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The Smokescreen of the Overt Racist

from BPFNA board member Ben Sanders

Frankly, it doesn't take much courage to be righteously indignant about the killings in Charleston. These killings were, after all, carried out by the type of racist we've been given permission to despise--the overt kind. In the United States, we're allowed and even encouraged to be express unapologetic righteous indignation when an overt white supremacist opens deadly fire at a black church during prayer. What's more difficult and what takes more courage, is drawing connections between the actions of Dylan Storm Roof and the daily conduct of "Law Enforcement" all across this country. The connections between the shootings at Emanuel AME Church and those carried out by police reveal a history of anti-black racism in this land that predates 1776. This is the challenge before us: to not be fooled by the smokescreen of the overt racist, but to see through the screen into the system that makes and even encourages the type of evil that killed 9 people during a prayer meeting.

In this country, black people have been and continue to be enslaved because we are BLACK, lynched for violating "social codes" because we are BLACK, beaten for demanding equality because we are BLACK, murdered in our churches because we are BLACK, shot down in the street because we are BLACK, and slowly killed by police practices, poor schools, and abandoned neighborhoods all because we are BLACK. And then, when we dare to proclaim that "BLACK lives matter," too many of our "friends" want to apologize for us. Surely we mean "ALL lives matter," right? No. I meant what I said, "BLACK LIVES MATTER." UNAPOLOGETICALLY, UNABASHEDLY, and with RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION. BLACK LIVES MATTER!!! BLACK LIVES MATTER!!! BLACK LIVES MATTER!!!


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