It feels like every time I check out Twitter, turn on the news, or read the news online, I see video of a black man shooting someone (black or white), gangs of black women beating someone up, gangs of black men beating someone up, black men sucker-punching a grandma/grandpa/shop clerk, gangs of black protesters beating up other protestors (some seemingly on the same side), black men and women beating up defenseless pregnant moms and their toddlers, black men knifing people on subways, or other senseless, brutal, and barbaric behavior.
My rational mind, aided by years of experience in this and other countries, tells me these are isolated events, and I have nothing to fear. But on the other hand, that’s probably what the victims of these crimes were thinking. (Or, they weren’t thinking at all because they thought they had nothing to fear.)
When you see enough video like that, you can’t help but start thinking, perhaps there’s a reason to be afraid. Maybe I’m right to fear being around black people I don’t know.
To be fair, in many of these videos, you rarely get the context of the event, and I’m sure you’re missing the event that started the beatdown depicted.
But even then, I was brought up to believe that kind of violence is simply unwarranted and wrong, pretty much no matter what was done to you.
On the flip side, even as I write this, blacks are rioting, protesting, and killing each other all across the country. Not in massive numbers, to be sure. In fact, if you look at the percentages, you have a better chance of getting coronavirus than you do of suffering at the hands of an unknown black person.
Naturally, I can’t help but wonder where are the videos of white people doing this? Where is all the white gang violence? Where are the mobs of white people beating someone up? They existed in the videos that appeared immediately after George Floyd was killed. But they seem to have disappeared.
I don’t know. I’ve now seen three videos of elderly women with walkers being sucker punched by a black man who was either walking by or randomly sitting on a bench that one woman just happened to walk past.
You just don’t normally see that kind of violence. But I think the effect is understandable. You try and find the common threads and do everything you can to avoid being in that situation.
As of now, I can only come up with one conclusion: avoid being around black people you don’t know personally.
The truly sad thing about that conclusion is that, as I wrote a month ago, race was the last thing on my mind – no matter who I met or encountered. Now, thanks to the people fighting against racism, it’s becoming a concern.
(To be sure, my thoughts on race haven’t actually changed. But you can see how this is the path to the racism that existed, and could easily exist again.)