LJ Cunningham

White Racist Violence Is Out Of Control

Racist violence isn’t new. It’s as old as the United States.

Post Published: May 23, 2023

White People Have To Take Racist Violence More Seriously

Split images with white borders. In the first: Blonde woman with animated face, US Rep Marjoree Taylor Greene makes a spectacle of feeling threatened by a Black man while she aggressively raises her hand between their bodies. Second photo: White woman berates Black youth with a dismissive palm.
These are examples of white women who don’t believe in the dangers of racist violence against Black people. And who create spectacles of themselves by weaponizing their personal discomfort.

Every time I go to Twitter, another white person is inciting racist violence. Margorie Taylor Greene is at it again. Sarah Jane Comrie, invoking the devil of Carolyn Bryant in broad daylight, wasn’t enough. Now we need a Government official doing it. (Again!)

The indictment of Daniel Penny. days after he brutally strangled to death Black, mentally ill, and homeless Jordan Neely was barely a week ago. 

Racist violence isn’t new. It’s as old as the United States, and it’s the reason why we have Carolyn Bryant to look backward in time to. It’s why we have ongoing legislative attacks on factual, complete, national history in public schools, today. 

Stop Facilitating Racist and Religious Violence

White people, we are conditioned to not talk about race. Religion, too. And money, isn’t that right? Oh, yes: and politics. Very taboo subjects. Unprofessional, even.

It’s time to realize and accept how much more social power we have and shift that norm. 

The racism and antisemitism becoming mainstream in the U.S. must be challenged loudly in all spaces. At all times. Not talking about these things are what keeps these topics so taboo; if we won’t bring it up, nobody is uncomfortable. 

I’ve got news for you: racist bigots should never be comfortable; just as comfort isn’t at all something anyone should expect at all times. Instead of continuing on the tradition of not speaking up against racism; instead of not being transparent and directly anti-racist, it’s time to set that boundary right now.

Choosing again and again as a collective with the most social/political influence to remain silent if not celebratory when racist violence occurs must stop.

Without setting this collective social boundary, we have opened the door to a dangerous habit: entertaining discourse about the facts of reality. I’m a bit slow on the uptake of this, as I myself am also white. Other white folks like myself and I are still catching on that we can’t trust others to be “acting in good faith.”

In a nation teetering on losing it’s democracy, while police violence, hate crimes, trans hate and homophobia eat away all our joys, it’s time to remember, dear fellow white folks, that we do have power. And we don’t need to wait for anyone to give us permission to use it, either.

Racist Violence Should Have Tangible, Swift, Consequences

Sarah Jane Comrie chose to wear scrubs with her employer’s name on it. She chose to then physically intimidate and touch teenaged Black boys. Ms. Comrie then chose to kick it up a notch and pretend to be scared and endangered. There should absolutely be consequences for this dangerous behavior because this behavior gets Black kids killed.

Split photo of a white man - Daniel Penny - wearing a black hat, and black hoodie with a tan jacket over it. Second photo of Daniel Penny on the ground while he chokes Jordan Neely.
Cell phone photos by Juan Albero Vazquez of Daniel Penny after and while he murdered Jordan Neely on the subway in New York City

Daniel Penny murdered a houseless Black man on a NY subway train. Daniel Penny is a white man, a former U.S. Marine trained to kill. He murdered Jordan Neely by choking him and called it “a restraint.” It took days for him to be arrested, only for him to be charged with manslaughter.

The delay in his arrest and the leniency of his charges are perfect examples of how systemic white supremacy works. If you remember, Eric Garner-a Black man-was murdered by NYPD in 2014 for the “crime” of selling loose cigarettes on the street. Ongoing white narratives unfairly paint Jordan Neely, like Eric Garner before him, as a Black man worthy of being killed for his inherent “criminal” behaviors.

Anti-Racist White People Have To Actively Stand Against Violence

We could all wring our hands and wait on elections for our chance to take a stand. OR we can also use every single financial, social, professional influence that we have to shift the norms.

Rather than wasting time speculating on why or proving how, I recommend swift and tangible consequences. Whenever possible, and however one feels safe; report that license. Email the employer. Make it uncomfortable, scary, ferocious. Keep it legal, succinct, professional. Come with receipts.

Karen yourself right into making it your business to police white people’s interactions with Black people. Make your discomfort everyone’s business when you see someone defending Nazism. Even and especially if you have no targeted identities, you should be first in line speaking up. Get on that phone to your state representative. Tell them how you feel about Ms. Taylor Greene. Why don’t we have safeguards in place keeping the public safe from her hateful rhetoric?

Do you own your own business? Be clear and transparent about how your industry hurts or help the global majority and state your antiracist values and ideals for all to see.

White People Must Use Their “Privilege” Before They Lose It

I can already hear my inner white woman saying, “isn’t this too much?”

No, it isn’t. It’s legal, it’s accessible, and if one has the position to do so, do it. The racist religious zealotry didn’t just start. It’s arguably as American as apple pie. Accept it.

Start here:

Watch this and read the site.

Apply this to your daily life.

Remember that the racism, antisemitism, and attacks on democracy are overwhelming because they’re all interwoven together by intention, design, and history.

We don’t need to know everything to have action steps.

We do need to provide incentives to keep racist violence from continuing.

These recent attacks are literally inciting violence.

Social contagion is as real as racism and religious discrimination.

Use your white privilege before you lose it.



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