Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Profits of Racism: The Coward Darren Wilson Who Killed Michael Brown Has Now Raised 170,000 Dollars

“Ferguson” is now a meme as opposed to a place; it is a story that individuals can read themselves into depending on their own politics, values, and life experiences.

A person’s response to the explosive combination of race, crime, and the law in Ferguson is a litmus test for deeper political values and life experiences.

Black Americans have historically and in the present been victims of police abuse and disproportionately punished by a racist and classist criminal “justice” system. The killing of Michael Brown is one more death in a necropolis of unarmed black people killed by white police, white street vigilantes, and others with like power and orientation.

The killing of Michael Brown is not a surprise or a shock to most black Americans. We have either personally experienced racially motivated harassment by police authorities, have a relative or friend who has, or live in a community where such norms govern our day-to-day lives and limit our full citizenship. Police abuse is part of the collective memory of black Americans. Understanding how to navigate that maze and mine field is a necessary skill which is taught to us early in life.

Black parents, and those others who love black or brown children, have to rob the latter of their childhood innocence by teaching them that their very personhood will be looked at as a threat by the police and other white authority figures. We have to tell our children that they will be “niggerized” even if they are unarmed innocent victims. We will adultify them so that they will not be surprised when the world does so in ways much, much crueler.

Responsible parents and mentors of black children must rob them of their innocence by teaching them about the realities of life in a racist society. We are their “hard masters”. These lessons are not mean or some type of child abuse. No, they are acts of love, because if you love your child you want them to live, prosper, and grow into adulthood. A black child who does not learn how to interact with the police is more likely to end up killed and dead at the end of a police officer's pistol or rifle.

For many white Americans, the killing of Michael Brown by a white police officer is an anomaly; in their cognitive framework, there must be some reasonable explanation for why a police officer would kill an unarmed person. The collective experience of White America is one where its members are not routinely abused, violated, killed, and harassed by the police. Of course, individual white people may have negative encounters with a given police officer. However, those interactions are not reflections of an institutionally biased set of power relationships where that negative treatment is legitimated and encouraged as both a normal and expected type of public policy.

Historically, the primary role of the police in the United States has been to monitor and control black and brown people in the interests of protecting a dominant racial hierarchy, one that serves to maintain the material, economic, and psychological advantages of white people en masse.

Many white Americans may not have the knowledge or language to articulate this fact. Others know this fact to be true, but they are unwilling to state it for fear of violating the bargain of Whiteness as a type of historical amnesia, and whose owners and signatories believe that Whiteness is ultimately benign and harmless. Both groups of white folks instinctively defend police abuse and the killing of black and brown people because of a deeply learned and taught set of assumptions in which African-Americans are viewed as a race of inherently dangerous rapists, brigands, and murderers.

When people say that “Darren Wilson must have had a reason for killing Michael Brown”, or that “we should give police the benefit of the doubt when they shoot someone”, is as much an embrace of lazy thinking and a default surrender to petit authoritarianism, as it is a projection of a type of white racist logic which deems that black people are “scary”--and "what 'smart' white person would not proceed from such a 'reasonable' assumption and act accordingly?"

And yes, there are some white folks who dare to tell the truth about white supremacy and the realities of white privilege and the color line. In turn, they often face censure, hostility, and rage from other white people. Whiteness and white privilege are a version of the Mafia’s infamous “omerta”. There are consequences for breaking its trust and pact.

The recent events in Ferguson, Missouri are a metaphorical nucleus around which a person’s and a community’s political attitudes and values revolve. Here, the national controversy surrounding Michael Brown’s killing by Darren Wilson channels and arouses the sentiment and ideology known as white racial resentment and symbolic racism. Narratives of black criminality, guns, and police authority are central to the “law and order” politics that have driven the Republican Party’s racist Southern Strategy, as well as the Right-ward shift of “New Democrats” from the 1960s to the Age of Obama.

In all, scaring the white American public about “black crime”, ginning up white racism, and creating resentment towards reasonable efforts to ameliorate or confront the economic and social consequences of centuries of white racism against people of color, pays political dividends for white politicians in both the Republican and Democratic parties.

And like “old fashioned racism, the “new racism” embodied by white racial resentment and “conservative colorblindness” also pays material dividends to its owners, beneficiaries, and owners.

As was seen with George Zimmerman—he also raised significant monies from the (white, gun right) American public—killing unarmed black people is an occasion for generous charity towards the shooter.

Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager named Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, is one such white person who has directly profited and benefited from a literal version of “the wages of whiteness.” As of today, he has raised almost 170,000 dollars.

