White people, do not do this

21 Jan

This past weekend, that hateful “March for Life,” wherein right wing organizations and schools bus people in to DC to march for the “right” of men to control the lives of anyone born with an uterus, took place concurrently with the Indigenous Peoples March.

One of the schools that sent teens and chaperones to march this year was Covington Catholic High School, an all-male private school in Kentucky. There are long and terrible threads on twitter¹ with personal stories of survivors from both the school and the all-girls school across the street, which Covington assholes have nicknamed “whore school.” Charming boys, no?

At one point, a fairly large group of kids from Covington was facing off with four older members of another hate group, the Black Hebrew Israelites, and things were tense and likely heading to violence, when Omaha Elder Nathan Phillips, on his way to closing the Indigenous Peoples March at the Lincoln Memorial, intervened, placing himself between the two groups–and becoming the target of the white kids’ ire, once they were deprived of their original target.

There is video² and a plethora of articles about this harassment. There are interviews with witnesses AND with Nathan Phillips. Go google them.

There are also people defending the “boys” or rather, specifically, the white male teen wearing a MAGA hat, smirking with hateful disdain to the face of an elderly Native man.

~ * ~

As cops kill innocent Black and brown children, and women and men, with impunity, many white self-proclaimed allies always ask whether there was ‘more’ to the incidents, because surely the cops had some reason. Those “allies” nod along when the press trots out that the 12 year old black boy was big for his age, or the 7 year old girl was living with a relative who had a police record, or the white woman cop who entered a black man’s apartment and SHOT HIM DEAD surely really thought it was her apartment and that he was the intruder, and hey, the cops found some weed in his apartment three days after his murder!

And it all begins with white liberals questioning the word–and the worth–of the victims vis a vis the innocence of their attackers.

In this case, we get “those “poor” white boys are misunderstood and it’s “hypocrisy” to criticize their actions, since surely we all did worse when we were that age.”

We have Washington Post contributors go on about sending the boys to a Reservation so they can “learn” and completely disregarding the unbearable burden that plan places on the same people who’ve already been harmed.

We have a Boston Globe writer having the nerve–in one of the most racist cities in New England–go on about how racism is “over.”

All of the above is only possible when people don’t listen to the victims of abuse–in this case, racism.

~ * ~

I am never surprised by men, particularly white men, defending abusive young men. Every single time a man defends another man’s (or boy’s) abusive behaviour, is a large red flag. They either have done it, or are willing to stand by as abuse happens. Any man with this attitude is dangerous when you belong to a marginalized group or are a white woman.

I am much more appalled by the level of internalized misogyny that leads white women who consider themselves progressive, or liberal, or feminists of any degree, to defend young white supremacist men.³

And not just, like Karen Tumulty above, shifting responsibility to “fix” the young men’s racism to the victims of the abuse, but twisting themselves into absolute pretzels trying to deny abuse happened.

Like a certain white writer lady named Wendy Qualls. I am including a number of screenshots of her exchange with Courtney Milan, because it’s amazing–in the sense of “dumb-making”–to see how she keeps digging herself into the hole.

So, to end this long and image rich post: white people, whenever you feel the need to defend other white people being shits, stop for a second, listen to people who belong to whatever marginalized group they victimized, and then…don’t.

Sit with your discomfort at the fact that someone who looks like you, speaks like you, professes to have the same faith you do, is being an absolute shit of a human being. Sit with that, ask yourself why you feel such a pressing need to defend horrible, abusive, sometimes criminal, behaviour when the perpetrator looks like you.

Then, work to fix your own people, instead of defending the indefensible, and becoming the same kind of shit yourself.

And never–NEVER–demand that a victim forgive their attacker, or declare the offense forgiven in the victim’s name,

It is NEVER the place of anyone to offer forgiveness in the name of a victim, or to blame a victim for not forgiving a trespass against them, but it is the epitome of entitlement for a white person to declare an offense towards a member of a racial minority forgiven.

~ * ~

¹ I am linking to one here, which also has links to other threads, but I offer caution for racist abuse, sexual abuse and suicide: thread.

² There are at least two versions, taken as events unfolded, circulating; at least one is two hours long, and there are a number of selective edits, of course. Be careful what you watch and whose editorializing you listen to. Here is one analysis of both the video and the events surrounding it (including media/public reactions).

³ I don’t know that there were many calls to “doxx a minor” but if he’s old enough to agitate for people who get pregnant to be forced to carry to term, regardless of their wishes or the circumstances, he’s old enough to face consequences for his decision to harass an elderly man, no? What’s good for the goose should apply always to the gander, says I.

One Response to “White people, do not do this”

  1. Lori 21/01/2019 at 1:11 PM #

    Agree. Agree. Agree.

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