White folks being labeled “superheroes” for doing the bare minimum during a hate crime creates this false perception that they are justified in merely watching a tragedy unfold before their eyes.
We should never expect to be called a hero for doing next to nothing in the middle of a potential lynching of a Black man.
We should do all that we can to put our physical safety on the line to stop that from happening. That means picking up the nearest thing we can use as a weapon and using it without hesitation and doing so with all of our strength. That means throwing our bodies in the middle of the fight. That means punching, kicking, biting, cheap-shotting, and assaulting the aggressors by any means necessary. That means screaming at the top of our lungs to get others to join in the fight.
It means doing all of that and not expecting any praise. It means doing all of that and still feeling like we should have done more.
It means not allowing ourselves to feel as if we did something extraordinary. It means understanding that, because of our general silence and inaction towards issues of racism, it makes racist white men feel comfortable trying to lynch a Black man.
It means that even though we may have stopped a lynching, we have so much more growing to do. It means that we have the responsibility to stand up and speak out against racism at any given opportunity. It means that we must stop expecting praise for doing the least amount of work possible.
It means that the longer we choose comfortability and silence, the more we are complicit in carrying out these hate crimes, be it indirectly or directly.
Justice for Vauhxx Rush Booker.
Previously published on “Equality Includes You”, a Medium publication.
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