Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Racism of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a scam, but not an impartial one. Only black people are required to forgive their white murderers.

But let's not pretend, as Americans, that we think forgiveness is the proper, Christian response to murder. We only seemed to think that in one case.

If we were to compare our most recent mass murders (we have so many) and the reactions to them, ask yourself whether or not anyone was clamoring to punish Dylan Roof's family. Or round up all the white supremacists and put them in jail. No, there was a clamoring among some Americans to pull down the confederate flag from official buildings. And it's astonishing, when you think about it, that such a flag was even flying or that people were defending it --- the same people, no doubt, who are clamoring for this family to be deported (or worse.)

I noticed that while we don't know at this point the motives of the Chattanooga shooter, it's crystal clear what Dylan Roof's were --- to start a race war. And yet the media is having no trouble calling Chatanooga suspected terrorism. The head of the FBI says he's just not sure about Dylan Roof. It seems tobvious now, if it didn't before, that the term is only applied to Muslims.

Charlie Pierce has it right --- this is about America and our love affair with violence.   I had been under the impression that the right had made its peace with that as the price we pay for the freedom to be armed to the teeth at all times.  But that's not true.  They are very philosophical about the consequence of violence when it's perpetrated by white people, to be sure. It's just a fact of life like summer storms and earthquakes.  But they get very, very angry when a racial or ethnic minority does it. There's some sick white privilege for you.
If a white American does this it's just a sad fact of life, they have problems and there's nothing we can do except maybe give everybody more guns. If a black person did this it would have been because he was a thug and belonged in jail long ago. If a Latino did it we need to build a wall and deport as many of them as possible. If a Muslim did it, it's an act of war. There's nothing confusing about it.


No comments: