JUST WHEN YOU THINK things might be getting better, a post like this is shared on local social media saying: “Got a speeding ticket near a Dennys. Do I burn down the Dennys or steal a TV? This new normal stuff is confusing.”
Given its lack of understanding and empathy for the suffering and misery of so many people, it might as well have started with, “I’m not a racist but…”
So I asked the poster how he would feel if it was his child who was stopped for speeding. What would his reaction be if in the process she was tased, dragged out of the car and then shot because the police officer later claimed the driver was resisting arrest? Does it sound familiar at all?
Killed for a speeding ticket. Would he feel grief stricken for the loss of his child and would anger and hate make him cry out for justice? How would he feel when the officer who recklessly terrorized and shot his child didn’t go to jail, walked away a free man and kept his job?
I agreed that burning down Dennys would solve nothing but wondered why he felt it okay to trivialize what for some could be the deadly consequences of a simple speeding ticket?
Racism is neither new nor should it still be confusing; it’s been going on for hundreds of years. And when we share ‘cute’ but still racist posts, we confirm how we have no concept of the terror some parents must feel every time their child goes out alone. They know how easily their kids could be killed for doing nothing more than being non-white.
Every aspect of racism is ugly and becomes uglier and more pervasive when posts like this are shared. This is white pride in the disguise of cute nonsense and the accumulative effect empowers a white police officer to take eight minutes to slowly, deliberately and painfully kill a black citizen in full view of everyone.
It was a public lynching enabled and encouraged in some part by the subtle racist messaging in posts like that one. It was enough to seemingly assure a cop that he could intentionally and without remorse or apparent worry, casually suffocate and drain the life out of another human being.
This is the 21st century and we should be disgusted that racism and lynchings are still normal. There is nothing new about this normal and if that confuses you, then you need to step in front of a mirror for a very serious talk with yourself.
Bill McQuarrie is a former magazine publisher, photojournalist and entrepreneur. Semi-retired and now living in Port McNeill, you can follow him on Instagram #mcriderbc or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.