Monday, June 26, 2017

Baked In

The thread begins like this:

So today white nationalists disrupted a racial justice training that I was facilitating.

The writer is Sister Outsider @FeministGriote . The thread begins here:

The words that struck me:

What angers me the most is that the door said private event & that the space wasn't open to the public. But because white folks don't see white folks as a threat he was let in to use the restroom.

"...because white folks don't see white folks as a threat..."

Boom. The immutable protection of being white. We're just going to give you the benefit of the doubt.

Why did this strike me so deeply yesterday? Because of this:

From NBC4 Washington:

A Washington, D.C., council member is asking for the U.S. Park Police to clarify why teenagers were handcuffed on Thursday for selling bottled water on the National Mall.

According to Sgt. Anna Rose of the U.S. Park Police, shortly after 5 p.m., officers detained the three teens at 12th Street and Jefferson Drive, Northwest, for illegally vending.

A witness took photos of the three teens -- all of whom are black -- being handcuffed by the plainclothes police officers, which were shared widely on social media. 

The teens, two of whom are 17 and the other 16, told officers they did not have a vendor’s permit, which is required to sell items on the National Mall, Rose said.

“Officers placed them in handcuffs for the safety of the officers and of the individuals,” Rose said on Friday.

Democratic D.C. Council member Charles Allen, who chairs the public safety committee, wrote a letter to Park Police Chief Robert MacLean on Friday, asking him to explain the agency's actions.

Source: Teens Detained for Selling Water on the National Mall | NBC4 Washington

White people don't see white people as a threat. Police justify acts of violence towards people of color because they fear for their safety. To whom will we give the benefit of the doubt?

Oh, man. It is just baked right into everything we do in our culture. And it is sick.

This is not a local story, but it could be. Because everywhere that both of these assumptions are at work, carried around silently like a second skin, they are weapons ready to strike.

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