We are like deer in headlights…
Several weeks back, listening to the latest news, on the police brutalizing of Sandra Bland, has caused me to question the reason: “Why”.
Before venturing into the “Why” let’s define who are “We” and who are “They” in the context of this post. “We” are middle and upper class people with education, power and have the ability to bring about change. “They” are a group of people who are in positions of power and authority; they find themselves threaten and/or who feel their position challenged. Today’s story is of a young educated black woman and the police. Tomorrow the roles may change but the underlying message is the same.
Today’s technology of smartphones has produced numerous video records of police brutality on the Black community. They know they are being filmed. Then why do it?
The “Why” is so important to understand. Because I believe “Fear” is their weapon of choice. What’s more dangerous than drugs, alcohol and lack of education in the Black community–the answer is “Fear”?
We are like deer in headlights. The deer see the car, but they are paralyzed by fear and cannot move. That is how racists wants us to react: see them coming, but be afraid to move.
Police (including caucasian, latino, and black officers who have marginal education and little psychological skills) feel that Blacks have become smarter and wiser than those who wear a badge. The police who are not comfortable around Black people believe it is essential to show Black people, especially female and older Blacks, that they are superior.
The ones who will go to the extreme, even sacrificing their own lives. They will, willingly, kill or maim those they are, subconsciously, afraid will attack them. Just as the suicide bombers in the Middle East, the racists in the USA are trained to sacrifice themselves for their cause.
The same destructive thinking is seen in our police officers sacrificing career and freedom for the cause or a belief of their superiority. The police are trained by a group of people who understand how to hunt and, if necessary, kill their prey. Many police, who are openly racists, feel threatened by educated Black people who demand their rights, quote the laws guaranteeing their rights (Miranda Act) and refuse to be diminished by an officer.
Yes, we know which areas to be in after dark. We know how and when to speak, our “yes, sir”, and “no sir” responses. We are no longer a community that just knows how to play basketball, football, and other sports including rhythmic moves.
We are educated, smart, funny and visible. We have our own businesses, we sit on boards, and we have even married their sons and daughters. That is what they hate. We are showing signs of justice. We are achieving, through our work and education, superiority and are claiming our rights to executive positions, seats in legislatures, Congress, and even the presidency. That is seen as a threat to white supremacy and control.
They fight back by spreading “fear”. They know the smart and educated will warn their sons and daughters. Tell them to be mindful of what they say, do and where they go. They know the media will talk to the people of influence report that even they are concerned.
They think that they must make us feel inferior, and demand we question ourselves and each other. They want us to question if we should stay up studying late nights, work two jobs, and wonder if our circumstances will ever change. They want us right back where we started. In the fields and not at the master’s table.
Again, I say their weapon is “fear”. It is not the cases of brutality, that is killing us, but the virus of fear. It festers in air, around everyone but to the black community it is our kryptonite.
We hear and see the horrific stories repeated on TV, news, Facebook, YouTube, and etc. The subtle message that is killing us is we should be “afraid”. The virus of Fear spreads quickly. The infection of this virus destroys your confidence, ability to reason, and the freedom to go on with your life.
Do we let these horrific crimes go unpunished? Absolutely not! We need to understand the underlying message of racists. We must not be caught off guard. We must understand the people, of any color, who are against us, and counter their arguments.
How do we fight back? You understand that you are a “deer” that is swift and powerful and you no longer need to stand and be hit but you can move. Understand moving out of the way and running are different. Understand that this road may need to be crossed everyday but you can not be afraid. Be smart, look both ways and cross with dignity.
Roxanne Wilkening MS. Ed.