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Race

Jussie Smollett and white certainty of guilt.

I’m not debating what consequences should be assigned to a Black man who has not been proven anything one way or another when I’m trying to express my anger about the lack of consequences assigned to a group of men who MURDER innocent Black people while the politicians who uphold that system are pretending that a staged crime is more serious than a dead body.

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This is my last post about Jussie Smollett because — like I said — I don’t really care about this anymore, but I just want white gays to take a beat and see what their Definitely Guilty stance looks like to people like me who have listened to White America decide over and over that Black kids are “definitely guilty of something” whenever the police tell us they are. 

This case stinks and at this point, I think it’s impossible to get everyone (or the majority of people) on the same page because of the way the case was handled from the beginning. What I do know is that so many of y’all are vehemently proclaiming Jussie’s guilt because the cops say he’s guilty, yet I’ve seen you chime in over the years in support of Black activists championing investigations into police conduct when unarmed Black people are murdered and the official cop position is “I feared for my life because…” or “We had no choice because they were a criminal.” 

Where’s that support and skepticism of the police now?

The city of Chicago has paid more money to the victims of police shootings than any other city in the country, yet their cops don’t end up in prison. We’ve seen them lie repeatedly about the sequence of events leading up to the murder of another Black person…and then the tapes are released and they have to change their story. This police department leaked SO MUCH INFORMATION to the press, held so many press conferences about new “evidence” during an ongoing investigation to a degree that I have never seen before, seemingly to sway public opinion to their side.

And, I guess it worked because you same folks who meet our skepticism of the police with head nods of agreement have thrown all that away now that the alleged crime affects the perception of *your* LGBT community.  We have a criminal justice system in this country, and for all its flaws, the basic premise is still “innocent until proven guilty” not “innocent until the cops show the public the evidence they want us to see, the same cops who show us evidence in many cases where they are eventually proven wrong, sued, and have to fork over a few million dollars to the victims.” 

If Jussie lied, it’s terrible that Trump & His MAGAts have a new lightning rod to use at rallies…but they’ve also been chanting “lock her up” for three whole years now…so who cares?  It’s terrible that the next (undisputed) victim of a hate crime will have Conservatives question the veracity of the story with “but Jussie lied!”…but they already question the veracity of every hate crime…so what has changed? Jussie Smollett lying about a hate crime wouldn’t set back LGBT victims any more than it set back Black victims (please stop ignoring that there was a noose; the erasure of race by gay white men starts at ignoring the racial aspect to the alleged crime and ends with ignoring the voices of Black people telling you to hold your pitchforks for a moment and THINK!). 

If there was a way to prove he lied (and there isn’t, at this point, thanks to how poorly Chicago PD handled this case) I wouldn’t spit on him if he was on fire. There’s too much division in the country, too much violence, too many lives at stake for a privileged brat looking for a bigger paycheck to trivialize the real dangers regular people face and to exploit the fears of two communities that have supported your career for years. If there was a way to prove he lied (and there isn’t, at this point, thanks to how poorly Chicago PD handled this case) he should never be able to work in Hollywood again — he should be blackballed straight out of the industry.  If there was a way to prove he lied (and there isn’t, at this point, thanks to how poorly Chicago PD handled this case), he should absolutely be punished by the legal system and serve time for not only diverting attention to himself at the expense of other victims in Chicago but also for causing Black people, LGBT people, and Black LGBT people (hello! I’m right here!) extra stress in an era of MAGAts always looking for a “gotcha!”

And even still, even if we could prove he lied and got away with it, the parade of white men in government and law enforcement pretending they care about crime, pretending they care about lying to the legal system, and pretending they care about the credibility of marginalized communities telling their stories would still enrage me far more than any staged crime Jussie came up with. That is the discussion I was having with other Black people and that is the discussion I brought to the floor on *my* wall. I don’t need to discuss the repercussions of a crime we can’t even agree happened. I don’t want to go back and forth about the appropriate punishment of a man who may or may not have committed a crime. I don’t want to watch gay white (and white-passing) men proclaim the guilt of a Black man based solely on the word of police and tell ME how angry I should be about it and how I should hold my torch and my pitchfork when the man in question isn’t even being prosecuted due to lack of evidence!! I don’t need to have Facebook debates about someone who hasn’t been proven guilty or innocent (because he’s not going to trial) when I do have guilty white men in my face shedding crocodile tears for this terrible “miscarriage of justice” when they can’t even muster a thought or a prayer for dead Black people at the hands of a system they operate! 

It’s not that hard y’all! I’m not debating what consequences should be assigned to a Black man who has not been proven anything one way or another when I’m trying to express my anger about the lack of consequences assigned to a group of men who MURDER innocent Black people while the politicians who uphold that system are pretending that a staged crime is more serious than a dead body.

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Race

Dean Browning…Dan Purdy…and a plot twist!

Blackfishing took a wild ride today!

