One of the hardest anti-racist concepts for me to grasp is that there is no difference in groups of people. So, if there is a difference by race (i.e., racial achievement gap or mass incarceration), the reason is because of racist policies and not because of the moral or behavioral flaws of a group of people.
My whole life, the message, from everyone: Blacks, Whites, rich, poor, is that there is something morally wrong with young Black men who commit a crime and go to jail. I’ve memorized and internalized the “super predator” myth and its causes to moral failings.
Here are a few racist myths that I have internalized:
1)Black boys are out of control and commit crimes because there are not Black fathers present.
2) Black people don’t read and think it’s “uncool” to be good at school. That’s why there is a racial academic gap.
3) Hip Hop music glorifies danger, and that is why there are so many Black boys in gangs and sell drugs. That is why there are so many Black boys in the criminal justice system.
4) If Black boys didn’t wear sagging pants, then the police wouldn’t bother them. If Black boys dressed respectable, in suits and ties, then the police won’t harass them, and they will do better in school and go to college.
The list is endless, and the main folks saying these things are Black leaders, including President Obama and preachers!
In fact, Chicago, nor any other “inner-city (us)American” city, is in the top 10 in crime or gun crimes internationally. Facebook, this is a hard concept for me to accept. No matter who much proof there is to the contrary, I still believe Black males are “morally deficient.” If we fixed the behavior and morality, we would get racial inequality (poverty, education, and mass incarceration.) And even though I know this lie, that “Black males are more morally bankrupt and more dangerous than other races or ethnicities” is racist propaganda, created intentionally by racist folks who want to maintain this capitalist system and exploit the poor, I still believe it! Despite the overwhelming facts that prove that racist policies create inequity in crime, I still struggle to reject the “super-predator myth.”
BLAGH! Ending racism is going to be hard AF!