Why is there always a debate within white America when a Black person or other melanated peoples are senselessly murdered by police and others?
No matter the situation, dead Black people are forced to go on trial within white-dominated, online spaces and it sickens me to my stomach.
These debates however, tells us a lot about the psychology of white America when it comes to them understanding and addressing the complexities of racism and white supremacy.
Humboldt County is not exempt when it comes to these debates that white people tend to have over slain Black lives.
We see you all.
Even in the minds of those in Humboldt County, dead Black people have somehow brought death upon themselves.
We see y’all thoughts, biases and hatred spewed online while you hide behind Facebook and Twitter accounts along with anonymous comment threads within y’all favorite websites such as Lost Coast Outpost.
As students at Humboldt State we are left with not knowing who these people online are and it leaves us distrusting many of the white faces that we see around town.
In 2017, most white people still seem to not understand that we as Black people hurt and have feelings despite what the media shows of us. We are not some foreign species incapable of a wide range of human emotions.
Yet our lives and emotions are not taken into consideration, while our deaths are the hot topic of online debates for white people.
Supporters of Kyle Zoellner, the 23-year old Mckinleyville man who is accused of stabbing HSU student David Josiah Lawson to death Easter weekend, say Zoellner is being unfairly tried and prosecuted by the public and media.
To that I say, what about the Black people who are dead and forced to go on trial within the media and online conversations as if their lives meant nothing, Josiah included? At least Zoellner has his life to plead his innocence and disprove the allegations against him. Josiah and so many Black people and other melanated peoples of the world do not.
Yet in death, they too are tried by the public and media.
White privilege serves many purposes for those who are fortunate to find shelter under its umbrella. So again I ask, do Black lives matter in the face of white privilege?
From what I have seen in my almost 25 years of life, in America, white privilege is unequivocally more powerful and important than Black life.
As long as white people continue to debate over slain Black lives and hold the power to always make Black people seem as the aggressor in every dispute, I do not believe that Black lives matter in the face of white privilege.
Black lives will continue to not matter in the face of white privilege as long as white people continue to hold the power of discrediting the words of Black people. As long as white people and their words continue to be held as truth above anything a Black person says, Black lives will never be able to matter in the face of white privilege.
As long as the words of Black people continue to be looked at as illegitimate, we will never be a match for white privilege. White people will always have the power to discredit and demean Black lives in everyday life and even the court of law.
This is why students of color can speak to the media expressing their feelings of negligence on behalf of the police and emergency response on the night of Josiah’s murder and they are still ridiculed and seen as untrustworthy in the face of white privilege.
That does not mean that as Black and melanated peoples of America and beyond, that we just accept these atrocities and live with them as a fact of life. How are we as women, supposed to breed children within a world that tells us that our lives are less than due to a racial hierarchy?
As Black and melanated peoples of America it is up to us to constantly call out these structures of our society that work to discredit our words and lives. The more we just accept these paradoxes as a fact of life, the deeper and more concrete they become.