Something about the TPM headline above really irked the hell out of me, something besides protesters being misspelled, but it took me a minute to think it through. In a nutshell it’s this – the implication is that it’s okay to disrupt white people’s meals because all white people are to blame for whatever problems the black people are protesting. How is that any different than saying that all black people are to blame for whatever problems white people might have? It isn’t. Both are forms of divisive gross generalizations at best, racism at worst, and as we all learned when we were three years old, two wrongs don’t make a right.
To put it more simply, I guarantee you that there are plenty of non-white people who partake in boozy Sunday meals, so I’m sure that plenty of non-white people had their meals disrupted as well. Is that okay with the protesters? Are the non-white people also complicit in the killing of black people by police officers because they too engage in boozy Sunday brunches? You say I’m being ridiculous by claiming that the protesters are claiming the white brunch goers are complicit in the police killings? I’d agree, but using the same logic that all white people do, well, anything, I can say that if one protester says I’m complicit in police killing black people because I’m white then all of them think I’m complicit.
Yes the logic is absurd, but so many people in our society use this kind of logic when we debate race, religion, politics, etc. that we end up with a divided community with little hope of finding any kind of common ground.
I have no problem with protests or with people who protest, even those who make a profession out of protesting. After all I can just choose to ignore them. But I get very frustrated with protesters who aren’t smart enough to realize that they’re perpetuating the problem they are trying to address. If you want to do more than make noise, to actually try and fix a problem, then it’s best not to completely shut down any hope of constructive communication by lumping everyone together into one giant blame ball.