America’s long, rich history of pretending systemic racism doesn’t exist

A protester carries a poster honoring Sandra Bland during a memorial rally in 2015.

Even in the face of undeniable evidence.

White-on-black violence is everywhere recently, but also nowhere.

On the one hand, white nationalist groups have been marching publicly; seemingly every month brings a new report of a police shooting of an unarmed black man; and white terrorists like the Charleston church shooter are armed and emboldened. Just last week, cellphone footage was released of the 2015 traffic stop that led to the arrest of Sandra Bland, a black woman who died by apparent suicide in custody, triggering widespread Black Lives Matter protests. The release of the video, by the Dallas news station WFAA, raises questions about if police are withholding video evidence of Bland’s arrest.

Yet what should be a clear picture of violence always looks blurry. Faced with incidents of state and private white-on-black violence, various forces scramble to invert the narrative: President Trump notoriously responded to a violent and deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017 by claiming that “there is blame on both sides.” The FBI apparently decided that antifa groups in California were the dangerous ones, and seemed more focused on whether they were interfering with Klan members’ rights than on investigating the Klan itself.

Locally, when police across the country are accused of illegal violence against a black suspect, we are fed subtle and unsubtle narratives about how the victim’s behavior caused the attack against them. Most recently, after Michael Rosfeld was found not guilty after killing Antwon Rose in East Pittsburgh, Rosfeld’s defense predictably smeared the reputation of the 17-year-old honors student with zero criminal record, characterizing him as dangerous and threatening. Rosfeld supporters put up a billboard labeling a picture of Rosfeld with the words “Police Officer” and of Rose with the words “Criminal,” demanding that protesters …read more

Source:: Vox – All

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