White people are afraid. White people are terrified of an enemy that exists only in our collective white consciousness – black people.
There are no “niggers.” Black people don’t exist. Not really. Yes, in this society that white people have created, there are persons we call “black.” We do more than just call them black. We call them all sorts of horrible names. We lock them up in chains. We beat them. We spit on them. We kick them. We punch them. We rape them. We murder them. We have created this imaginary monster that we are absolutely terrified, and which we constantly violently attack.
Our white society was built around the brutalization of black men, women, and children. White people hired the white police officer who executed 12-year-old Tamir Rice playing at a playground. White people rallied their support behind the murderer of Trayvon Martin. White people empathized with the white police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. White people accept that Eric Garner was choked to death by a white police officer on video over a misdemeanor. These things just happen … to black people by white people.
This is a sickness. It’s a disease. It’s a cancer eating away at this nation’s intestines. Unless, and until, we find the cure, this nation will succumb. Our death is in view now as we watch Donald Trump in our Oval office, supported by white nationalists and Nazis. We can’t hold on much longer.
But the cure is a simple one.
White people need to accept reality.
We need to look at the world for what it is, not the fantasy that we tell ourselves that it is. White people have this insane idea that their safety and security and prosperity are integrally linked to the oppression and brutalization of black people. We fear that if we accept black people equally and completely into our lives that we will somehow lose something; our lives will be less.
This mentality, or belief, or whatever it is, it has to be tossed into the dustbin of history. We have to reimagine who we are based on reality, rather than the lies we tell ourselves.
It’s not simply a rejection of racism and bigotry in our own personal lives that we must overcome. We must actively resist the oppression of black people in society as a whole. That oppression can come in many forms: television shows or books or movies or cops killing black kids for no reason. When we see these things, these forms of oppression of black men, women and children, it is our gift to our fellow Americans that we shout it down every time and with great vigor.
This racism, this disease, it exists because white people continue to support it. If we remove that support, perhaps, one day this nation could be great.
“What white people have to do,” James Baldwin said, “is try and find out in their own hearts why it was necessary to have a nigger in the first place, because I’m not a nigger, I’m a man, but if you think I’m a nigger, it means you need it.”