White Privilege as a Potentially Deadly Weapon
If a racist White person uses their White privilege and bigotry to endanger the lives of African-Americans then they should face hate crime charges.
Recently, an African-American man named Christian Cooper asked Amy Cooper (no relation) to place her dog on a leash after the two crossed paths in New York’s Central Park.
In the encounter, Amy Cooper was wrong on several fronts.
The rules require her to keep her dog on a leash.
While Christian Cooper videotaped her breaking the rules, she approached him with no regards to social distancing rules.
And the worst part of it all, she did something that epitomizes foul and disgusting.
The entire confrontation was not taped.
However, what Christian Cooper videotaped showed him in a cool, calm and collected state as Amy Cooper became belligerent.
She threatened him, telling him that she was going to call the cops and say that an African-American man was threatening her as if she knew what the response would be from the New York Police Department (NYPD).
The NYPD already has the image of being the police force that killed Eric Garner for simply selling untaxed and loose cigarettes.
If cigarettes can cause death by cop for an African-American man, then you know what “threatening” a White woman would get a Black man.
Like my mother would say, they would probably string up his Black behind and hang him from a tree by his penis.
We already know what happened to the Exonerated Five after they were falsely accused of beating and raping a White woman in Central Park in the late 1980s.
Future President Donald Trump took out full-page advertisements in the local newspaper seeking to reinstate the death penalty so that the state of New York could murder five innocent African-American and Latino teenagers.
It did not matter to Trump and some other White New Yorkers that the Exonerated Five had nothing to do with the crime.
They were men of color and that has always been a capital offense in America.
We know what happened to Emmett Till in 1955 when a White woman named Carolyn Bryant Donham alleged that he had whistled at her at a convenient store in Mississippi.
Donham’s family dragged Till out of his relative’s house and brutally murdered him at 14-years-old.
His gruesome death galvanized the civil rights movement after Jet Magazine placed pictures of his mutilated body on the cover of the weekly publication.
Decades later, Donham confessed that she lied.
Till’s only crime was being a young African-American male and crossing paths with an ignorant, evil, repugnant and racist White woman.
We already know what happened in Rosewood, Fla. when a White woman claimed an African-American man beat and raped her.
Local Whites burned the entire town down, forcing survivors to flee the predominantly Black and thriving town of Rosewood, Fla.
We know what happened to Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Okla. after an allegation by a White person.
When White people, especially White women, make false claims about African-Americans, especially African-American men, someone often dies.
And that someone who dies is hardly ever a White person.
That’s what makes this false claim so heartbreaking, enraging and downright deplorable.
Amy Cooper knows that African-Americans feel their lives could be in danger every time they encounter a police officer.
Amy Cooper knows that the racial climate in America is boiling hot in 2020, thanks to the so-called leader in the White House who create the divisiveness.
Amy Cooper knows the legal system will probably believe her over the brother no matter how wrong she is.
Amy Cooper knows that that brother’s life could have ended if the cops had shown up with their minds already made up.
Amy Cooper knows that calling the cops is sometimes equivalent to calling the old school Caucasian cavalry known as the Ku Klux Klan.
She knows that if she calls on the right racist, then that redneck might resort to retribution.
And that retribution could have resulted in the brother’s permanent retirement from the globe.
Proof of my premise rests in the present reality of the late George Floyd, in Minneapolis for work, who died on May 25 in similar fashion to Garner.
Floyd, a Houston native and former Third Ward resident, was accused of alleged forgery.
If he committed the crime, he should have faced some punishment.
But for African-American men, forgery is potentially a capital offense and Floyd got the death penalty, without receiving his due process, because the cop decided that Floyd not being able to breathe was not important to him.
Therefore, if a brother got an immediate death sentence for alleged forgery, just imagine what could have happened for a brother being falsely accused of threatening a White woman.
Shout out to the responding officers that did not blow Amy Cooper’s ignorance out of proportion and putting the brother’s life in danger.
I’m calling him “brother” in this editorial for a reason.
That could have been my father.
That could have been my cousin.
That could have been my uncle.
That could have been anyone in my family.
That could have been me.
The reality that Black lives truly do not matter in a racist society makes these encounters feel like it happened to a family member like a brother.
Retired basketball star and television personality Stephen Jackson was great friends with Floyd.
I played against Jackson in high school.
Alton Sterling from Baton Rouge, La. was cousins with a classmate of mine from Southern University named Elvin Sterling.
That’s how close these killings are for the African-American community.
African-Americans do not get to even enjoy six degrees of separation when it comes to the senseless killings of our “brothers.”
It’s more like one or two degrees of separation.
Amy Cooper has to know that grim reality.
Therefore, Amy Cooper should be separated from her freedom for a while for a hate crime because the conclusion could have become tragic.