[On ethical and moral grounds, I will not share the website or other information about Darren Wilson’s donation drive.]

This amount is larger than that raised for the Michael Brown memorial fund, monies that will be used to bury a young man in what will likely be a closed casket because his face was disfigured and shattered by Wilson’s bullets, and whose body lay in the street for hours like garbage.

The comments on Wilson’s donation page are very revealing. They help us to understand what type of person would give money to a man who shot dead an unarmed black teenager, in broad daylight, who eyewitness accounts was surrendering.

Undoubtedly, given that a faction of the KKK is raising money for their new hero, some of the donors to the Darren Wilson fund are white supremacists.

Others may be friends or relatives of police officers. This close relationship has limited their ability to locate the events in Ferguson, Missouri and elsewhere within a historical and social context of police abuse towards people of color. They assume that because “their cop” is one of “the good ones” that all others must be given the same consideration: perhaps it a weakness of the human condition, but intimacy and closeness often rob us of the capacity for rigorous and critical thinking.

Some of the donors to Darren Wilson have not outgrown the infantile and juvenile idolization of the police. They gave money to Wilson because it is their way of connecting with a projection of who they would like to be in an alternate version of this life. Perhaps these people want to be "super" and "heroes"? They do not realize that police are regular folks, with a range of human flaws which deem them neither "heroic" or "superior".

The most degenerate of Darren Wilson’s donors have given him money in order to experience the killing of Michael Brown by proxy.

The instinctive defense of Darren Wilson by the White Right and the Right-wing hate media is a reflection of a sick and perverse type of white victimology politics that have existed in the United States since slavery. During the American slaveocracy, whites worried that they would be conquered by blacks if the latter won their freedom. In 2008, the election of Obama was met by all manner of virulent racism from the White Right as circulated by the Fox News hate media. This obsession with white victimhood continues into Obama’s second term, where Mo Brooks, the white racially reactionary and Republican Congressman from Alabama, publicly complained that there was a “war on white people” in the United States.

White racial paranoia is a fixture and continuum in America’s social, cultural, and political life.

Beyond the contemptible public trolling and petty racist contrarianism of the “counter-protesters” in Ferguson, Missouri who marched in support of Darren Wilson, there is a deep moral rot in the heart of Whiteness—one that persists even in the Age of Obama.

White people are the most economically and politically dominant racial group in the United States. Yet, many white folks are delusional: they believe that they are actually victims of “racism”, and that “discrimination” against white people is one of the United States’ biggest social problems. Their anger is also misdirected. Instead of raging at the plutocrats, robber barons, and their assorted enablers in the Republican Party, white racial resentment points their ire towards black and brown folks, the poor, and the working classes.

Darren Wilson is not a victim. He has been protected by a militarized police force that ran amok in Ferguson, Missouri, terrorizing tens of thousands of black people, all for his sake.

Like the white welfare king Cliven Bundy, Darren Wilson is a beneficiary of one of the most gross and obscene demonstrations of white privilege in recent memory.

Libertarians and “principled conservatives” will deny the role that race has obviously played in the public and the police department’s response to the killing of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson. In reality, the bona fides and credentials of libertarians’ and “principled conservatives’” on these matters of racial justice are weak and flaccid because conservatism and racism are one in the same thing in the post civil rights era. 

The Republican Party is the United States’ largest de facto white identity organization. Libertarians of the Ron and Rand Paul variety would not have supported the Voting and Civil Rights Acts: they view the rights of black people under the Constitution as secondary to the freedom of white people to trample on them.

A more basic litmus test of the distorted reality created by the white racial frame and white supremacy is highlighted by a basic question. If Darren Wilson was a black police officer, and Michael Brown was a white teenager, in the same exact circumstances, would the first person be free and the police, the Right-wing media, and the Tea Party GOP public, be defending him?

The answer is “no”. Racism is not an opinion. It is a dominant fact in American life, culture, and politics. The events in Ferguson, Missouri are one more data point in support of that truth.


kokanee said...

Lauryn Hill's dedication to Ferguson:

Justin M. White said...

Here's another data point:

joe manning said...

Multitudes of whites have been shaken out of their complacency by the frequency of police murders of blacks. Such official "legitimate" executions, as well as death by guillotine, public hanging, the gas chamber, and lethal injection have a mortifying effect on all but the most sadistic among us. The only question is how many young black men must be slaughtered before folks become aghast enough to demand and end to the carnage?

chauncey devega said...

