The defenders of Darren Wilson, the white police officer who repeatedly shot an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown at least 6 times in Ferguson, Missouri claim that “the facts” will clear their champion of any wrongdoing.
Unfortunately for Darren Wilson, the facts of what transpired on the day when he shot Michael Brown in the face and body with multiple bullets have not been kind to him.
Independent witnesses have told the press and federal investigators how Michael Brown was unarmed, had surrendered with his hands in the air, and was repeatedly shot by Darren Wilson. These witnesses are African-American.
For the white bigots who defend Darren Wilson, as well as the Right-wing hate media that stoke the flames of white racial resentment and white supremacy, black people’s truth claims about racism (regardless of the mountains of empirical evidence in support of their experiences) are de facto and a priori judged to be insufficient by the White Gaze.
This is part of a centuries-long tradition in America, where for most of the country’s existence, African-Americans were not allowed to testify in court or to have any type of legal standing.
In the post civil rights era--and especially since the election of Barack Obama--the Tea Party GOP and the White Right have demonstrated that they would like to return to an arrangement of civic and public affairs in which black people are silenced and muted. In all, the Tea Party GOP and its allies yearn for the civic erasure of black and brown people—it enrages the White Right that they cannot follow through on their wishful dreams of social and political death for black Americans.
The American Right-wing’s defense of the killer cop Darren Wilson is instinctive: it is an extension of a base hostility to the freedom, well-being, life, liberty, and happiness of black and brown Americans.
To point. The most morally rotted and ethically suspect supporters of Darren Wilson have collectively donated at least 500,000 dollars to protect him from the consequences of killing Michael Brown.
As I wrote here, donating money to Darren Wilson (and other white vigilantes and extra-judicial killers of black people such as George Zimmerman) is the new lynching photography of the 21st century. Instead of buying postcards of hung, tortured, and burned alive black bodies, those who donate to Darren Wilson enjoy the vicarious pleasures of killing a black person by proxy. Michael Brown, and by extension other black American men, are born with a bounty on their heads.
Darren Wilson is the white gunslinger who brought the black “thug” to “justice”. This is cathartic violence for the White Right and its Fox News driven propaganda machine.
The supporters of Darren Wilson are enjoying the fun of a thrill kill; they are sharing ownership over the deed by donating money to their idol Darren Wilson.
Two new witnesses to the shooting of the unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by Darren Wilson have now come forward. As reported in Sunday's edition of the newspaper St. Louis Post-Dispatch, two white construction workers watched Darren Wilson shoot dead an unarmed and surrendered Michael Brown.
According to their accounts, Michael Brown was not “charging at” or “attacking” Darren Wilson as the professional liars in the Right-wing hate media have suggested to their supplicants--and an easily duped 24/7 corporate mainstream media which is desperate for any new “information” on the Brown case, however specious or incorrect it may in fact be.
The account provided by the new witnesses corroborates the version of events offered by previous witnesses in which Darren Wilson repeatedly shot an unarmed person from some distance away whose hands were raised in the universal sign of surrender.
Darren Wilson chose to shoot Michael Brown. As detailed by the witnesses, as well as the audio recording of the events that day, Darren Wilson chose to stop shooting Michael Brown for several seconds…before then delivering the final shots to his head and face.
The white racial paranoia of the American Right demands that Michael Brown be vilified, “niggerized”, and thus made responsible for his own killing at the hands of Darren Wilson. The White Right (and too many members ofthe white American public, more generally) is cognitively, emotionally, and materially invested in the over-policing, harassment, and violence of the police against black and brown communities.
Those sentiments have deep historic roots.
During the 19th and 20th centuries at least 10,000 African-American men, women, and children were killed by white racial terrorists. The white owned newspapers and other media of the era justified and legitimated this violence.
The Southern press would often detail how the lynch mob was comprised of “honorable men”, doing their “civic duty”, and who were burdened with the “responsibility” of “protecting” white society against black “criminals” and “troublemakers”.
The spirit and energy channeled by the white 19th and 20th century press to legitimate and honor the white supremacist terror afflicted on black people by the white public is none too different from that channeled by the American Right-wing media in the 21st century, when the latter defends the killers of unarmed black people by white cops and other white-identified vigilantes.
Writing in the journal American Nineteenth Century History, Susan Jean describes this phenomenon in the following way:
The Courier-Informant’s reporting was typical of portrayals of ‘warranted’ or
‘respectable’ lynchings. The most conspicuous feature of such reports was the salacious language used to describe the black man, his alleged crime, and the lynch mob’s actions…
Newspapers that branded a lynching victim a ‘black brute,’ an ‘inhuman fiend,’ or an ‘imp of inferno’ were from the start helping to exonerate the lynch mob. In depicting the bestiality of the black man and by contrast the sweet, delicate, and innocent nature of his alleged victim, reporters were courting the fury of their readers and encouraging them to identify with the lynchers…
The people who punished the negro considered that they were doing their duty to their community, and they went about the business in the most orderly manner, and no unseemly passion or excitement was shown whatever.’
When a white mob lynched Charles Scarborough for attempted rape in 1909, ‘There was no excitement in the matter at all. The people were determined that the negro should pay the penalty for his attempted crime: that was all.’
White supremacy and white privilege are interrelated political and social projects that have evolved over time and which continue to exist in the present: white violence towards the black body is a fixture of this system.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries Michael Brown would be a black “fiend”, “beast”, or “giant negro”. In the 21st century, Michael Brown (and other black and brown victims of police violence) is depicted by the Right-wing media as a “thug”, or as a person who was “armed” with his “strong, scary, self.”
The Right-wing media and its public will lie and misrepresent the information provided by the new witnesses to the killing of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson because they are racial paranoiacs who have so internalized white supremacy and white privilege that it has distorted their understanding of reality.
While some psychologists and mental health professionals have suggested that racism is a type of mental illness, I have long-subscribed to the idea that white racism is as much a choice about personal behavior, as it is a system of power relationships.
The defenders of Darren Wilson are not all mentally ill or pathological racists (although undoubtedly some of the latter are among that group). Rather, they are morally bankrupt people who devalue the lives of non-whites, and believe both consciously and subconsciously, in the superiority of those who are “white” over those who are “black” and “brown”.
The most salient facts about the killing of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson are not complicated. Numerous witnesses have said that Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown multiple times. Michael Brown was unarmed. Michael Brown had surrendered.
The context for the killing of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri is provided by a country that has a centuries-long history of racist violence by the police against people of color.
For example, Darren Wilson is a member of an organization that engaged in a racist police riot against the black community in Ferguson. In addition, the police department in Ferguson has been targeting the black community in a racist debt peonage/collection racket where over-policing (tickets; court fees; fines and arrests for petty crimes on exaggerated charges) has been used to fund the township.
And perhaps most damning, prior to his employment with the Ferguson police department Darren Wilson was a member of another police force that was disbanded because of a history of racial violence.
The facts are not kind to Darren Wilson and his decision to kill Michael Brown. Unfortunately, white privilege, white supremacy, and the racial paranoia that sustains the defenders of Darren Wilson and the White Right exist independent of empirical reality.
White supremacy is one of the biggest lies in modern human history. Its supporters and adherents live in a fantasy world of white innocence and superiority, one that is juxtaposed to a fictive belief that black people are a natural race of violent degenerates.
Those who defend Darren Wilson are simply following an old American cultural script.