There’s an awareness struggle | While it’s difficult and often impossible to admit, the systemic racism in Lancaster County’s communities exists. Also difficult to understand and recognize is the existence of white privilege.
There’s an awareness struggle | While it’s difficult and often impossible to admit, the systemic racism in Lancaster County’s communities exists. Also difficult to understand and recognize is the existence of white privilege. To see instances of the racism and white privilege, as well the failure to understand the concept of protest, all anyone has to do is look at the comments at social media pages. It’s alarming to read the comments which contain bigoted half-truths, flat-out lies, allegations and threats of the posters — so many of whom claim to be “Christian” and pillars of the community — in which racism does not exist(?).
Protest has been at the core | of American values for centuries. In colonial times, there was the notorious Boston Tea Party. Shortly after the dawning of the new nation, there was the Whiskey Rebellion. “The New York Draft Riots occurred in July 1863, when the anger of working-class New Yorkers over a new federal draft law during the Civil War sparked five days of some of the bloodiest and most destructive rioting in U.S. history. Hundreds of people were killed, many more seriously injured, and African-Americans were often the target of the rioters’ violence.”
Protest movements | have led to systemic change in labor; “Tens of thousands of people rallied in 1837, 1857, 1873, 1884 and 1893 to demand a public jobs program from the federal government.” Sometimes, violent protests were part of womens’ protests for “temperance.” Women also led protest demonstrations to get the right to vote. There were violent protests against the Irish Catholic immigrants.
Especially disturbing | are the social media comments hurled, in some cases, by people who are employed by government entities. This part of the universe, south central Pennsylvania, was settled by white immigrants hoping to escape the inequities of Western Europe. For centuries, the feeling of comparative entitlement has been something they cling to. White is right; white is might.
And now, protest for other movements | have come to the world, the nation and this little cloistered County of Lancaster. And it’s small, mostly white communities. The Black Lives Matters protests and the clamor against police brutality and insensitivity are at the core of these protests and demonstrations. Yesterday’s protest in Manheim was a peaceful event with a cast of characters that included black and white protesters; several police departments; armed white persons and old white men.
“A police officer holds a body camera out the window to record the Black Lives Matter protesters as they march behind his truck through Manheim Borough Wednesday July 8, 2020. –
Manheim’s Police Department’s | communication about the event.
“Protesters’ Rights | The First Amendment protects your right to assemble and express your views through protest. However, police and other government officials are allowed to place certain narrow restrictions on the exercise of speech rights. Make sure you’re prepared by brushing up on your rights before heading out into the streets.” – American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
“Opinion | Dismantling systemic white supremacy is hard” – The Enquirer, Cincinnati, OH
Change is hard | from the book, White Fragility:
“White people in North America life in a society that is deeply separate and unequal race, as white people are the beneficiaries of that separation and inequity. As a result, we are insulated from racial stress, a the same time what we come to feel entitled to and deserving of our advantage. Given how seldom we experience racial discomfort in a society we dominate our racial stamina.
“We consider a challenge to our racial worldviews as a challenge o our very identities as good, moral people.
“The smallest amount of racial stress is intolerable — the mere suggestion that being white has meaning often triggers a range of defensive response.
“Thus white fragility is triggered by discomfort and anxiety, it is born of superiority and entitlement … it is he means of white racial control and the protection of white advantage.”