Did I really just have this conversation with probably the top Liberal blogger in my province?
Click to embiggen.
One of the ironies of white racial identity is that white Americans tend to see themselves in non-racial terms, as the norm against which all other groups are compared. This perception of whiteness as “normal” distances all other groups and reinforces the power relationships that have been imbedded in U.S. society since colonial days. Whites regard themselves as “just people” and see only “others” as having race.
For example, in causal discussions and everyday conversations, whites often mention the race of non-whites, even when racial identities are not relevant to the story. For example, a white American might say, “This black guy asked me for directions to city hall,” identifying race even though it plays no particular role in the anecdote. When people are not identified by their race (“This guy asked me for directions to city hall.”), the assumption is that they are white: normal people who need not further description.
This view places whites in a highly privileged status. “Other people are raced, we are just people”…. There is no more powerful position than that of being ‘just’ human. The claim to power is the claim to speak for the commonality of humanity. Raced people can’t do that—they only speak for their own race.
Just as whites tend to be unaware of their racial identity, they also tend to be unaware of the privileges that attend “whiteness.” Sociologist Peggy McIntosh notes that whites (like men) are reluctant to acknowledge their privilege vis-à-vis non-whites (women). This denial is a way of protecting the privilege—if it doesn’t exist, it doesn’t have to be explained, examined, or defended.
Nearly three weeks after an unarmed teenager was killed in a small city north of Orlando, stirring an outcry, a few indisputable facts remain: the teenager, who was black, was carrying nothing but a bag of Skittles, some money and a can of iced tea when he was shot. The neighborhood crime watch volunteer who got out of his car and shot him is white and Hispanic. He has not been arrested and is claiming self-defense.
Beyond that, however, little is clear about the Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, 17.
As criticism of the police investigation mounts, so too do the calls for swift action in a case with heavy racial overtones. Protests grow larger each week, and lawyers for the family are now asking the Department of Justice to intervene. The case also brings into sharp focus Florida’s self-defense laws, which give people who feel threatened greater latitude in defending themselves than most states.
The police in of Sanford, where the shooting took place, are not revealing details of the investigation. Late Friday night, after weeks of pressure, the police played the 911 calls in the case for the family and gave copies to the news media. On the recordings, one shot, an apparent warning or miss, is heard, followed by a voice begging or pleading, and a cry. A second shot is then heard, and the pleading stops.
“It is so clear that this was a 17-year-old boy pleading for his life, and someone shot him in cold blood,” said Natalie Jackson, one of the Martin family lawyers.
The New York Times, “Justice Department Investigation Is Sought In Florida Teenager’s Shooting Death.”
Jesus fucking Christ.
One of my favourite people in the world, Jen Mussari, made this. She’s clearly a talented and rad human being.