Post-Racial America

I’ve been trying to think of something insightful to say about the murder of Renisha McBride, but I’m really struggling to come up with anything to add. The murderer has made regretful sounds, but they’re more along the “this was an unfortunate accident, but knowing what I knew at the time, I did what I had to do,” rather than “holy shit, I shot an unarmed teenager who was asking for help  and killed them and I’m should probably spend the rest of my life in prison.”

One suspects this will be yet another example of a white person killing a black person and going unpunished. We should just call this “Zimmermaning” and be done with it.

Anyone who thought that electing a middle-of-the-road milquetoast who happened to be black signaled the end of racism in the United States was utterly mad. How could it? The degree of ingrained, institutional racism in America remains unchanged. Have you ever heard of the Drug Enforcement Agency? The name sounds innocuous, but its original mission is anything but. Let’s turn this one over to former President Richard Nixon, the father of the DEA:

“You have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this all while not appearing to.”

If it seems like American jails are chock full of drug offenders who just happen to be black even though a smaller percentage of blacks than whites are involved in the drug trade, or that sentences for possessing drugs that are prevalent in black communities (and Toronto mayors) are many times greater than for “white” drugs, well, that’s no coincidence. It’s the stated mission of the DEA. It’s not a war on drugs; it’s a war on blacks.

So the election of a black President hasn’t ended racism in the U.S.; if anything, its brought the cockroaches out of the wood works. Are you familiar with the expression “sundown towns?”  They’re a relic of segregation, or at least, they should be. They’re towns where non-whites are not welcome after sundown. “Not welcome” is an intentionally vague understatement. They still exist in the United States of America in 2013.

How do we know they still exist? Ok, this next link is ugly. It’s as ugly as anything you’re likely to see. I know I joke that is “the worst site on the internet,” but they’re just insular and mean and not very bright. This place is so much worse. They keep lists of “sundown towns” not to shine a light on the ugliness of racism, but to list them as good places to move ones family instead. Only click this link if you have a strong stomach. There’s a link to suspected or confirmed “sundown towns” on that page.

And yes, Dearborn is on the list.

I don’t know what to make of all this other than to just go and take a shower and try to wash this filth off of me. I’m not sure which is worse: The fact that the United States makes it perfectly legal to kill someone if you’re scared of them, or the fact that so many Americans are scared of people who have dark skin.

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