Are Black People Too Eager to Forgive Racist Behaviors?
Are Black People Too Eager to Forgive Racist Behaviors?
Former President Bill Clinton admitted that white U.S. public health officials betrayed, lied to and trampled the human rights of African-American victims of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment.
Elwin Wilson lynched Black dolls as a white kid. He graduated to leading a racist gang assault on future Congressman John Lewis. Nearly a half century after the attack, Wilson embraced Rep. Lewis and begged forgiveness.
I’m not a racist.
Planet of the Apes (2001) star Mark Wahlberg wasn’t buying Skittles or committing strong-arm robberies as a teen. He spent his youth terrorizing Black children. Wahlberg and company hurled rocks while yelling, “We don’t like black n*ggers,” and “Kill the n*gger,” according to court records. Devotion to white terrorism compelled him to continue brutalizing non-white people. But this was simply “affluenza” or juvenile tomfoolery; Wahlberg’s an accomplished thespian and reformed entrepreneur hoping to pad his prospectus with a pardon.
I have Black friends.
“$40 Million Slave” author William Rhoden submits that, “African-Americans have been in the forgiveness business for centuries.” Unfortunately, this Black industry is a subsidiary of the global conglomerate of white supremacy. Being the eternal target of white aggression forces Black people to perpetually respond to, and often, excuse white sadism. Our relationship with whites is sorry. The volume of racist atrocities against Black people exceeds all library and hard drive space. The niggardly mea culpas are predictably decades late, unaccompanied by restitution and barely complete before the next offering of white cruelty.
General and child psychiatrist and “Isis Papers” author Dr. Frances Cress Welsing declared: “Racism is the characteristic of the relationship between white people and Black people. And it’s been so for 500+ years.” This toxic, tragic arrangement guarantees that Ferguson’s Mary Ann Twitty, Wahlberg, countless whitefolks become masters of ceremony for a recital of: “An Apology To N*ggers.”
I’m sorry. I’m not a racist. I have Black friends.
Deception is a definitive aspect of racism, a primary weapon in the defense of white power. The concept of white guilt is perpetually promoted, patently false. Displeasure with being apprehended is not contrition. The white collective is not remorseful about but dedicated to the ceaseless persecution of Black people. Typically, alcoholics resist being labeled as substance abusers. Child molesters reject being branded as pedophiles. No matter how depraved the act, an accused racist will dispute this title to the embalming table. An environment saturated with racism, but void of racist whites confounds Black understanding, our ability to counter racism. Countless whites have maintained lifelong Black pals – even Black sex partners – while unapologetically committing their life force to white supremacy.
Black people have enemies. Those remorseless enemies are white.
Suspected race soldier and former Ferguson court clerk Mary Ann Twitty presented a tacky justification for forwarding racist emails depicting President Barack Obama as a monkey and praising the abortion of Black babies. Remarkably, she’s not a racist, has a Black friend “sister” and is sorry. Most importantly, she insists that all of her former white colleagues consumed and enjoyed this anti-black bile. These spectacles of white repentance force a myopic view of an isolated white individual. Twitty and the University of Oklahoma’s Levi Pettit (No n*ggers in SAE) are part of a global racist fraternity, a global racist army. Even if their apologies are sincere, the historic, ongoing, international context of collective white hostility toward Black people renders even the authentically ashamed white an impotent anomaly.
South African white terrorist Eugene “Prime Evil” de Kock dedicated his life to slaughtering Black people to preserve white domination. Jaques Pauw documents how de Kock presided over a clan of white brutes who held “barbecues, roasting meat and drinking, while they waited for the bodies of tortured and murdered Black activists to burn to ashes.”
In 2015, “Prime Evil” was released from prison. He did less time than Nelson Mandela.
And he’s sorry.
He’s taken selfies with the Black ancestors of the freedom fighters he murdered and received endorsements from a Nobel Prize winner. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu welcomed de Kock’s release and prayed, “that those whom [de Kock] hurt, those from whom he took loved ones, will find the power to forgive him. Forgiving is empowering for the forgiver and the forgiven.”
Unfortunately, “reconciliation” and forgiving white terrorism has not dislodged white power in South Africa, the world. On that basis, Welsing classifies any notion of forgiving white violation of Black people as mental sickness: “Racism is the highest form of domestic violence. In cases of domestic violence they do not recommend that the victim keeps forgiving … until they end up dead.”
Welsing encourages us to consider the military science of white supremacy. Thirteen-year-old softball prodigy Mo’ne Davis, South Carolina shooting victim Walter Scott’s Black mother, all Black people are conditioned to forgive whites “as a form of psychological warfare.” During Madiba’s 27 years of confinement, he recounts being bombarded with the idea of “reconciliation” – that Black people “needed to reconcile ourselves to the whites.” South African journalist Sisonke Msimang corroborates this cerebral assault: “The banal script of reconciliation and forgiveness that has dominated South Africa’s political landscape for the last 20 years… which assumes that whites have paid for their sins and blacks have forgiven them.” White power mandates that Black rage be extinguished, replaced with a cheek-turning psychosis that encourages victims to accept abuse.
Whites who identify as “Jewish” are never obligated to absolve the Germans for the horrors of the Third Reich. Approximately 70 years after the conquest of Adolf Hitler, Germans continue to pay restitution. The Black petition for reparations is ignored and ridiculed as whining for welfare. We’re to be appeased with a few white tears and a “my bad.”
Welsing juxtaposes the calls for Black forgiveness with the conduct of actor and comedian Bill Cosby’s mostly white accusers. “On whose television program have they all stood up and said we forgive you? What interviewer has said: well, don’t you think it would be the correct thing to forgive him after all of this time has passed?”
With Black candor, Welsing assesses the Black people who admonish us to accept white apologies: “Those Black people have been harmed by having their self-respect as Black people annihilated.” Kirsten West Savali notes that this injury induces a craving “for scraps of humanity” from whites. Their evaluations are not a condemnation. We should exercise intense empathy and patience with Black people and recognize that centuries of white terror have molded our responses to racism. Frequently, our thoughts, speech, actions and emotions are contaminated by generations of justified fear. Denying white redemption is rebellious, dangerous.
Former Black Panther, Pennsylvania inmate and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal and escaped convict, former Black Panther and wanted terrorist Assata Shakur are rebellious, dangerous. Unforgiven.
Their incarceration and exile pressures Mo’ne Davis’ call for clemency after a white man calls her a slut; the Black cadre that adorned Levi Pettit’s charade; Serena Williams’ tearful return to the site where her father, Richard Williams, contends his Olympic champion daughter was branded as “just another n*gger.”
Welsing implores us to appreciate and reflect the Black courage and #BlackSelfRespect of Mumia, Assata, and Eric Garner’s widow, Esaw, who declined the condolences of her husband’s white killers. Former Black Panther and San Quentin inmate, the late George Jackson, counsels us not to turn, but to cherish and defend Black cheeks. Bankrupting the enterprise of Blacks forgiving whites is an exercise of Black mental health.
Gus T. Renegade is the host of The C.O.W.S. Talk Radio – a platform designed to dissect and counter Racism. He has interviewed and researched authors, filmmakers and scholars from around the globe.