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Pay close attention, because this is a rollercoaster!

In case you don’t know what blackfishing is, the term was first applied to white Instagram “models” who augment their looks to such a degree that they try to pass as light-skinned or biracial Black women for clout and sponsorships from Black brands. Here’s Swedish Instagram model Emma Hallberg for reference:

We’ve also been witness to the rise of white people in academic or activist circles posing as Black people or people of color to give their points of view more weight. Rachel Dolezal is the poster-child, but we’ve seen a number of professors — Jessica Krug and Craig Chapman most notably — outed this year for being just regular ol’ white folks pretending to be minorities.

Further down that chain we have anonymous accounts on social media pretending to be Black people. White racists and Conservatives from across MAGA Nation pretend to be Black online so they can spew racist views from a “Black” person and have their words picked up by the masses.

It’s not a racist white man saying Black people are violent criminals! It’s one of their own so it must be true!

Today…one got found out…and it has truly been a ride. Buckle up for safety!

This is Dean Browning.

His Twitter bio says “Former Lehigh County Commissioner. A proud pro-life & pro-2A Christian conservative dedicated to enacting common sense solutions to Keep America Great.” Check out this deleted conversation from earlier today.

The first one seems like something a Conservative from Pennsylvania would say, but then he forgot to log out of his regular account and into his “anonymous” account before chiming in with a voice from the Black community. Twitter quickly lit his ass up and he went viral because that’s the kind of mistake you rarely see. Dean deleted the tweet, but screencaps are forever, so he tried to mitigate the damage with a weak I was quoting someone else excuse.

But that doesn’t feel right, because this Dan Purdy is clearly a fake account that uses the “I’m Black and gay!” line over and over to make his terrible points stick.

But wait!  The real Dan Purdy has decided to weigh in!

https://twitter.com/DanPurdy322/status/1326283962503794689

If he deletes that, someone let me know and I’ll upload the video because of course I saved it just in case.

EDIT: His account is already suspended so here’s the video.

 

So what’s going on here? Did Dan Purdy really reach out to Dean Browning and express that opinion? It’s hard to fight visual evidence, but the Internet does not take such revelations lightly and some people believe Dean hired an actor to make that video. I’m not saying I believe it, but it’s hard to argue with the fact that this isn’t even the first fake Dan Purdy account. The first one got suspended and that one didn’t even pretend to be gay and Black initially: It was a white man going by Pat Riarchy

So it looks like this man in the video is just some random guy Dean Browning found to cover his ass.

Except! Except! We can find that guy, with the same avatar and everything, on Facebook and his name is William “Byl” Holte.

OK. So. There’s a guy by the name of Byl Holte who has been posing under the name Dan Purdy online, first as a white MAGA patriot that got suspended from the platform. In his current iteration, he is indeed Black and gay, but still Conservative, and sent a message of support to his friend, good ol’ Dean, who copy/pasted directly instead of adding any quotations.

I think that’s what happened here.

Oh one more thing: Do you know any famous people with the last name Holte? The only one I can think of is Patricia Holte, who now goes by Patti Labelle. Right, that’s the thing — William is her son!

MISS PATTI WE NEED A SONG ABOUT THIS!

WHERE ARE MY BACKUP SINGERS!

 

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Race

Young white murderers are little boys. Young Black victims are grown men.

Racism, the assumptions around Black people, and the perceptions of Black children are all baked into the fabric of this country, and Conservative White America keeps that oven turned up every single day. 

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Kyle Rittenhouse is a 17-year-old wannabe policeman who carried an AR-15 across state lines to feel masculine, patriotic, and important, and he ultimately killed two people and injured another. Former Attorney General of Florida Pam Bondi says he’s just a little boy who was protecting his community.

He wasn’t protecting his community — he lives half an hour away. He had to have his mother drive him there.

He’s not a little kid — he’ll be 18 in December, old enough to vote and go to war.

He’s not a victim — protesters wouldn’t have been chasing him if he hadn’t shown up from out of town carrying a rifle that he legally wasn’t supposed to have anyway.

This is what Conservative White America watches all day, celebrations and exaltations of white murderers contrasted with demonizations and vilifications of Black victims. And when the murderer is young, Conservative White America rallies around them to magnify their youth and exaggerate their innocence. Kyle Rittenhouse is a murderer who gets to be a “little boy” and Dylann Roof is a murderer who gets to be a “sweet kid” but our young victims don’t have that luxury.

Michael Brown was 18 years old.

His murderer, who is the same height as Michael Brown, said he wasn’t a boy — he was a demon — and it was like wrestling with Hulk Hogan. (x)

Trayvon Martin was 17 years old.

He was walking home from the store when his murderer decided to stalk him, confront him, and then kill him because he was afraid of a child. (x)

Tamir Rice was 12 years old.

