Wednesday, July 01, 2015

When the lies get believed

Circling back to last week, I wrote that all of the other prides beyond "white pride" were reactions against the abuse.

"Black is beautiful" was necessary because it was such a given that black was ugly. Black little girls would find black dolls ugly. Little girls at a Disney event told a black girl dressed as Elsa that "black is ugly" this year. Donald Trump just called Mexicans rapists, and while lots of people find him vile, Amy Schumer just told a "joke" that said the same thing. Racist jokes are made all the time, and then if you complain about it people say you're too sensitive.

With most of the groups that have some sort of pride events or initiative, you can find a history of abuse. There may have been some improvement, but there is still a long way to go. Also, the improvement didn't happen magically, but was fought for, and pride was a part of it.

White pride does not have the history of abuse, but it adopts it.

"You rape our women and you're taking over our country."

That's what Dylan Roof told his victims.

Setting aside the "our" for now, white women are most likely to be raped by white men. That is one more area where crime tends to stay within race. Not only that, but violent sex offenders in prison are more likely to be white. Without specifying violent, the sex offenders in prison are 75% white. When you take into consideration not only how low the rate of conviction resulting in imprisonment is, and the way prosecution happens so disproportionately to minorities, at least with other crimes, that's kind of amazing.

Taking over? Black people are about 37 percent of the population, but only 10 percent of elected officials, and that's counting local government. There are two black senators out of one hundred, and 49 out of 535 representatives. That's not even parity.

Affirmative action is keeping you out of jobs? No, it's not. A recent study showed that white applicants with a felony conviction were as or more likely to be called back for a job interview than a black applicant with a clean record. Without the felony, the white applicant was twice as likely to be called back as a black applicant. Again, remember which race is more likely to be pursued for drug crimes.

One big area of resistance to accepting the existence of systemic racism for white people is that life is hard. If we have all of this privilege, why am I barely getting by? There are reasons for that, and I believe we'll spend some time unpacking that next week.

For now, you may know that the Dominican Republic is cracking down on Haitian immigrants, except that many of those immigrants will turn out to be third-generation Dominicans who neither know anyone in Haiti nor speak the language, but they do have darker skin.

The government's request for large buses and the rumors of camps being set up along the border sound ominous, and a little reminiscent of Nazi Germany, but we don't quite know how it will go yet.

Here's the thing I'm pretty sure about. It can be really easy to decide that economic problems or employment problems or crime problems are the fault of one group, but that isn't the real story. If they truly do go out and round up people with darker skins and send them out of the country, they will succeed in causing a lot of human suffering, but I'm pretty sure that they'll find out that the country's problems remain pretty much the same. What do you do then?

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