Sunday, November 25, 2018

How To Shoot Up A Mall Without Getting Caught - This Only Works For Whites

In April 2014 I wrote a post titled How To Shoplift Without Getting Caught - This Only Works For Whites.  It recounted African-American astrophysicist  Neil Degrasse Tyson's story about how he got stopped for shoplifting white the actual white shoplifter walked out at the same time without being pursued at all.
 "I walked out of a store one time and the alarm went off and so they came running to me.  I walked through the gate at the same time a white male walked through the gate.  And that guy just walked off with the stolen goods, knowing they would stop me and not him.  That’s an interesting exploitation.  What a scam that was. People should do that more often."
This apparently works for shooters too.  From AP:
"HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Protesters on Saturday marched through an Alabama shopping mall where police killed a black man they later acknowledged was not the triggerman in a Thanksgiving night shooting that wounded two people.
An officer shot and killed 21-year-old Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford, Jr. of Hueytown while responding to the Thursday mall shooting. Police said Bradford was fleeing the scene with a handgun.
Hoover police initially told reporters Bradford had shot a teen at the mall, but later retracted the statement."

I guess you just have to make sure there are innocent black men near you and the first responders will go after them while you get away.  

This is what is called a teaching moment.  People profess not to be racist.  Our president has said variations of "I'm the least racist person you've ever met" on at least  six occasions.   (That's probably not a good example, but we've all heard from many people that they aren't racists.)

And if they mean, they wouldn't use racial slurs it's probably true.  But racism is deeply embedded in our culture.  Television and movies have overwhelmingly put non-whites in negative roles over the years.  We hear repeatedly from the media and our friends that minorities are poor, on welfare, commit crimes We absorb that.  We don't hear as much about the structural reasons they're poor - redlining that keeps property values low in minority neighborhoods, the higher bars to get loans for minorities, lack of good educational opportunities in minority neighborhoods, and reluctance of landlords to rent to them and employers to higher them.  

So we all carry these stereotypes in our heads.  Even the targets of the stereotypes get infected.  

So in situation where someone has to make a split second decision about who the bad guy is - the shoplifter, the shooter, etc. - those stereotypes point the responders gun at the black guy, the Hispanic.

1 comment:

  1. Fear of Other, once again.

    I've marveled all my life at the grace shown by most African-Americans in spite of their treatment -- subtle or blatant -- all their lives, by whites.

    Just how weak & afraid must many white people be to commit such violence -- in these pre-emptive strikes?

    It is Trump's "genius" to tap into this, day after day, playing the Fear card first in every hand.


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