Home > White Terrorists Are Winning by Jack L. Daniel, PUM Contributor

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               After the 911 attack, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Orlando shooting, and the seemingly endless wanton attacks on public schools, various officials told us that “we can’t let the terrorists win;” we must go about our daily routines; we should not be overwhelmed by fear and retreat to safe havens; and we must be “Boston Strong” lest the terrorist will have won.  However, given the societally sanctioned, racist-based, ongoing domestic terrorism experienced by Black Americans, it is very difficult for many of us to be “Boston Strong.”

               Instead of being “Boston Strong,” many Blacks have developed “Healthy Cultural Paranoia” which is a term introduced by psychologists William Grier and Price Cobbs (Black Rage) to suggest that the American Black experience is so threatening that it is healthy for Blacks to be “paranoid.”   Just as it is healthy to be cautious in the presence of a hungry lion or a poisonous snake, it is healthy for Black Americans to behave as if, at any given moment, an agent of White racism might take away their constitutional rights; a police officer could rob them of their personhood, and, indeed, take their lives without being prosecuted; and a physician might experiment with them without their permission and risk their lives in doing so!   

In my case, how am I to be “Boston Strong” when “driving while Black” is not only my daily reality but also it is the case that our infamous POTUS 45 publicly stated that, should I be arrested, the police officer should handle me and others in a rough fashion, i.e., not protect my head when they put me in the police car?   Given the deep-seated implicit bias harbored by some police officers, I “stay woke,” i.e., I don’t ever get into my car and simply drive.  Instead, I come to a complete stop at every stop sign and pause a few seconds before moving –even if no traffic is coming.  I use my turn signal well in advance of making a turn.   When I get on a freeway, I use my cruise control to go 1 mile per hour under whatever is the speed limit; and, in short, I never simply enjoy the state-approved privilege represented by my driver’s license.   For “failing to maintain lane,” a police officer could stop me and then manhandle me as was done to the 65-year-old Black diabetic grandmother in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Long before [1] police were summoned when 10 Black Washington University students were falsely accused of “dining and dashing” from an IHOP restaurant and [2] a manager of a Cleveland-area Bahama Breeze restaurant called the police after alleging that members of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority had not paid, I had made a habit of never leaving a restaurant, grocery store, department store, or any other place I made a purchase without a receipt in my pocket.  “Yes” is always my response when a clerk asks if I want a receipt.  If a receipt is not offered, I request one.  For future evidence if needed, a credit card is my primary payment method. 

Even when I’m in my neighborhood, getting the mail out of my mailbox could lead to losing my life.  For example, one day, as I was using my key to open my mailbox, a police car with two White officers pulled up.  One officer got out and, red-faced as well as speaking in a gruff voice, demanded to know what I was doing.  I knew I could not simply state what I was doing.  Therefore, I turned very slowly; held my key in the air; and said in the most polite voice I could muster, “I’m getting my mail.”  Then, I slowly put the key in the mailbox and opened it at which time the White officer said, “Ok, you never know what’s going on around here.”  

During the winter, if I go walking in my neighborhood, I never do so at night and I most certainly don’t wear a “hoodie” because I know I could get arrested for “illegally trespassing” or still worse shot.  Because I don’t know what might be going on, I never go walking in a White neighborhood where I don’t reside.  After all, this past May a White woman called the police when a Black real estate investor went to inspect a house in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Blacks are not even safe in the house of their God.  In addition to lives lost, Blacks’ psyches have been shocked by things such as [1] the Ku Klux Klan bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham; [2] the White terrorist Dylann Roof’s massacre of Blacks at Charleston’s Emanuel AME; and [3] the burning of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church and defacing it by painting “vote Trump” on it just before the election.  Just as their places of worship can’t be counted on as sanctuaries nor can Blacks “stand their ground” in their homes. 

An indelible paranoid-inducing set of facts is that in Florida [1] a licensed gun owner and Black mother Marissa Alexander went to prison because she fired a warning shot at her estranged husband who she thought would harm her given that he had broken into her home and shoved her to the floor; [2] George Zimmerman was set free after murdering Trayvon Martin; and [3] recently charges were not brought against a White man, Michael Drejka, who shot and killed a Black man, Markeis McGlockton, over a parking space controversy.  To put the foregoing in perspective, recall that Baltimore Blacks were once told the Baltimore Sun did not include positive articles about Blacks because the “sun” didn’t shine for Blacks.  Today, we know the “stand your ground” law is de facto a license for Whites to kill Blacks, that in life and death cases Blacks most often have no grounds on which to stand and this policy is reinforced at the highest level of government.

The tragic truth is that we essentially have a White male terrorist serving as the chief executive of the United States.  He spreads his racist venom at will.  He had no shame this past June when he tweeted the following threat to Congresswoman Maxine Waters:  “Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the Face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!”  A few days ago, Congresswoman Water’s Los Angeles Office had to be evacuated after a package arrived addressed to “Anne Thrax.”

               In sum, White racism is so rampant that Blacks engaged in the most ordinary daily behavior can find themselves at risk.  A Black person could be driving, barbecuing, getting on an elevator, moving into their new home, sitting in their executive office, etc. and suddenly be surrounded by police demanding that they not move.  Even Black children are at risk given that a White woman called the police on a Black eight-year old child selling water on the streets of San Francisco.  Young Black girls are treated more harshly because racists claim they are more “adult-like.”  The price of a Black male succeeding at the highest level is to receive record setting numbers of threats as was the case for President Obama.

To appreciate how far we have not come in terms of reducing the paranoid inducing circumstances for Blacks, why many Blacks are so bothered by White terrorists, why we demand justice now, consider the following passage from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail:” “…when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of ‘nobodiness’--then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait…” 


Jack L. Daniel (Pictured Above)

Co-Founder, Freed Panther Society

Pittsburgh Urban Media Contributor

July 27, 2018

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