It has been happening for centuries. Why stop now?

chauncey devega said...

Thanks, will check it out.

Buddy H said...

Let's hope every penny ultimately goes to the parents of Michael Brown.

chauncey devega said...

I saw that. Talib's takedown of CNN and Mr. Lemon was funny too. Interest in Ferguson is already fading among the general public if Google Stats are taken as a metric. We don't have a memory from last Tuesday as the old saying goes.

chauncey devega said...

"What happens next is the big question. We should certainly impose more restraint on the police and monitor their every interaction with the public - technology makes that possible and affordable. If they're going to wear them damn dark glasses, make them Google glasses or stick a camera in their badge. "

I don't think cops should be allowed to wear dark glasses as a rule. It is disrespectful and intimidating. The U.S. had to learn that in Afghanistan where their soldiers were told it was a no go for cultural reasons.

I honestly don't think anything will come of what went down in Ferguson. Call me cynical.

chauncey devega said...

Not gonna happen. I wish it would. What do you think the outcome will be?

DanF said...

You're cynicism is hard earned and you may be right, but for the first time I'm seeing white people stand up and take notice - and they are getting disgusted with the police.

Buddy H said...

Cop found not guilty. Civil suit by Brown's parents. Beyond that I have no idea.

Lkeke said...

Hundreds? Thousands? Hundreds of thousands?
Maybe all at once?
I'm pretty sure that whatever happens, some people will be ready to say "we deserved it".And say it loudly and frequently. After all that"s pretty much been their mantra since we got here.

It never ceases to amaze me the things people will believe about Black people as long as it makes us sound awful. Anybody on Faux News could make the argument that we're all aliens from tthe planet Venus here to steal all the Earth's water, and people will believe it.Why am I still amazed by that?

Lkeke said...

I blame "outrage culture" for this. The media has spent the past 50 years inflaming everybody's fears about everything.
A 24 hour a day news cycle has the disastrous effect of "outrage burnout" as there's only so much a person can stay mad about. Every thirty seconds, something new gets added. Couple that with about half the populaton being mindless sheep with the attention span of goldfish and this is the result.

kokanee said...

Outrage culture...interesting. I'll add it to the "culture in decline" bag.

That's what I like about this site. It's focused on one issue. Yes, there are permutations and CDV ties it in to other related issues but the focus is unrelenting against racism and white supremacy in America.

persephone said...

All of this.


anon said...

Oh well. If blacks have it so bad in America then they should just pick up and move somewhere else.

HardMeanStreets said...

One group, whites, has privilege and makes serious organized efforts to keep it. The other group, blacks, has less privilege and makes serious but far less organized efforts to gain privilege from whites. I don't like your odds of rising up for that reason (disorganization) alone. Is your problem a genetic disadvantage as James Watson claimed?
The support of all the white people who hate other white people (it's an intra-racial power struggle thing) depends on them thinking of you as genetically equal to or greater than whites.

News For Whites said...

Sad to tell you but there are laws that prevent people, family members included, from profiting off of a crime as Browns supporters are trying to do. Once Officer Wilson is cleared all money will be held by the state and used for "crime prevention" or some other crap. And, BTW, Officer Wilson's Fund has raised over $250,000 so far in less then 8 days and they have started another Fund to match it or higher...

Gable1111 said...

I doubt there will even be a trial. The DA is Bob McCulloch:

Its up to the grand jury to indict, but given his history, I don't see McCulloch pressing the issue.

As for the Browns, "justice" will leave them holding the bag, just like the Martin and Davis families.

Miles_Ellison said...

Don Lemon is a clown. Just when you think the debate is at its shallowest point, he manages to drain even more substance from the pool. Is there anyone working at CNN that isn't an idiot?

Miles_Ellison said...

White people are disgusted with the police when they're killing white people. Then it's a civil rights issue. When black people are killed, the police are just doing their jobs.

charles said...

Fuck these crackers, if we don't get our justice, we should kill darren wilson and put other whites lives in danger. Random killings of whites will bring a statement to these pig skins.

joe manning said...

The human outpouring in Ferguson is exposing the gratuitous sadism of white supremacy, and the police and the right's defense of it, to a wide audience.

kokanee said...

He was doing his job. 😘😉😉

Human Relations 1932 said...

I'm white and thoroughly soul-sick disgusted with the police (to put it mildly) as well as with the herd of bigots that gave been crawling out of the woodwork since the shooting of Michael Brown. Long before that, truth be known.

