Jon Hurwitz and Mark Peffley, political scientists and authors of Justice in America: The Separate Realities of Blacks and Whites, in a recent interview with the Washington Post’s Wonkblog about their academic studies documenting the “separate realities” and perceptions about the US criminal justice system based on race.
The whole interview is worth reading, but I wanted to emphasize this particular passage because it offers a stark and sobering window into white racism: when white people are presented with the notion that the criminal justice system is racist, they become more supportive of the death penalty and mandatory minimums.
To put it even more simply: most white people like the racist imprisonment and execution of Black folks. That’s literally the world that a majority of white people want to live in — a violently racist world — because they believe racist violence makes the world a better place for whites. Most whites support institutional racism, which is why they built it and continue to defend it and maintain it.
Oscar Pistorius would not be on trial for murder if Reeva Steenkamp had been a black man. In fact, on Valentine’s Day last year when Oscar fired four fatal shots at close range through a locked bathroom door he thought he was hitting a black man. Or so he wants the black female judge and the world to believe.
It’s worth a shot, for had he killed a black man, it would not be an issue in our “Rainbow Nation” South Africa.
You see, when white South Africans buy and collect guns, it is to kill two things: animals and black people. In fact, as far as gun-toting white males are concerned, sometimes there is no distinction between the two. There have been more than a few instances where white males have shot and killed black men and children thinking that they were shooting at animals.
So there would be no trial if he had shot and killed a black man of any age. He may instead have been hailed as a hero and even given an award that would have read: “Here is a man who did good by shooting to kill a black thief!” Everyone would have understood because everyone accepts that crime has reached intolerable levels in our society, and that the perpetrators of all these crimes are unemployed, poverty-stricken, criminally-inclined black men who are envious of the white lifestyle and so they prey on hard working white families. So they deserve to be shot down in cold blood for disturbing the peace of suburban life.
Whites in South Africa live in fear of being attacked by black male criminals. They surround their houses with sky high walls, but the fear remains so high calibre guns are a necessity, in case their black security guards manning the gates allow a black criminal to slip through. You know you cannot trust a black man, even if he is paid to guard your home. This is what paranoia has driven white men to do: shoot first and ask questions later. This is the story of our lives.
Oscar made a terrible mistake. As a white male, you do not kill a white woman, especially the one you professed to love. Your role and responsibility is to protect and defend her against marauding black thugs. But if you happen to kill her, for whatever reason, you must pin the blame on black men. Presumably, you would have hired them to rape and kill her, like the ones hired to kill Anni Dewani a few years ago. If there were no black men anywhere near the scene, just say you thought you were shooting at a black man. Nobody will ask awkward questions. It is expected for white men to shoot and kill black men to protect their property and beloved families. And the rest of the world understands and accepts this, too.What if Oscar’s victim had been black? (via thefemaletyrant)