Given the recent mass shootings committed by White people, why isn’t there a visible, grassroots effort by the White community to mitigate it?
This summer alone Americans witnessed two mass shootings carried out by White men. The first, in South Carolina, was the work of Mr. Dylan Roof, a 21-year-old White supremacist who purchased his gun legally.
The second, in Louisiana, was meticulously orchestrated by Mr. John Houser, who purchased his weapon of mass destruction legally, too.
The result of both attacks was the loss of life, traumatized communities and a national dialogue about mental health, gun control and, in the case of Mr. Roof, racism in America.
But, what neither case seemed to trigger was a visible outrage – locally or nationally – from White America about mass violence committed by White people. Should their silence be perceived as them not caring about the violence that originates and permeates their communities and others?
Though I don’t favor the term “black-on-black crime,” In Philadelphia at least there’s a visible effort by members of the community to combat it.
Mr. Anton Moore, 29, who produces an annual event to promote non-violence, released this week an online PSA featuring young kids remembering their parents who were killed by gun violence. At the end of the clip, a message appears: Put the guns down, don’t shoot.
Mr. Bilal Qayyum last Thursday kicked off his “Peace Tour” in Wynnfield with a City Councilman and will be making another stop in a Philadelphia neighborhood on Monday.
These two men believe in their missions, but more importantly, they’re outraged, consistently, about the violence originating and permeating their communities and others. I recently asked a black male community leader to name just one White community leader that wasn’t a politician, and the silence as he tried to think of one was scary.
How come at the drop of a hat, Black people can enumerate those who claim to speak for them in the public space – and even White people can easily identify Black leadership – but White leadership, like white-on-white-crime, is something that can’t be identified or amplified without seemingly facetious?
White privilege is more than being able to talk back during a traffic stop and survive the encounter, it’s the ability for White people to ignore the gross violence in their community, while attempting to both condemn the state-sanctioned and neighborhood violence in black communities and position one’s self as an ally to mitigate it.
Let’s be clear about this: there’s little difference in severity when blacks commit crimes with guns and when whites do it. The only difference, I’d argue, is the number of causalities, because when Whites are the offender, death is en masse.
So, again, where are the White community leaders and why aren’t they outraged about violence originating in and permeating their communities and others?
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Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
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