The connecting thread that weaves together the opposition to Hispanic Justice Sonia Sotomayor, describing her as a “reverse racist” and the shooting of African-American officer Omar Edwards by white officer Andrew Dunton, described as “a tragedy” with no racial overtones by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is the unbridled slaughter of the indigenous people of the western hemisphere and the three-hundred-year importation of Africans as the energy source, this was before electricity and oil, to allow whites to clear, plant and reap from the stolen land as they moved into the industrial age. Allowing the accumulation of capital and creation of physical and social-control infrastructure that would last for hundreds of years. Being ignorant of those facts and what they mean to current conditions is what is meant by being colorblind.
The truthful chord Justice Sotomayor struck when she said “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” was such that it has driven men like Rush Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan, Newt and others into near apoplectic fits, which is good, because then the masks fall and you can see them more clearly.
The shooting in Harlem was yet another incident of white officers shooting black officers, versus none of white or black officers shooting white officers and still Mayor Bloomberg says there is no racial pattern. This response by the mayor is so profoundly disrespectful of the African-American community, that it would not be surprising if the Mayor’s negatives rise, despite his billions of dollars, photo ops and the media he can buy.
On a crowded B25 bus in route to the wake on Wednesday, I overheard a man say to another passenger that the white officer had “reacted from his racial memory,” and that sounds like a succinct statement of the case. When that is owned up to and deeply addressed, then things will change.