In America: White Folks Can…Black Folks Can’t
Let me help you understand something Black people…you can’t get away with the same thing that White people get away with in this country.
As Black people, we need to stop saying stuff like: “But when White people do it……”
First off, this country was built by White people and for White people since its foundation. Secondly, mainstream society and popular culture has conditioned the majority of Americans to believe that if you are White and do something wrong it is normal, but if you are a person of color and do the same thing, it is somehow abnormal and exaggerated. Lastly, White people created the rules, broke the rules, adjusted the rules, amended the rules, forgot the rules and don’t get judged the same way when it comes to those very rules they created to govern themselves. It is the very definition of hypocrisy.
Let’s take President Donald J. Trump and his administration for example. Trump has assembled a team of like-minded individuals who consistently and brazenly lie about everything under the sun. They lie about incidents that never occurred. They lie about facts and call them “alternative facts” and they lie about figures and have no regard for the truth.
Can you imagine what type of heat that President Barack Obama, the first Black president here in the U.S., would have received if he consistently lied; had a scandal involving Russia’s alleged interference in U.S. elections; used the office of the president to conduct personal business, while allowing his immediate family to travel using taxpayer money; refused to attend intelligence briefings, one in which cost the life of a member of the military; used taxpayer money to fund his vacations and to pay for security for his entire family as they travel and stay in separate places away from the White House; or if he had said and done many of the things that Trump has said and done since running for the office of the president and after he was inaugurated?
President Obama would’ve been impeached in one day, and you know it!
Take Trump’s position on signing an executive order on immigration that he said would “protect our people” from potential terrorists. He has been adamant about attacking inner-city Blacks in Chicago by threatening to send in federal troops and about banning Muslims from entering into the country, yet he has said nothing about the White domestic terrorists who are living and functioning in plain sight right here in North America.
From the beginning of his campaign for president, where he has witnessed with the rest of America, a young, White supremacist by the name of Dylann Roof, shoot nine Black people while they worshipped in church in 2015; his denying that he knew who David Duke or the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was in an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN; the countless number of White men who have brutally murdered members of law enforcement over the past year; and now since he has become president, Trump’s silence about members of the Centre Culturel Islamique, who were gathered inside Quebec City’s largest mosque for the most important prayer of the day, being gunned down by a White supremacist. Do people not find this hypocritical and disturbing?
Why do many people have selective memory when it comes to who America’s original and largest domestic terrorist group is? I use the term “is” because the KKK is still alive and kicking, and the government hasn’t shut them down or dealt with them with the veracity with which they dealt with the Black Panther Party or many Black leaders and movements.
Did you know that the White domestic terrorists who formed the KKK inspired the very first federal anti-terrorism law called the Third Force Act – affectionately known as the Ku Klux Act?
That’s right! In 1871, the U.S. Congress authorized President Ulysses S. Grant to declare martial law, impose heavy penalties against terrorist organizations and use military force to suppress the KKK in nine South Carolina counties, which led to thousands of arrests. However, in typical fashion, when you have the fox guarding the henhouse, the all-White U.S. Supreme Court declared that the Ku Klux Act was unconstitutional in 1882, and gave White supremacists free reign to continue their White domestic terrorist raids against African Americans at night by using methods such as intimidating; destroying property; physically assaulting; verbally assaulting; and even murdering Black people, in order to achieve their goals to remain in control and to influence any upcoming elections. Not much has changed from then to now, sadly.
Our current president berated the first Black president for years, questioning the legitimacy of his presidency because of a false “birther” claim. Then, Trump consistently lambasted President Obama, saying that he spent too much time on vacation and not at the White House handling the country’s business. Now, Trump has a problem when people question his wife’s immigration status; or when they demand to see his tax returns; or when his losing the popular vote becomes the topic of conversation; or when his decisions and power are questioned; or when he goes to his personal Mar-a-Lago resort every weekend at taxpayer expense. Why do the majority of Americans seem to be unbothered by that?
Let’s face it, until they are no longer the majority and no longer have control over everything in this country, White people will be able to do whatever they want, with little to no accountability.
I am not jealous of this fact. I am not mad about it. I am not envious. I just recognize the reality of the country in which we live. I am reminded of a quote by comedian George Carlin, from his 1988 TV comedy special, where he summed up for me the double standard that exists in this country when it comes to racism and the issues we face as a country. Carlin said:
“It’s the old American double standard. Say one thing, do something different. And, of course, the country is founded on the double standard. That’s our history. This country was founded on a very basic double standard. This country was founded by slave owners who wanted to be free.”
Being White in America has it perks and privileges, especially when it comes to avoiding accountability for your actions.
White evangelicals demonized a Black president and even called him the “anti-Christ” and ungodly, yet they have praised Trump and have chosen to overlook his unrepentant sins and unapologetic actions. President Obama didn’t have one scandal while he was in the White House, yet Trump started off with several in his first month in office. The majority of people who drove this country into recession back in 2008, were White and have yet to be held accountable for the debacle we experienced as a country. Or what about just last year, when Ammon Bundy led a group of his fellow heavily armed White thugs to break the law by taking over a federally-owned wildlife refuge in Oregon, and were acquitted of all counts against them? Or what about a convicted child molester like Robert H. Richards IV, being spared prison in 2009, because a White judge felt that he would “not fare well” behind bars? Or what about a White rapist like former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner being given a six-month jail sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman by a California judge?
I mean, I could go on and on, but I think you understand where I’m coming from here.
Here me loud and clear folks. I want to give you some sage wisdom, even though some people may not want to hear the truth. When it comes to this country, I want to give you a simple phrase we can all remember that needs to be shared with anyone who will listen.
In America: White Folks Can…Black Folks Can’t!
Jeffrey L. Boney serves as Associate Editor and is an award-winning journalist for the Houston Forward Times newspaper. Jeffrey is a frequent contributor on the Nancy Grace Show and has a daily radio talk show called Real Talk with Jeffrey L. Boney. He is a Next Generation Project Fellow, dynamic, international speaker, experienced entrepreneur, business development strategist and Founder/CEO of the Texas Business Alliance. If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.