I’ll start with my “racism pedigree”. I’m a black, Nigeria living, Nigerian man. I get discriminated against online and offline. I have been called NIGGER in UK while taking a stroll in Birmingham; been kicked out of a bar (Mervyn’s Umai Sushi Restaurant & Lounge) in Mountain View, “just because”.
For now, I’ll skip the experience of white folks moving seats in buses/trains, the extra shopping “helpers” when I visit the malls, the frightened looks of white faces when I enter lifts, being singled out to prove I’m in the right place etc.
Yet another black man, Gorge Floyd, has been executed by the US Police (ably represented by Derek Chauvin) for the crime of being black. I had initially taken my typical selfish and cowardly approach to these painful killings by not watching the video or reading too much about the story to spare myself the mental anguish that usually comes with it. I decided not to vest myself too emotionally as we know the usual sequence that at the very BEST, it ends with a couple of years behind bars if the Police assassins are even charged in the first place.
But I’ve decided to write this.
[My first exposure to American police executing black men was Amadou Diallo]
George Floyd’s killing is the third of the May trifecta of the black skin being seen and treated as danger. First it was Ahmaud Aubery who was executed while jogging, then Amy Cooper putting out a hit on Christian Cooper (definitely no relation of hers).
Of the three perpetrators in the crimes against those men, the one that scared me the most, wasn’t the white militia that gunned down Ahmaudu, or the Police Executioner that brutally murdered George, but Amy Cooper.
Watching the video of that encounter was bloody chilling. Because we were given a rare behind the scenes of “before” that ends in the “after” that gets covered in the news.
It was a brutal Emmett Tillesque move
Why would Amy, the innocent looking, dog loving, liberal professing, “ally” scare me more than the actual killers, who look like models for a white supremacist magazine?
“Lord, protect me from my friends; I can take care of my enemies”Voltaire.
This prayer says it all for me.
The Amy Coopers are the ones that set things in motion that end up in black men having to prove that they belong to their homes – if they aren’t unfortunate to get killed in the first place. They are quick to report the suspicious looking lad in the hoodie or neighbourhood. “Amy Cooper” is very key to the equation that ends up with what we see on the internet.
They are so dangerous because although they play a key role of the sustained racial injustice, you just cannot or would not see them.
“I’m gonna tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life”Amy Cooper
The black skin being used as a weapon on destruction.
In this particular instance, Amy Cooper was just foolish enough to be recorded saying the *wink* *wink* word.
Amy Cooper represents those “unknown soldiers” required to keep systemic racism alive, with the twist that they look nothing like danger.
They are the smiling neighbours that when they sit on jury duty, let the police executioner go. They are the journalists that use mugshots for black victims. They are the cashiers that give a nod to the security to follow that suspicious black shopper. They are the people that looked at me and my co-founder Obemde when we were kicked out of the Mountain View Bar (that one pain me no be small). They are critical to the oppression operation, yet you just can’t see them – or you can, only that they look and act like your allies.
The Derek Chauvins and caught on camera killing Amy Coopers would work to get him a fraudulent autopsy and ensure he gets only a couple of years behind bars at best.
The Dereks can be caught, shamed and hopefully prosecuted or penalized, the Amys? You don’t even see them.
[Side note: Unlike a lot of my black family and friends who think that the issue is all about Trump and voting him out, I differ in the sense that from Trump/Pence – Warren/Sanders and every white politician in-between, I trust absolutely none as a racial ally, and I don’t think any black person should. Enough of the general free passes for those without skin in the game.]
I have a lot of white friends who I certainly trust and can vouch for when it comes to racial issues. Some of them even have black spouses and kids. However, to other black folk that don’t know them, each one of them is a legitimate, potential accomplice just by being. I may say it is analogous to how women in general say they feel fearful against men even those who internally have the purest of hearts
One man’s meat is another man’s poison, they say. One man’s ally is another’s terror, I say.
Should all black people go about their day, suspicious of all the white folks around? Or should all people that were born white go around feeling guilty? Definitely not. But I need all of them to examine the role they and their kind may (unwittingly) play in sustaining this system that oppresses the black (wo)man. Particularly in the United States.
Personally, I try to listen to my white friends perspectives and when I disagree, I do so in a non-combative manner since my intent is to let them learn and not retreat.
On the protests, riots and general destruction
The protests generally just “fuck shit up”. You think it’s not working? Well, those that hope it will be over began putting up statements on the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th day. Day by day, “neutrals” are crawling out.
I think the best solution is to avoid situations that create an environment for them. Stop killing black people, and stop protecting the murderers with state power.
Rest in Peace my fallen brothers and sisters. May your deaths not be in vain.