Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Ignorance of Well-Meaning White People

I probably just started something on Facebook with an ignorant, well-meaning white person.

You see, a friend of mine posted a video about that young man whose mother found him rioting. And then a friend of hers responded with this:

I loved seeing the interview today with the mother and the son. think it taught all of us a little bit about the community and a whole lot about the importance of a mother's love-regardless of what it looks like to the onlookers the child's heart felt it and connected with it and responded in a way that all of us mothers could appreciate. I just hate that this young man and his mother had real reason to fear the police.”

Reading that, I’ll admit I saw some red.

Because I’m in Baltimore. I work here. I had to walk to my car and office building on Monday and Tuesday, hyper-aware of the chances of being attacked. And I’ve had to look in friends’ eyes as they discussed what’s going on in this city – their city – while they nearly cried.

If that sounds too self-focused, fine. How about the people whose property was damaged or who were injured… including 17 of those supposedly fearsome cops? I can’t imagine what they’re going through.

Yet here comes this well-meaning white person up on her high horse because she “cares” about black people, spouting ignorant nonsense like she’s some kind of authority on the subject just because she reads a few liberally-biased sources.

She and other well-meaning and ultimately ignorant white people aren’t helping. In fact, they’re just as much a part of the problem as the young black men who were rioting here in Baltimore.

I’m not kidding. She’s just as bad.

Why? Because she’s perpetuating the idea that they’re horribly disadvantaged because of skin color. That the world is out to get them. That they have a right to be violent and immature because, hey, they’re poor black people and need her pity in order to get anywhere in life.

Sounds kinda racist like that, doesn’t it?

That’d be because it is.

Maybe it’s more difficult to be black these days, just like maybe it’s more difficult to be female. But it isn’t going to get better if we keep excusing bad behavior with pats on the head.

It’s never going to get better until we set and keep the same high standard for everyone. That includes well-meaning, ignorant white people, who need to grow up and get over themselves already. They’re not saving anyone with their self-righteous platitudes.

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