*Did you know in Georgia it’s easier to legally purchase a firearm than it is to register to vote? In Georgia it could take as long as a month from the time a legal resident registers to vote to the time their name is added to voting rosters. Yet the man who confessed to shooting eight people at three Atlanta area massage parlors last week purchased the 9mm he used to commit the crimes that same day.
Georgia lawmakers right now are passing laws to make it harder to vote – not making it harder for domestic terrorists to buy weapons and kill innocent people. Apparently they’re okay with that.
It’s been a week since Robert Aaron Long shot and killed eight Asian-Americans and was on his way to find more victims when he got caught. Yet nobody is talking about the need for stricter gun laws in Georgia or across the country. I’m sure somebody will talk about making stricter gun laws in the coming days, but lawmakers won’t actually do it: Not after this shooting. Not after the Charleston Black church shooting. Not after the Orlando gay night club shooting. Not after the school shootings. Not after the Vegas mass shooting. And that was mostly White people who were shot and killed. If they won’t change gun laws when White people attack other White people and kids the rest of us can hang it up!
Some people don’t want to call Robert Aaron Long a domestic terrorist, even though he admits to targeting Asian women as a way to exorcise his own sexual addiction. Even Captain Jay Baker in Cherokee County, Georgia where Long was on his way to shoot somebody else and got caught first, dismissively characterized it as ‘He was having a bad day.’
Why is it that – in a system created by White people for White people – when it still doesn’t work out for them they blame the people they conspired to keep down in the first place?
It’s not Asian people’s fault this dude has a sex addition. Maybe he’s just a 21-year-old horny dude who now will have to work that out with other men in prison. It wasn’t the fault of Black people having Wednesday night Bible study at Emanuel AME Church that Dylann Roof’s life was a failure. The 58 people that Stephen Paddock killed and the 900 others he injured when he shot up the fairgrounds from the Vegas hotel window overlooking the music festival had nothing to do with why this man felt passed over and left out. Yet for some reason these White terrorists took out their frustrations on strangers.
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The mostly White Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol because they were mad Trump lost the election, rioted, caused the death of two Capitol Hill cops and threatened the lives of law makers. They blamed other people instead of blaming Trump for Trump’s loss. When White people attack it’s always somebody else’s fault! Never their own fault.
We know all White people aren’t racists. Most of us have relationships with White people as friends, co-workers or maybe as significant others. So we can confirm they’re not all racists. But the ones who are not racists don’t seem to want to call the other one’s out on their bullshit!
I get it: It’s hard to speak out against a system that benefits you. But at some point the system of creating wealth off the backs of others without offering fair compensation, or paying reparations long overdue; that system of getting ahead because you hold others back, the routine of declaring ‘you didn’t own slaves or cheat anybody’ so it’s not your fault, while living off the proceeds is just as bad. If it was a crime you would be considered an accomplice after the fact.
It’s time for White people to hold other White people accountable for their bullshit. Talking to your Black friends about how ‘not all White people are racists’ is not enough. White people talking to us about how they’re so glad Donald Trump is not president anymore – like it was all good before he was president – is not good enough. It does nothing but make YOU feel good when there’s still people in these streets who are racist enough for you and four other non-racist White people.
Whenever White people attack there’s always other White people who exclaim ‘This is NOT who we are!’ But when it keeps happening it just proves this is who you are: Racist White people rigged the system in their favor and when they still can’t get ahead they attack the victim and tell you it’s your fault. Asian-Americans are learning what African-Americans have been living for 450 years. When racist White people show you who they are, believe them!
There are more Robert Aaron Longs out there. There are more Dylann Roofs out there. There are still people out there who were part of the Capitol Hill insurrection hiding in plain sight. They have shown us who they are. Get ready and stay ready.
Steffanie Rivers is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. Email your comments, questions and speaking inquiries to [email protected] and follow her @TCBStef on Twitter and Instagram.