Why It Might Be Time To Accept That White Lives Matter More: A Black Atheist Reacts To Dylann Roof’s Bond Hearing

Why It Might Be Time To Accept That White Lives Matter More: A Black Atheist Reacts To Dylann Roof’s Bond Hearing June 20, 2015

I knew it was too good to be true. One sentence about the nine victims.  But they aren’t the big story here.  But let’s not overvalue their lives and their suffering. But let’s not get too angry about 9 black people shot dead in a church.  Let’s not focus on them too much.  Let’s remember that #alllivesmatter, not just those of nine black people gunned down in cold blood.  But let’s remember that white lives matter (too):

But we also have victims on the other side. There are victims on this young man’s side of the family. Nobody would have ever thrown them into the whirlwind of events that they are being thrown into.

Wait.  No one?  But Dylann did.  What does his actions have to do with his family?  He made the decision.  He shot nine people in cold blood. It was his fault that his family has been thrown into the whirlwind of events, and the way the judge talks about it, waving his finger insistently, as if he’s personally insulted at the “whirlwind of events” caused by the media frenzy over this event and what it’s done to Dylann’s family…it’s almost like he’s blaming black people for their pain.

It’s a refrain I’ve heard before.  Your tears and your anger, black people, is failing to take into account that #alllivesmatter.  What about the white victims?  Surely there are some.  What about them?  Why are you so angry about the 9 people shot in cold blood, black people?  

Can’t you see that your grief is making us uncomfortable?  

Can’t you see that your anger is hurting our feelings? We’re angry, too, about the way your anger is hurting our victims. 

9 of your respected citizens got shot in cold blood, and you’re grieving and angry?  Yeah?  Well, we white people are suffering from the fact that one of our own did this to you.  What about our pain?

I mean, how is the pain of realizing you have 9 deceased community leaders shot dead due to prejudice you experience every day equal to the pain of realizing that your family member — who is still alive, by the way — did it?

When the 9 deceased community leaders are black, and the family of the shooter is white.  And that’s not an angry statement, because I know you hate it when we get mad. 

It’s a statement of resignation. It’s giving up.  It’s dropping our “Black Lives Matter” signs in the grass and walking away from the pointless protests.  Why should we fight?  It just creates more white “victims” who are offended by the audacity we have to be so concerned about those of us who get shot in cold blood.

Could you tell us, white representative of the United States “Justice” System, you great white mastah,  how we should respond to the tragedy of the white people whose feelings we hurt with our anger?  Oh great white father, preach to us as to how we can properly respect the plight of the poor, poor white people!

That plea is not disappointed.  On cue, the judge continues, strongly, with finger wagging to the listening audience, including the listening families of the victims:

We must find it in our hearts, not only to help those who are victims, but his family as well.  When it’s all done and said, Scarlett Wilson, the solicitor, and [lawyer for the defendent] Ashley Pennington, will have done the best job they can do.  They’re some of the finest.  Our law enforcement [my commentary — the ones who shot down Walter Scott, remember] are the finest in this state. And they will do their job honorably [emphasizes each word by tapping his wagging finger on the desk].  I trust they will.  With that being said, we will move forward today with this hearing.

About three minutes later in the hearing, after the words have had a chance to sink in to the audience’s resigned ears, those in the courtroom who are from the victims’ families — who heard this speech by the judge — are asked if they want to make a statement.

And the statements sound as if they have been coached by the preceding speech.  So powerful is the sentiment that “White Lives Matter” that the victims’s families seem resigned and accepting. Christianity joins with the environment the judge sets up to underline that it is not a time for anger, but for respect for the pain the white killer is surely feeling right now.

In spite of my resignation, there is a pang here.  Because this nails in the coffin for me.  It’s how I know nothing is going to change.  Acceptance is setting in.  This is just the way things are, a pained voice tells me — the ranting and raving is over, and maybe you need to accept that black lives just don’t really matter.  Maybe you need to accept that there are black people and white people, and that white people’s tragedies matter more than black people’s tragedies.  

Most of white America, in what happened next, saw beauty and peace.  This is no surprise, as white America would like nothing more than for us to forget any hint of racism exists in this country.

What I saw was resignation. What I saw was giving up tempting even this black atheist’s spirit.  What I saw was the realization that things won’t get better, and we have one life, so we might as well accept the way things are.

It’s beyond rage.  It’s throwing in the towel, bowing before the great white mastah represented at the justice lectern, and saying that yes, indeed… #alllivesmatter, but white lives more than others.

My brother, sister, father, mother may be six feet under, rotting for all time because of you, but that’s OK, white person who shot them in cold blood.  It would be selfish to forget that you have feelings, too.  And yes, of course I’ll let you in our community, and love you, and care about you just as we did in our church, in spite of what happened before, because who are we to be angry at what you’ve done to us, oh great white father — it is you who gives and who takes away.

And the white America crowd goes wild.  What happened next got them a standing ovation on social media that I viewed.

Finally.  Black people shut up about racism. Finally they’ll listen to us and respect our pain as more important than theirs.  We can breath easier, knowing they won’t be angry.  Keep them crying, keep them resigned, keep them quiet, and we won’t be forced to act on their pain.

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