing the struggles faced by minorities in America, I often specify black people struggles apart from the issues of non-black people of color (POC). I find this distinction necessary for many reasons. One being that the history of black Americans (and native Americans) in this country is unique and literally incomparable to any other minority group’s collective struggle. Also, I make the distinction due to the anti-blackness that is rife in communities of color. Here is an excellent example: this weekend more than 10K Chinese-Americans protested the verdict of Officer Peter Liang who was found guilty of manslaughter for shooting unarmed (and black) Akai Gurley. The gist of their protest is basically:
But white police Officers kill unarmed black men all the time with impunity why can’t we??
Of course they don’t use that phrase (a bit too on the nose) but that’s what they mean when they decry the unfairness of a system that prosecutes an asian Officer for a crime that it routinely allows white Officers to get away with. Spoiler alert: killing someone is still a crime.What’s missing in all of this misplaced outrage is anger at the system that treats black bodies as live target practice, anger that another innocent family lost a father unnecessarily, anger that police brutality falls time and time again against black people.
This verdict, if nothing else, was a wake up call from white supremacy. Guess what non-black POC? Our society and our criminal justice system aren’t remotely just. You can continue to buy into the lies of white supremacy and regurgitate all of the canon —it’s black culture that’s the problem or lack of fathers or loose pants. Keep looking the other way as black bodies are plundered — keep lecturing the black community about how your father was an immigrant but he managed to make it. Keep maintaining your silence and “alleged”neutrality.Your anti-blackness won’t save you. Your brown — but definitely not black — skin won’t keep your children safe.
Don’t worry, white supremacy will always remind that you aren’t white.