Friday, May 29, 2009

A Departure

Update. Please check out this story as a companion piece to the blog as well.

I was pecking out my next piece on the six agents of corruption when I stumbled across this piece and decided it was time for a brief departure.

If y'all click on the link, it will go to a story about another white woman who got herself into a jam and used an age-old trick to free herself. Can anybody guess what it was?

That's right, Blame a Nigger.

For the few folks unfamiliar with this trick, it involves any white person, but typically a woman, needing a quick explanation for some problem in their lives, and deciding to blame some random black people, usually men. This trick is used to escape prosecution for crimes, to distract from infidelity, it's pretty much the go-to move for any unscrupulous white person in trouble.

In this case, a white woman who lived in the Philadelphia suburbs had apparently been stealing money from folks at her job, and decided she needed to make a quick getaway with her daughter. To cover her tracks, she called police with a phony story about getting in a car accident with some random black men in a Cadddy, (nice tough), who abducted her and her young daughter.

Of course, this caused a major crapstorm. After all, nothing sparks police action like missing white women, and this case had the perfect convergence of white women in trouble and hypothetical "ghetto niggers" causing problems. I'm sure more than one cop creamed his pants when this call came out, and quite a few black men had their civil rights violated along the way.

Ahhh, America.

Anyway, when everything had died down, it was discovered this was just another case of Blame a Nigger, and now everybody is kicking themselves for falling for it again. This would be heartening, if I didn't know for a fact that no amount of self flagellation is going to prevent the next incident of Blame a Nigger.

It doesn't matter how often black folks and like-minded white folks remind everybody else that it's not ok to stereotype black males as criminals, it's still going to happen. Sadly, I really doubt that we will ever erase centuries of conditioning.

Black men are the de-facto bad guys. We get stopped more often, we get searched more often and we are more likely to be the victims of police brutality. These are facts. This reality is possible because many folks, in their heart of hearts, see a black face when they picture somebody harming them. It's unfortunate, but it's real.

So, what can we as black people do?

First, we must learn to protect young black men who are not involved in criminal activity from becoming victims of Blame a Nigger. We must instruct them in their civil rights, we must teach them how to interact with police to minimize the likelihood of a violent incident.

We have to forcefully push back against the negative stereotypes pushed by the media and others, even if that seems like a futile fight. Finally, we're going to have to pray.

Lord knows, we need those prayers.



blackgirlinmaine said...

As the Mama of a 17 yo 6'2 Black young man, stories like this make my blood run cold. I know everytime he goes out in the world he is at risk of being blamed for something. So yeah, I agree we need those prayers.

Jazzy said...

...and along with those prayers, we need tougher laws against filing false reports. If these women where given jail time, they'd be forced to blame someone else. Can Mexicans be far behind.LOL

Big Man said...

I just filed an update to the piece that tragically outlines exactly why this mentality is a problem.

the uppity negro said...


there's a wikipedia entry to diagnose this REAL problem.

It's called Missing White Woman Syndrome.

Go figure.

Lisa J said...

Just reading this now. On point Big Man. I read about this first at Field Negro's site. It is yet another thing that falls into the "Make me Wanna Holla" Marvin Gaye category. And I agree with uppity negro, Missing White Woman syndrome is outta control. Let my black butt go missing and see who covers it or cares other than my immediate circle.

Raving Black Lunatic