By SUSAN K. SMITH
Crazy Faith Ministries
The preponderance of “Karen” stories, i.e. White women calling police on Black men and Black people in general, has been as annoying as it has been troubling to watch. The brazen arrogance of women calling police – who they know are as apt to shoot and kill a Black person as not – is disgusting. It also indicates a new bravery some are exhibiting under the current administration to show their rampant racism and tout their awareness that they can call police on an innocent person and get away with it, regardless of how the situation turns out.
It’s not just the “Karens” who are showing a peacock-type of arrogance when it comes to throwing their whiteness around. It’s lawmakers and politicians, police officers and even some pastors who are making it plain that the idea of a “beloved community” is to them an abomination. In Michigan, a lawmaker – who insisted he is not racist – used the “n” word publicly to refer to Black people and refused to apologize or resign, as reported by The Hill. Although he eventually did bow to pressure to resign, the fact that he would pull his racism out of hiding in that way was stunning to read about.
Police in Aurora, Colorado, pulled an entire Black family out of their car – saying that they thought the car had been stolen – pulling their guns out and pointing them at the children in the car as well as the young mother driving the car, and made them lie down on the hot pavement after handcuffing them, the cries of the children notwithstanding, according to USA Today.
In June, police in Denver pulled a gun on the children (ages 2, 7 and 14) of a man who had them sit in the car while he finished grocery shopping because one of his children was having trouble breathing due to the required mask-wearing policy. While he was in the store, he heard someone saying that police were in the parking lot because someone had called and said a man was there with a gun. Little did he know that the man being accused of having a gun was him. As he walked toward his car, police pulled a gun on him, ordering him to keep his hands up. He complied but objected saying he did not have a gun. However, the police continued their assault on him – even while his children cried and screamed in fear – until they were satisfied that the complaint had been bogus, according to WTRF News in Ohio. He has sued the police department.
And then in Texas, the Rev. Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III, pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church, angrily confronted members of a white supremacist group that stormed the parking lot of his church. Although organizers responsible for the event said there had been a misunderstanding, Haynes pointing out that his church has a huge “Black Lives Matter” sign in front of his church. He called out the racism saying it was “an intentional act of intimidation.”
The brazenness of these episodes – and they are happening on a regular basis – is troubling but also revealing of the underbelly and the heart of America, both of which are smeared with sores and scars of white supremacy. Black and Brown people are aware that we are walking targets, and although there has been a heightened awareness and sensitivity to racism in this country since the murder of George Floyd, the resistance of some Whites is getting more and more bold.
To be sure, this is not new. During the 1960s, we saw state-sanctioned violence against Black people. White people criticized Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s campaign of nonviolent direct action, saying that it was provoking violence. Lynching of Black people continued; there were more than 4400 lynchings in this country between 1844 and 1950 according to the Equal Justice Initiative. Black people are still being found hanging from trees, as noted by the Boston Globe and police are reporting those deaths as suicides, according to The Washington Post. It seems highly unlikely, however. Even the proclamation that these deaths are suicide reflect the arrogance of white supremacy.
Journalists reporting the ugliness of the violence against Black people keep saying “this is not who America is,” but they are wrong. This is exactly what America is and has always been and why there is a Black Lives Matter movement. “Angry Whites” have perpetrated violence against Black people without worrying about the consequences, and other Whites, perhaps also angry, have remained silent.
The fact that the president is sanctioning violence based on race – baiting “angry Whites” by saying that the “radical left wing Democrats” want to take away their Second Amendment Rights – is encouraging this boldness on the part of people who seem to believe that it is their right to take Black lives. In their boldness, they are displaying an arrogance in their sense of superiority based on their race which has always been a part of them. And in their brazen arrogance, their actions are showing what we as Black people have always known: that Black lives do not matter and that the power structure of this country does not care what happens to us.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.