July 7, 2020

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Rope Burns Won’t Heal With Your Knee On My Neck: The Uncomfortable Truth

Welcome to Blonde Intelligence Blog with Ms. Roni where you will experience exquisite cranial repertoire.  Let me say before I get started that I have an undergrad in Sociology and a Masters of Science in Counseling Studies so I am going to try to explain to some degree for those that don’t understand.

There are a few words that have to be understood. The first being “white privilege”. According to Oxford Languages, white privilege is the inherent advantages possessed by a white person on the basis of their race in a society characterized by racial inequality and justice. In other words, getting by with something or not punished simply because the person is white. Some example of white privilege (Greenburg, 2017) www.yesmagazine.com are a general positive relationship with the police, being favored by school authorities, attending mostly segregated affluent schools, the privilege of learning about one’s own race in school, finding children’s books that reflect own race, media blatant bias towards one race, the privilege of escaping violent stereotypes associated with race, the privilege of playing colorblind to wipe away the history of racism, the privilege of being insulated from the effects of racism, and the privilege of living ignorant to the actual racism occurring today. There are two forms of racism, overt and covert. Overt racism is racism shown openly. Covert racism is racism that is hid behind closed doors.  Example: using the “N” word in a derogatory way to describe a person of color. Whether it would be said openly or just with a select group of friends as a joke determines if the racism overt or covert. The next word is racial discrimination. According to www.equalityhumanrights.com, racial discrimination is when someone or an institution treats a person or a group of people worse than another in a similar situation or a policy is built to disadvantage that  group of people based on race.  Example: football players kneeling and the officer kneeling in the Floyd case.

Just this morning I witnessed a reporter being arrested and treated differently than another reporter of the same organization and notably the only difference was one’s race. I asked a group of African American women their emotions after watching the video of the officer’s knee that resulted in the death of another unarmed person of color.  Some of the emotions were angry, hurt, disheartening, weak, tired, and exhausted. Angry that people try to justify what is wrong. Hurt that the same thing keeps happening over and over. Disheartened because the feeling is always defense mode. Just exhausted and tired because people keep choosing denial instead of self-reflection. One of the African American women from the group, who happens to be a licensed therapist, feels that the problem is people saying they don’t see color is using that an excuse to not acknowledge the problem.

Lawyer Brigance said “Now close your eyes…….close them…now imagine that he was white” (A Time To Kill, 1996). Imagine that a white man was handcuffed and a grown man of color had his knee in his neck. Imagine a white man being handcuffed and shot in the head by a person of color with the excuse of he thought it was mace. Imagine a young white boy just going to the store for Skittles and fought and shot by a grown man of color. Imagine a white man just plain pleading for his life simply because he was being deprived to breath.

Remember that rope burns won’t heal with your knee on my neck and yes it an uncomfortable truth.

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