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I normally don’t post my responses to e-mails that I get from conservatives, who criticize my oped’s pertaining to racism, xenophobia or Islamophobia. Below is my response to an e-mail that I received falsely stating that Michael Brown summoned his own murder because he was a “thug,” that Brown’s step-father incited “riots” after the grand jury didn’t indict and that white liberals are also responsible passively responsibility for whipping up into frenzy the so-called good negroes.
Below was my response.
Thanks for your e-mail, Mike.
Points of clarification:
1) The store owner of the theft never stated that Mike Brown was the actual thief. Even if he was, $20 worth of theft of cigarillos is not qualify an interaction that would provoke confrontation for lethal force. Mind you that I served in the U.S. military and was trained in using patrolling, detainment and lethal force. City police have a higher standard of engagement with citizens than the military does.
2) The Brown family consistently called for peace and still does. It can be seen in multiple media interviews and press conferences. The circumstances of inequalities and police brutality are the cause for the protesting and some pillaging. The protests around America about Ferguson are about systematic racism, not simply one teenager being killed.
3) Liberal Whites have contributed to the problem too because they continue to benefit from white privilege yet fail to address the roots of these matters based in history of America and the legacy of inequality that still exists. There’s no accident why Native Americans and blacks suffer the highest rates of incarceration per capita, have the highest rates of poverty, highest infant mortality rates, lowest levels of accumulated wealth and high levels of workplace discrimination. These are rooted in the legacy of over 300 years of near ethnic cleansing of Natives in which 95% of them were killed and 96% of their land stolen. I’m not going to even go into the 400 years of slavery and systematic discrimination of blacks which vestiges still linger; books have been written on this.
So it appears that not only are so-called white liberals not being fully honest, but it apparent that persons on the Right like yourself Mike have a type of collective amnesia.
There are many issues in the black community, which I place some of the blame on black clergy and politicians. We have come to accept some unacceptable things which stem largely from internalized oppression. The larger issue, however, is that whites who benefit from privilege refuse to acknowledge that America is not fair and equal for everyone, and that many whites then display microagression in which tries to absolve America and place the blame for all pathologies within Black America squarely on the shoulders of blacks.
This what my blog meant by the need for intellectual honest and deep analysis in having a real conversation on race in America.