David Matthews – Splinter:
In the last year or so, as the Black Lives Matter movement has taken off, the cause has been criticized by (mostly) white people asking, “Yeah, but what about this?”
It turns out that this argument has been in style for at least half a century.
Indeed, this type of discourse is nothing new, as we can see when we examine the hate mail that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. received during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
Surprising virtually no-one. Yeah, but what about … is joined by we’re all equal before the law as a dodge, a means of distracting attention and changing the subject away from simple facts.
How recently after the Fair Housing Act of 1968 have lenders charge predatory interest rates to people of color? 2010, 2009, 2014. By paying exorbitant interest rates for purchase of depressed properties in segregated neighborhoods, black borrowers are denied the common practice of forming wealth by home equity – the rate and time to foreclosure on black-owned properties is both high and short – and therefore the transfer of generational wealth does not happen in these communities. Each successive generation struggles, but does little better than the one before.
Ask about that, and the common wisdom among white Americans will point you to successful, accomplished black Americans. What about Colin Powell, or Robert Johnson, or all those millionaire football/basketball/baseball players?
Ask the wrong questions, get useless answers, continue living in the dream of whiteness. A better question is, why do you know about those successful black individuals? Because they’re an exception to what’s common. Why is that? The black middle class is a smaller fraction of the greater black community than is the white middle class in white America. Meanwhile, the working poor and those in poverty make up a much greater fraction of the black community that do those in the white community. Why is that? This has something to do with it.
Now we’re getting somewhere, and we haven’t even addressed police violence in black neighborhoods, the very cause that called Black Lives Matter into being.
Read. Learn. Open your mind.
#whiteness #BlackLivesMatter #predatoryLending #unequalJustice #willfullyBlind #redLining