By Lavern Merriweather:
One of my most favorite people ever to appear on the Russell Simmons’ produced HBO show “Def Poets” is Arab- American Suheir Hammad. My girl really broke it down with her first poem about the unfair practice of generalizing all young Arab males as terrorists. She said, and accurately so, that people in America didn’t vilify all young, blond, skinny white males after scumbag Timothy McVeigh blew up that federal building in Oklahoma 19 years ago. The audience soundly applauded her words, and I can certainly understand why.
Brotha has had to go in himself many times on the American media for its fanning of the flames when it comes to collectively judging everyone from a race by the acts of a few. He brings up the valid and necessary point that although a number of white males have committed vicious acts of atrocities either alone or with others, they are never seen as a group to hold accountable for the acts of only certain people. No, white males are looked at purely as individuals. There is no recourse of suspicion when a young white male, regardless of his dress, is walking the street in an unfamiliar neighborhood. He is just another guy walking down the street where as a young black male like Trayvon Martin gets pegged as suspicious or a possible criminal despite doing absolutely nothing to earn that moniker.
I was happily surprised by the objective commentary from many on the Facebook community in regards to the Ray Rice story. One man, who was white, even said that elsewhere 16,985 other players went about their business. I say cheers to him for speaking truth where none is being spoken. White males in the media obviously have no interest in telling stories about the many African-American players in all sports who don’t engage in illegal behavior, just like they don’t take one example of a dangerous violent white male then hold him up as the poster boy for how all white males are.
I recall a post on the website Alternet where a young male who was Arab talked about how nobody would sit next to him on the subway after Sept. 11 happened. Someone then made a snarky comment about how you shouldn’t sit next to a white male either because he might be the next Ted Bundy or the aforementioned McVeigh. And that’s where the problem lies.
White males don’t have that worry, because they know nobody will ever lump then in with other white males behaving badly like James Holmes, Adam Lanza, Bufford Furrow, Russell Weston, George Hennard and now this latest punk Eric Frien. Frien is suspected of being part of a white supremacist survivalist group and viciously gunned down two cops in Arizona just days ago. Although he is a wanted fugitive capable of despicable acts, Frien is still not viewed as evil.
Most, if not all, white folks covering this story wax endlessly about how smart and charming the accused murderer is. See how ridiculously fake and self-serving they frame the news about a sadistic white male thug? You’d think that they were talking about some new young rising star on a crappy CW program.
Rolling Stone magazine got a lot of angry flack, and deservedly so, for featuring one of the Russian bombing suspects at the Boston marathon last year on the front of their publication. He looked like some pop star cover boy. And many said that it made a mockery of not only the tragedy which he is accused of being involved in, but also made him look less like the terrifying lowlife that he truly is. It’s like that old saying you can’t pour sugar on shit, then call it ice cream.
Las Vegas couple Jarrod and Amanda Miller, whom I wrote about previously, brutally shot and killed two cops in their hometown for kicks. Yet, any young weird looking white male and female couple walking the Earth will never have to think that they are being unfairly targeted because of what another white couple did earlier. They can just walk around – devil may care – without anyone believing that can’t be up to anything but trouble.
There is always that favorite line white people say when it’s a white male specifically that is guilty. They spout “Oh he just looked so normal; He doesn’t, at all, look like a killer or a bad guy”. Well, what the hell did you expect, stupid? He would be walking around with a neon sign circled about his neck describing all his crimes in grisly detail?
The reason why you don’t see him as bad is because you refuse to see yourself as bad. So, all that prejudice and prejudging you use to justify the killings of Mike Brown, Trayvon and Amadou Diallo will make perfect sense to you, despite the fact that NONE of them were doing a damn thing wrong!
They sure as hell weren’t stockpiling weapons like Eric Frien and his ilk. Nor were they going to the gun range with mommy to learn how to be a better aim against six year-olds like Adam Lanza. They also didn’t make creepy as hell videos dressed up like psychotic Hollywood characters. And they didn’t make any claims that they would hurt any authority figure that got in their way. They didn’t plot or plan to shoot and murder as many people as they could during a late night showing of a popular movie franchise.
The Benetton clothing long incurred the outrage of Teena Brandon’s mom Joann and others when they used one of her killers John Lotter in an ad. Lotter received life in prison for the sadistic rape and murder of Ms. Brandon when it was discovered by him and a friend that she was actually a girl who was passing herself off as a boy. Lotter, who is a white male, was used for a picture in a photo shoot wearing his prison issued handcuffs. Teena’s mom was furious as we all should have been.
I get that the Benetton Company has a very unusual style and has done some highly controversial layouts in the past. However, this not only proves that they are moronic, heartless, insensitive fools, but also completely stuck on stupid. This man isn’t a damn model. He is a murderer who viciously took another person’s life, because he found out that Teena was lying to him and played him for a chump. That’s not a justification though for what he did.
Lotter is a worthless thug who is now where he probably should have been a long time ago. But because he’s not a Negro or a Latino, he isn’t seen through the same prism of disgust so eagerly reserved for men of color. And other white males who might share a personality trait with him will need to do the ultimate in heinous crimes to even be thought of as a criminal.