He and Kyle Rittenhouse are similar in that they were both carrying guns. Of course, Tamir’s was a toy and he was shot seconds after officers saw it, because what they thought they saw was a grown man carrying a deadly weapon. Officers on the scene said he was “maybe 20.” (x)

Law enforcement starts to see Black children as older than white children starting around 10 years old. After that, Black children have an extra four years tacked on to their age (on average), and when that Black child is accused of a crime, he’s more likely to be assumed guilty.

“Children in most societies are considered to be in a distinct group with characteristics such as innocence and the need for protection. Our research found that black boys can be seen as responsible for their actions at an age when white boys still benefit from the assumption that children are essentially innocent,” said author Phillip Atiba Goff, PhD, of the University of California, Los Angeles. The study was published online in APA’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology®.

(cont. American Psychological Association)

We talk about defunding the police in the context of unlawful police shootings and racially motivated police brutality, and the counterarguments focus on reforming the police instead: They just need more training. They just need to learn more de-escalation strategies. There’s no training that will change 400 years of racially charged propaganda that has painted Black people, males especially, as aggressive, criminal, brutes. There’s no training that will suddenly make police officers see Black children as Black children when 400 years of media and history has painted Black kids as older and more dangerous than they are because Black people in general are framed as more dangerous and more aggressive than white people. Racism, the assumptions around Black people, and the perceptions of Black children are all baked into the fabric of this country, and Conservative White America keeps that oven turned up every single day.

 

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Race

Black people cannot sway an election.

Handwringing by Embarrassed Whites over the Black vote has to die. Y’all lost the 2016 election because you didn’t do enough to convince your families and social circles that Trump would destroy the country.

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There’s a white lady on Twitter with a very long thread about the 2016 election that I am absolutely not going to read, because all I needed was this:

In case she deletes the tweet, because sometimes people do that online when they’re getting dragged, Claire Berlinski said Donald Trump would not be President if Black people who voted for Obama had turned out in the same numbers for Hillary. I see variations of that all the time, trying to shift the blame for Trump onto Black people instead of examining it where it lay, with racist whites. White people blaming us for the election are embarrassed to be associated with them, so they deflect, but Black people don’t exist in large enough numbers to have the kind of impact these Embarrassed Whites want to imagine. Very very simple math proves this, so let’s just get it out of the way up top.

In 2016, 11% of Black people who had voted for Obama didn’t vote at all. 12% of white people who had voted for Obama voted for Trump. The US population is 63.4% white and 13.4% Black. There are almost five times as many white people in this country as Black people, so let’s apply that to the graph she posted.

2016

For simpler math, say the top bar shows 100 white people, which would mean the bottom bar would show 21 Black people, because that’s our ratio in this country. You see where this is going already I’m sure. This means 12 white Obama voters voted for Trump while TWO Black Obama voters didn’t vote at all. Embarrassed Whites want to shift blame from 12 white people to 2 Black people because it makes them feel better about not addressing politics with their relatives and acquaintances.

That part is factual — the original graph is from an article on the Washington Post. What I’m about to say next is more conjecture based on common knowledge that’s already out there because I don’t have the research background (time, really) to pull the numbers on all of this. Take what you know about gerrymandering, about housing discrimination, and about redlining, and apply that to the numbers. We don’t have a 1 person = 1 vote system. We have an electoral system where 100 people are consolidated into 1 vote based on who the majority of that 100 wanted.

51 people vote A. 49 people vote B. A wins.
51 people vote A. 49 people vote B. A wins again.
10 people vote A. 90 people vote B. B wins.

The votes are 112 to 188, but A wins the whole shebang because A won twice.  (That’s how Trump won.) Because of the aforementioned gerrymandering, housing discrimination, and redlining, most of the Black people are sitting in the 90 person block of people who voted for B. Every Black person in America could have voted in 2016, and it would not have had the effect on the election that Embarrassed Whites like to pretend it would have because the US electoral system has consolidated our voting power into tiny blocs cordoned off from the rest of the population.

Harlem is going to vote Democrat. The equivalent of Harlem in Dallas or Birmingham or Memphis is going to vote Democrat. You can convince another few thousand Black people to go vote for your candidate in the Harlems across the country, and it didn’t do anything to tip the balance of the election because Candidate A has still won two contests. It’s only increasing the margin of victory for Candidate B in one result. There aren’t enough Black people in these 95% white voting districts (dotted all across the country in red states with more cows than people) to say, “well if Black people voted we wouldn’t be here.” You’ll have one extra Black vote in Montana for every 20 extra Black votes in Harlem.

Handwringing by Embarrassed Whites over the Black vote has to die. Y’all lost the 2016 election because you didn’t do enough to convince your families and social circles that Trump would destroy the country. You are going to lose the 2020 election for that same reason if you keep worrying about what we are doing over here. Spend less time focusing on Black turnout and more time convincing your communities that they need to go vote. Ours has been taken advantage of, disappointed enough, and blamed so many times that we have honestly earned the right to say “screw this, y’all fix it, I’m tired.”

 

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