Sick of this culture of narcissistic brutality, idiots posing with their death toy fetishes, spewing their racist verbal vomit all over the internet. It's a shameful, disgraceful manifestation of a deeply sick society.

I've made an effort to educate myself about this and many other issues, and I am utterly appalled and increasingly alienated from this society.

Lkeke said...

Yes! This exactly!
But one can argue that this is a society that was created from sickness. It began with the deaths of millions and unfortunately it may end that way as well.
Toxic White male maculinity has been in power long enough and EVERY group of people that has ever been on the receiving end of their greed and corruption seems to be chafing about it en masse. This s*** is not going to end well at all.

Lkeke said...

i hope so. I really do.
The more White supremacists and their apologists act out, the more people will see it and say something ,I hope.
The International response was enlightening and felt more than a little surreal. You had North Korea, and Russia speaking out. Even China, which is suffering it's own human rights abuses, took time out from their busy schedule of oppressing their people to call America a hypocrite. Even the Palestinians got in a few jabs. The whole world was watching this and condemning America for it. Now, that was different.

Pam_L said...

No offense, but it is good that you've finally been forced to open your eyes and see all the sick racists in this country, and how nasty, deluded, and destructive they really are. All of you whites who claim to be 'good' need to get your crazy relatives in check before they take the entire country down and you with it.

chauncey devega said...

That should be a t-shirt slogan.

Iain Brown said...

Oh give me a damn break, why would a 28 year old cop with a SPOTLESS record want to kill a black 6'3, 300 pound thug? Seriously, get a grip, stop this committing someone before a trial, you bitches are as bad as MSNBC was editing the Zimmerman 911 call to make it sound all racist when it wasn't. Get a life, educate yourselves, quit blaming whitey for your problems. Hey, what the F-k has that worthless piece of crap Obama done to help poor inner city blacks? Huh? Sale over black folks, Obama on to giving all kinds of free stuff to thousands and thousands of illegal aliens. Perhaps you should refocus your rage on this failed leader?

Human Relations 1932 said...

No offense taken. I come from a southern background (Mississippi and Arkansas) and was exposed to plenty of racist speech from a young age.

It's not a recent revelation for me, though; somehow, I always knew it was bad and wrong, and so I rejected it from an early age. I'm 53, and I can't see myself giving into that legacy of bigoted bullshit at this point.

Thank you for the response.

Iain Brown said...

And if that police officer was defending himself against a 6'3 300 pound person who just beat his face in, grabbed his gun and bull ran right at him? What then?? Were you there? How about a damn trial first. You are an embarrassment to white people and the human race. The vast majority of racist retort comes from the crazy street activists and the whack job left.

Iain Brown said...

How about the cop hating, women hating, crotch grabbing, prison culture loving Rap artists that black kids look up to because many of them don't have fathers, huh Pam? What about that? How about your rage against Blacks killing Blacks in Chicago daily? Huh? The Black Gang fatherless Prison culture is very much at fault here. How come Al Shaprton and Eric Holder never go to Chicago? Where are the protests there? In Detroit?

Human Relations 1932 said...

Thank you. I've always worked, diligently, to be an embarrassment to white people and the human race. My work here is done!

Pam_L said...

Well, that's good. Like I said, those of you who claim to be unbigoted need to get your nutty, psychopathic friends and relatives under control, because no matter how sincere you may be, talk is cheap.

Courtney H. said...

You need to listen to these:

Educate yourself.

Courtney H. said...

See above.
Why do you hate so much? Is it because deep you hate yourself? Oh, never mind. Your comment answers that question for me.

Nina Flowers said...

In regards to crowd funding, it's always been a sick joke! You will find super successful campaigns like raising money for this cop in Ferguson, IDF soldiers and even to "stop Obama's illegal invasion"! Seriously. The ones trying to raise money to buy a wheelchair usually fail. Fools and their money are always parted.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

You really lay all your cards bare from the outset. Amazing, pathetic, and boring.

Clearly you know nothing about black people and their goals for their communities in America.

Nina Flowers said...

Color of Change has started a campaign to demand that the crowd funding site remove this fundraiser and return the funds. They have raised over $300,000 so far and are starting another campaign! The disgusting racist comments from the donors really show that there is no "post-racial" America!

Nina Flowers said...

Don't forget the disabled Native American man gunned down by police in Seattle...

Kameshwari Kate said...

