An open letter to black protesters from a white man
An open letter to black protesters from a white man by Crimson Avenger for The Burning Platform
Let me start by saying that I know your anger is sincere. I know you’ve been wronged. I know you don’t want to be protesting, but you feel that you have to be heard.
You’re protesting for police reform, and the protests will certainly cause the police to change in some ways. A few tweaks here and there, to ease your anger and make you go away. But I also know that much greater change needs to happen for the black community, and you’re not going to make it happen, for one simple reason: You don’t know who your enemy is.
Your real enemies – the people we all need to name and confront – are the rich and powerful who run this country. They’ve set up a perfect system: They steal almost all the wealth, and to make sure we don’t notice, they set us against each other. We’re so preoccupied fighting each other that we don’t step back to see who we should actually be fighting. They love to see all of us at odds; it means we’re not working together against them.
You know the rich run the government. Politicians need their money and their connections, so they do what the rich want them to do. Professors from Princeton and Northwestern Universities did a study that proved when the interests of the rich are different from those of the public, they’ll almost always side with the wealthy.
So think about whether the government is set up to serve you, or to serve the rich – at your expense.
Think about the criminal justice system, which has devastated the black community. Those cops are trained by the government, which is then arming them with military equipment. Police brutality is baked into the mix. Those cops follow the laws set up by the government. Do you think the government started the war on drugs to help you? What about civil asset forfeiture? Do you think they passed the 1994 crime bill to benefit you? Do you think they privatized prisons to help you? Do you think we have the highest incarceration rate in the world because we have the most criminals? Or is it because somebody’s getting rich off all of this, while you pay the price?
What about the public schools the government makes your kids go to? Do you think they do a good job for black students? The government could completely change the school system – but they won’t. They could change school funding models so that schools in poor areas get the same funding as rich schools. They could change what they teach, and how they teach it, to actually prepare students for the world. But they won’t. Instead we get more testing, police, and metal detectors. It’s almost like we’re being taught how to be subjects for our rulers, and not real citizens. Or maybe, with the increasing security and police presence, we’re being taught to be future prisoners.