Whenever something like this happens, I try to stay silent (as a black man myself) because more often than not, I don’t share the popular opinion. And by “popular” I’m talking about the ones that appear to have the moral high-ground. That being said…brace yourselves.
Is White Guilt Really Helpful to Blacks?
By Rock Tennie
Date – May 30th 2020
In the wake of the horrible murder of George Floyd…rioting and protests have broken out across major cities around the U.S. How much of it is really helping their underlining cause? What exactly is their cause and can it be helped? Here was my take:
“For all those who are so quick to post about the “injustices” done by police to black people…I confess, it does seem a bit disingenuous when they’re relatively silent on the black on black violence.
“You hear it on Facebook and Instagram how people are supposedly “heartbroken” and demand change. Which I agree with to some extent. But over this past Memorial Day Weekend, there was another 40+ people shot and 10 killed in Chicago. This isn’t new. Every Memorial Day weekend for years, it’s been this way. Don’t even get me started on the homicide rate of New Orleans and Baltimore.
“Does racism exist. Yes. Do police officers commit crimes. Yes. But please…miss me on all this outrage. Or is the argument that somehow the death of a black person has more significance based on the color of the murderer, or whether or not they have a badge. And if that’s the case, what do you say to all the mothers and fathers who lost their sons and daughters to drive-bys? What do you say to other minorities who have their own tragedies and injustices afflicting them? (MS-13).
“Murder is murder, whether you’re killed by a cop or a wanna be gangster.”
As you can imagine, those thoughts didn’t sit well with a lot of people, black and white. Truth is, I do prefer to keep such thoughts to myself because I believe in time and place. If people are inflamed, their emotions spiked, now’s probably not the best time to try and reason with them. It’s best to give it time, let them calm, and then get in a few words of sense.
However, as a student of history, recognizing the true progress we’ve made over the years…I find it evil what’s being done. Responding to a Facebook commenter, I wrote:
“Since Trayvon Martin…I’ve been used to this. Back when I first realized the media could use injustice as a weapon to spur reaction from the masses. And for the most part, I just ignore it all. But this time, I had words. I felt, if everyone can so openly share their opinions, as popular they may be, I shouldn’t shy away from sharing my own.”
Because something insidious is happening. The glaring lack of care and affection towards the blacks who are murdered at a disproportionately higher rate by other blacks that so many don’t like to talk about. I believe they don’t like to talk about it because most feel…what’s the point? There’s nothing to gain from it. Instead, you have so much to lose, such as ostracism from your own community; considered lame, which lowers your chances of finding a mate, as hip hop culture and artists of the day produce works to paint you out to be the least desirable. This isn’t new.
Consider a woman named Delores Tucker. This woman marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and raised funds for the NAACP. She was one of the most outspoken critics of rap music and a section of the hip hop culture because she (let’s be honest, like everyone else) saw them as a promotion of misogyny, violence and pretty much the art of making bad things seem cool. She was roasted by the rappers of the mid-90s. Everyone from Tupac to Jay-Z portrayed this woman as someone trying to hold the black man down.
So why would black people protest and riot about the black on black violence? There’s nothing to gain…not unlike protesting against white people. Sometimes it feels like many have a reaction of glee when they see the unjustified death of another black man. On the outside they’ll appear outraged. On the inside…
I know that sounds bad, but do you think those people stealing TVs and items out of Target were crying and mourning as they looted stores? Or were they capitalizing on an opportunity? And please…spare me on this concept of getting justice by stealing? As if, “Yeah, we burned down AutoZone, that’ll teach America.”
“No, Rock. It’s the collective damage, not just stealing from Target or burning cars that sends a message. We need to show America how we’ll react when one of our own gets killed by cops.”
You’re sending a message, alright. But if you think it’s to the benefit of all African-Americans you’re sorely mistaken. Allow me to explain. On Instagram, someone posted a photo containing George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor and calling for their justice, saying things like “this needs to stop!”
Meanwhile I’m thinking…that’s it? Just the three? Because if that’s the case, then clearly for the most part it has stopped. Think about it. Here we have three unjustified deaths. I’m sure there are more that which the media hasn’t capitalized on just yet. But the point is, out of the 300plus millions of Americans living around the country, we’re doing quite well.
Are these incidents tragic? Yes. Do they deserve justice? Absolutely. Are you going to get me to join protests and post messages that make it seem like racism and death by cop is right around the corner for me because I’m black…not in a million years. We need cops! Less police presence equals more black-on black-violence.
