Empathy or Apathy? Wherein I Become Angrily Offensive….


09/23/2016 by syrbal-labrys

1sugar shitI live in an open carry state — similar, in that fashion, to North Carolina.  I am white, my grown disabled veteran sons are white.  We own guns in the household.  Do I routinely fear for my sons when they leave the house, leave my sight?  Yes, but undoubtedly not as the wife of a friend has to worry.  Her sons are bi-racial.

Let me be clear, IF my sons left the house openly packing heat?  I would be worried.  I can only imagine my friend with the bi-racial sons would body-block/tackle her boys if either one attempted to leave the house wearing a weapon!  Because even in an open-carry state, that is a fucking death sentence!

Let me be more clear.  A black man doesn’t need to aim a gun at a cop to die.  He can have his hands up but the cops have made up their minds that he is a “bad dude.”  He can be saying “I have a gun, but I’m not reaching for it, I’m getting the ID you asked for, ok?”  He can be lying on the ground with his hands up, trying to calm his patient who is playing with a toy truck.  He can be innocently walking down the street with a package of candy and a cold drink.  He can be a child playing with a toy gun and given less than three seconds to respond to police commands.  A man can be shot and killed while his wife shouts to cops that he has a traumatic brain injury and means them no harm….and while she films the horror unfolding before her helpless eyes.  I could list another dozen examples without even touching the bulk of horrors; and do pages on the rough treatment without guns that was not fatal, but surely terrifying and dehumanizing at police hands.  Children slammed around bodily or pepper sprayed or tasered for being childish, for example.

The miserable, horrible, awful, no-good commonality is that it happens to black children and black men at a rate unequal to it happening to white children or white men.  A white man can rape a woman and barely get three months in jail — much less be lynched by a mob in lieu of a trial shot or beaten by cops.  White guys with guns can threaten federal marshals and take over federal property and NOT end up being gunned down in blaze.  A black guy can’t be in the general area of police operations without being at risk of imminent death.

1black lives matterSo, what is my point?  Haven’t I bored my surely all white readers enough, just as I pissed off and embarrassed one of my former luncheon ladies?  I guess my point is why don’t YOU care more, the general white you?  Can you not imagine even a bit what it would BE like to be Keith Scott’s wife?  Or the sister or mother of Tamir Rice?  Do you, like my former German coffee-mate, just assume the blacks who die did something wrong?  Do you assume they MUST have been deserving in some fashion?

Let me ask you?  Specially you women, ok?  When you hear of a rape victim, do you assume she was dressed wrong, asking for it?  Did she encourage her rapist and not give clear signals of being uninterested in sex?  What?  What’s that?  How fucking DARE I say such things?  Well, I dare because it seems to me that the line of so-called logic is the same.  I want to bring home to you what it feels like to be blamed for your own victimization at the hands of others.  I want white Americans to stop being apathetic because the fucking un-acknowledged destruction of life isn’t coming home to them because it isn’t happened to them.  You can’t ALL be Republicans or Trumplicans, can you? Can’t you empathize with women watching their husbands, lovers, brothers, sons die sometimes right in front of them?  Can’t you imagine what it would be like to BE that woman?

As the economy continues to run mostly for the benefit of the 1%, more and more Americans of every color will be suffering and getting desperate.  And sooner or later, some of those desperate folk will do some stupid shit.  That will attract notice of the cops, who as near as I can tell, have too many folk of their own living in trembling terror of an over-armed and not terribly civil society and ready to kill ANYone who looks a bit too different from their own blue-clad selves.  Really, America?  Does it have to come down to cops shooting white boys and smacking white grannies (like me) upside the head with a baton before you question just what the fuck is going on?

And don’t even any of you “All Lives Matter” jackasses start.  Nor none of you flying that blue and black striped flag for fallen cops — IF you want me to take your “blue lives” mattering seriously?  Act as if you die JUST as suddenly (oh, and just a note — MUCH more often at the hands of white guys with guns) when it isn’t a trembling black man freezing up in front of you, hands in the air, but some pissed off old white guy, ok?


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The name of this blog, and my Dreamwidth blog, Herlander Refugee, is taken from a 1915 feminist novel "Herland". It makes my heart sing that modern women are experimenting with creation of a new "Herland"! Yes, comments are closed. Anyone who just MUST reach me can do so at syrbal6 at gmail dot com.

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