Normally, I avoid talking about major news events because after all, one wouls never stop. However, there are major elements of this event that correspond to the discussion of the dominant narrative in public space. So many people obsessively state that the issue is class, not race. Honestly, does anyone think those men would have jumped on someone who was not a Black underpaid service worker? As long as the harassment, stalking, and violence against Black people is deemed acceptable–meaning without consequences–these actions will continue.
First and foremost, all of this ridiculous behavior could have been changed by people being able to hear the word, “No.” The main understanding throughout the dominant narrative is that some people have to hear “no,” but others have full autonomy. Black people hear rejection on a daily basis because we are not truly considered human beings by the dominant narrative. Thus, we are disgusted and impatient with people who cannot be told that certain behavior is not allowed. We would all be murdered if we acted like those boat owners–and people would say we deserved it.
Additionally, people refuse to understand that simply placing Black people in “leadership” does not mean anything changes. That security officer was Black, probably a service member, and those men refused to respect any authority. Barack Obama was president, and the majority white congress–including from his own party–felt entitled to control him. A Black person in “leadership” within the dominant narrative is a Black person controlled by the dominant narrative, and we know it. Putting a person of color in any prominent position just makes us a punching bag, as demonstrated by this event.
Moreover, the rise in this behavior means that perpetrators have no intention of addressing their issues of entitlement. People feel entitled to control Black people, and because so many people agree to it, we are mostly controlled by the dominant narrative. Expecting racism to end is like expecting abusers to get bored of pursuing targets. Simply put, it is apparently too much fun to find and punch a Black person for those within the dominant narrative to stop. It is not on us to assuage random people’s insecurity just to go on with our lives.
This behavior was also mentioned in the rise of vigilante violence that sparked the introduction of the Anti-Lynching Law, which took over a century to approve. For some reason, Black people living our lives without constant harassment, stalking, and violence amounts to an existential crisis for too many people. It is so important for people to feel that we are controlled and/or malleable that people cannot breathe easily without exerting control to remind us of our place. Can this be fixed? I can tell you one thing: Black people will not keep making space for defensive bullies who keep taking potshots, and then running away into their “feelings” when called on their behavior.
* The picture was produced by this content creator.