On White people and violence

Susan K. Smith.2 1
Susan K. Smith



Crazy Faith Ministries


As the occupant of the White House has sent people (I refuse to call them federal officers) to Portland, Oregon, and is planning to send more to designated cities including Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Albuquerque, Milwaukee and others, his battle cry is that it is his responsibility to “help combat rising crime,” as reported by Aljazeera.

He doesn’t like the violence that is going on in those cities, he says.

“Operation Legend” is his effort to stop violent crime. Without being invited or asked, he has decided that it is his job to send these people into cities, clothed in military camouflage uniforms and armed with assault weapons, ABC Channel 7-Chicago reported.

While he has adjusted his message to say that it is the responsibility of the federal government to protect federal property (as was the reason given for sending these men to Portland, Oregon,) the truth of the matter is that most of the people his private police plan to assault are in no way attacking federal property.

But as one listens to this riffraff about being concerned about violent crime, a couple of things are clear. One, it is the paramilitary forces who are initiating the violence. Two, these people are ignoring the “rule of law” in that they are taking people off the street and putting them in unmarked cars, even as they deploy tear gas to these American citizens, and three, they are being the violent force in this country as White people have always been.

In story after story, we learn how mobs of “angry Whites” have stormed Black communities (Rosewood, Tulsa, East St. Louis for starters) and wiped those cities out, forcing the Black residents to move from their homes, according to USA Today and BET news. Whites, including law enforcement officers, have opted to lynch Black people just because they could do it and know they would never be held accountable.

These White “officers” being sent into cities seem to be nothing more than classic American mobsters, breaking the law at will, terrorizing Black people. The protests over police brutality is providing an easy way in for these people, as occasional violence breaks out. Even though it is becoming more and more clear to those who will read that much of the violence is being started by provocateurs, not a few of whom are White – the president ignores that fact. Some of the White protesters – even those with good intentions – are bringing their own issues to the protests. While the chant is “Black lives matter,” some people in the protests are there to air their own grievances, feeling comfortable that they can do it under the umbrella of the Black Lives Matter protests, US News, Asia Times and Democracy Now all reported.

White people in this country have a history of being violent against Black people and against each other, but they are protected by the attention paid to Black people and the unfortunate violence that happens in too many Black communities. But White violence is real, it is toxic, and it is responsible for much of the suffering that has led people to chant, “Black lives matter!” as reported by the New Statesman.

Diverting attention to street violence helps keep the attention off the violence – and the rampant criminality – that exists in White communities. While decrying street violence, White people with money and power continue to break the law and get away with it because they have the money to pay their way out of jail. That they escape jail does not mean they do not need to be in jail. In our country which honors mass incarceration, White criminals ought to be in the cells in equal if not greater than the numbers of Black and Brown people in jail, many for petty, nonviolent crimes.

This “concern” for violent crime being expressed by the occupant of the White House is as disingenuous as is his concern for the lives and well-being of Black, Brown, and poor people in general. It is difficult to listen to him go on about being the “law and order” president, even as he and his friends are being exposed for their crimes, some being arrested and jailed. In addition, the policies being supported and pushed by this administration cause conditions which exacerbate the conditions in cities which too often result in crime.

That, it seems to me, has to be the ultimate violence.


Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith is the founder and director of Crazy Faith Ministries. Her latest book, Rest for the Justice-Seeking Soul, is now available through Barnes and Noble and Amazon. She is available for speaking. Contact her at revsuekim@sbcgloba.net.


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