Violence Discriminates: Why We Need To Wage A War On Racism

By Liana Birke

My dad is a black man.

Therefore, I am sensitive to the world on his behalf. I want to know why the country where I live and that I love has such a wild obsession with my father and the fathers and brothers of every little black girl on this soil.

Black men date trashy white women. They prey, they are angry and violent. Black men are dangerous and we must keep our daughters away from them.

It is okay to generalize and stereotype the black man in this way because we have statistics. And, statistics show that black men commit the most theft and violent crimes in urban areas.

So, with these statistics in hand, we allow the police to target the black man in every paved city. They must be targeted and searched on the street because the chances that they did not commit crimes are not in their favor.

For many, "the ghetto" is synonymous with "the black man." America has in place a system that makes it difficult for the black man to receive a proper education and get a well-paying job. America then blames the black man for these statistics.

What is the alternative? Address the fact that our country is still racist in 2014?

That despite our efforts to seem "totally past that antiquated frame of mind," we still react to the black man on the corner, the black man in the office, the black man in the limo, the black man holding the hand of a white woman, the black man pounding the streets in Timberlands, the black man standing outside a convenience store, etc?

This brings me to my main point, which is that we must not become enraptured by a certain romantic idea that has recently resurfaced: the idea that violence does not discriminate.

This is a dangerous thought process because it ignores a simple fact of reality, which is that racist and sexist agendas exist and have been allowed to exist due to many middle class people stuffing their ears and covering their eyes at the mention of anything that raises the hair on their arms.

I repeat: Violence does discriminate. Just as a lover's fist has an uncanny way of connecting with the jaw of a woman and a fired bullet has an uncanny way of striking the chest of a black child, violence has held a long tenure as the right hand man of the oppressor.

And, while laws have come and gone, I’m afraid to say, we still haven’t quite received our check.

Now, is shooting an unarmed individual a crime against humanity? Absolutely. But, this is true only in the loftiest, most philosophical sense.

We can sit in our chairs, fingers steepled, discussing the sanctity of the racially bereft, genderless soul, but this does absolutely nothing to address the very real, specific problem of racism. It's a problem that has existed for thousands of years across many continents.

Violence is ingrained in the human condition. It is a part of us, therefore, it is inescapable. From a school yard shuffle to a desert war ground, it will persist.

The best we can do is preach tolerance, but racism is a malignant child born from the loins of fear — and it can be terminated.

Therefore racism, not violence, should be the victim of the next round of hashtags floating around. Appealing to some greater notion of humanity is a privilege for those who have never seen their daddies get pulled over for driving a nice car in a nice neighborhood.

May the heat of the protest light a fire under thine ass.