But again, no one likes to talk about it, because there’s nothing to gain. Not unlike guilting white people, to feel sorry for us, to speak up for us…
Right now, that message is being blasted on social media and its worrisome. On Facebook, I wrote:
“I’d be a bit careful with the whole “silence equals consent” argument that a lot of people seem to be making with these protests. As one who was raised being pushed into guilt-trip after guilt-trip, I can tell you that everyone eventually realizes they were tricked.
“For 10 years I refused to pick up the Bible because it was rammed down my throat that if I didn’t see God the way others claimed I should, then I was against God. For that, I hated organized religions. I resented them. And if it wasn’t for the grace of God directing me to pick up the Bible and read for myself what it says, I might never have been saved.
“Everyone has their own battles their fighting. To say they should care more about your battles than their own or else they support the cause against you is a false dilemma fallacy and it’ll come back to bite us all. I’ll go a step further by saying it’s a bit wicked and oppressive. You’re effectively trying to strip away their choice to think for themselves. This has consequences.”
Because here’s the thing…As a black person, I can admit that white people have helped blacks a great deal? Did they need to? Did we need them to advance? Personally, I think so. But just because black people “needed” them to, doesn’t mean they “had to”.
Some might have done it because they felt guilty for their ancestors. But not all. Some helped others because they were simply good people and knew they had the ability to affect change. But how and when they decide to take action…this should be their choice. Not because we pushed them into a river of guilt.
William Lloyd Garrison comes to mind here. He was one of the leading figures in the Abolitionist Movement to abolish slavery in the early 1800s, the man who discovered Frederick Douglass and brought him to prominence. William Lloyd Garrison was a white man from the north. He never owned slaves. His family never owned slaves. He didn’t help black people because he felt guilty, but because he felt compassion. Garrison was a strong Christian.
Boom…right there. Something that seems lost as you look onto the crowds of angry protesters, rioting and burning stores and cars…Is that how Jesus would have reacted? Let me rephrase that for those of us who claim to be Christians…is that how our Lord would react? The same Lord who was nailed to a cross, mocked and taunted by his oppressors yet still asked that they be forgiven.
We’re all up in arms because there is a great injustice, yes…but more than that it’s because its a perceived racial injustice. Meaning, their cause is for the group, the race…humans.
There’s nothing wrong with that to an extent…Unity can be a good thing. But before race…before family…before country…what should come first in our lives as Christians?
The answer is God. That’s what’s breaking my heart. When you look into the mobs, you don’t see the picture of Christianity. You see quite the opposite.
“Alright, alright, whatever with all that religious BS. What’s that got to do with white-guilt? They have every reason to feel guilty because it was a white man who killed Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd? He was a cop. Its his job to protect us. Not kill us.”
So when a black man rapes and kills a white man’s daughter…are all of us black men responsible?
Last year, when an illegal immigrant killed a blonde woman near San Francisco…were all illegal immigrants responsible?
Don’t you see how racist your logic is? Do you really expect to “end racism” while adhering to such beliefs?
There it is…I had to share my thoughts on this because too many people have been making posts and arguments that chalk-full of lies and disingenuous care. Just like racism will never end, the attempt to make white people feel guilty over something they shouldn’t will never end because it’s a means of exploitation that’s too good to pass up. Just like those who now have the ability to work but would rather stay unemployed and collect those $600 a week checks because it pays more. Humans will continue to be humans. Wickedness will continue until the return of Christ.
The main reason they get mad at people like me is because I reveal the truth and they think I’m “ruining a good thing” for them.
And the sad thing is…there are a lot of good people out there who would willingly give their hand to help…if you just asked nicely, sometimes persistently. Instead of making them feel like shit if they don’t.
One last thing I’ll touch on…
One of the things I can’t stand about being black is this notion that I have to think a certain way, join a certain cause, support others of my own race just because we’re the same skin color. My whole life it’s been like this. And Joe Biden gave you all but a glimpse of the sentiment when he said, “If you don’t know who to vote for, then you ain’t black.”
What Joe Biden did is what other blacks have done to other blacks for generations. Calling us House-Niggas and Uncle Tom’s if we don’t. And for the most part, it works. If you’re not mentally sound and secure with who you are.
If you so greatly desire to be accepted by your community, your “people,” then it’s extremely effective. Why? Because for some people, all they have going for them is their “identity”. It’s what gives them purpose. Whether they’re black, gay, a woman, or part of some movement. Accepting and supporting whatever line you tow is paramount.
Thankfully, I identify as a Christian…the treasure I’m storing up can’t be stolen by racism, a bad cop, the economy, or even murder.
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.