I listened to the Tariq Radio sessions. It answered some questions I had about cities like Milwaukee, Chicago, Cleveland and some others in Ohio. I've always wondered why after the popular riots in the Sixties, how it came to be that many of those urban areas were left with a similar landscape: a wide expanse of former residential buildings, completely burned down and bulldozed. Why? Why were formerly thriving Black neighborhoods, with small grocery stores, larger department stores, African cultural centers and progressive social networking centers boarded up or burned out? The landscape reminded me of pictures of Warsaw ghetto.

The Tariq Radio sessions are haunting.

Courtney; any other suggestions of how I might educate myself? I realize that education is one thing, and ACTION is another.

BTW: FB prohibits me from sharing the Tariq Radio links.

ellemarie said...

A few things: (1) "Ferguson is becoming another Selma to Montgomery March where lots of white people are finally pulling their head out of their ass and saying, 'WTF? What the police
are doing there just ain't right!'"
Why is it that some black person has to get their ass beat for white folks to wake up?
Seriously, it seems like every story I hear about some white person's racial awakening begins with a black person who is relatively close to them being brutalized. One would think that a couple centuries under the whip and the equally violent intervening period between the end of slavery and the de jure recognition of citizenship rights would be enough.

(2) I heard that Story Corps piece, and my heart broke for that boy. I was also more than a little annoyed with his mother for not
preparing him for the racist/white supremacist reality we live in. I'm not saying that any version of "the talk" would have prepared him for nearly being beaten to death, because no one can truly be prepared for that. What I am talking about is the lack of race talk at all. You could tell from that piece that she raised her son on a steady diet of colorblindness. She is a case in point for why I'm always a little uncomfortable with white people, no matter how "well meaning", raising black children.

(3) A minor quibble on "conservative colorblindness": This makes it seem as if the myth of colorblindness is something that only conservatives trot out. Liberals created that nonsense, and it's now something conservatives bring up to demonstrate some sort of evolution in their thinking. You've written about this before, but any new readers may mistakenly disassociate colorblindness from liberalism.

Courtney H. said...

I am so glad that you got a lot out of the Tariq Nasheed programs. He really breaks down stuff beautifully!

I looked at the blog yesterday and it gives a few suggestions on positive action, particularly regarding Ferguson:
I hope that this is a start for you. Thanks. :)

Mike Mickle said...

I was watching the news that day. I think it was CNN that showed a
video of the attack and shooting. This is what I saw. Mike was attacking
the officer inside the police cruiser. He was using his bulk to hold
the officer in place. The other guy was holding the officer's leg so the
officer could not move. The other guy jumped up and ran away. Mike
pushed himself off of the officer and stood up. He pulled up his pants,
turned, and ran away.

The officer stood up. He was holding the
left side of his face. He went to walk towards Mike but staggered to
the left and then to the right. His right hand swayed back and forth
with gun in hand. His arm swayed up as if to aim but did not stop. Not
sure if he fired.

stopped running, turned around, and ran towards the officer. The officer
shot two times. Mike went down slowly and fell on his side. The officer
staggered over to Mike and shot three times. End of video.

video was shown many times over the next hour and then went poof. Never
to be seen again. That was between 1PM to 2PM Cen USA.

tax man said...

Yes, Negroes are the real problem in America. There is NO racism of average middle class whites against any Negroes. The racism is from the Negro side - Negroes do not like whites, period. Funny though that Conservative Blacks are fine with having jobs, owning homes, voting for Republicans, putting down the Obama idiot, paying taxes, serving in our military, being ordinary reasonable citizens. But the Negroes have to riot, steal, commit crimes, live on welfare, have no responsibility, and complain that the white man is the problem. Well, it is actually the Negroe that is the problem, not the black man who is conservative, but the Negroe like Obama that are ignorant and racist. The problems in Ferguson are the Negroes. The problems in America are the Negroes. They do not want to be mainstream, successful, pay taxes, have jobs, take care of their families, vote, hold office, help all Americans - they are stingy little fools who only want the white man to take care of them. Well, get over it because we are going to get rid of you idiots starting with that phony illegal alien imposter Obama and his wife and Holder! Time to redeem America and get rid of the Negroes. By whatever means is necessary.

tax man said...

The police in Ferguson are Heroes! Michael Brown was a thug, criminal, felon and needed to be removed from society! Officer Wilson is a Hero and did the right thing!

noone said...

hey dumsh!t who wrote this article:
1. Michael brown verbally and then physically assaulted a police officer after robbing a liquor store. He is dead now and the worst possible martyr that could ever be picked for a crusade.

2. Ferguson is a shit-hole and the murder rate goes up the further north you get from Ferguson, all the way up into Chicago. Black Americans did that period. No one else to blame. Deal with it.