With nowhere to go, a couple of free movie passes and 5 minutes too late to catch Miles Ahead – which I’d actually catch the following night – I decided to check out The Boss last weekend.
I like Melissa McCarthy. She’s not haha funny, but she’s got great comic timing and even though she’s a woman, she’s not afraid to mix it up and go for physical comedy.
Anyway, not to be too much of a spoiler, her character gets arrested and does time for insider trading and when she gets out, by way of explanation, she defends herself with what becomes a refrain, “White collar crime isn’t really a crime.”
Now of course you and I know that white collar crime is a crime. We know it’s probably much worse than anything else that someone who would try to convince you it isn’t a crime would consider a crime.
Crack dealers get a bad name for selling crack to crackheads, but Bernie Madoff is treated with a sort of begrudging respect for ripping off 67 Billion (with a ‘B’) dollars, defrauding people out of their life savings, and causing a sorta seismic shift in the overall American economy.
And that’s not a crime?
No, the point the movie was trying to make with that bullshit line without saying it directly was something that Black people know intuitively, even if few of us have ever said it literally: while white people can, of course, commit crimes, white people cannot, under any circumstances, be criminals.
Being a criminal is exclusiving a provence for Black people and it has absolutely nothing to do with how with whether or not we break any laws.
And I know you muhfuccas are sick and tired of me referencing the Nationalization Act of 1790, but trust me, when I first read Mr. Lopez’s book White By Law, it was like there was a puzzle I’d been trying to put together forever and the missing piece was right there in the library.
We – along with American Indians – were written into the law as criminals. Our races – race being something invented by this law – made us unable to become citizens.
This made us criminals from birth, regardless of our behaviour.
So whenever some racist suggests “All Black people are criminals” he or she is actually right.
That’s also why whenver some white person behaves randomly, criminally, or homocidally, so much time and effort is attached to studying and getting to the bottom of what made the poor bastard “snap”.
Once you’ve been manuevered into a situation when just about anything you do goes, one has to wonder why you’d do anything that just didn’t go.
Meanwhile, nothing Black people do works.
All the things that we’re disproportionately criminalized for, white people are known to engage in, in both greater numbers and greater percentages.
That’s why it’s important to slap an arrest record on just about any Black person anywhere. Those are handy to trot out just in case some cop has a bad day and blasts a hole through the head of a Black person for no reason.
Meanwhile, very few indescretions committed by whites are either seen as crime or prosecuted as such.
They’re all just misunderstandings.
That’s what Black people have been suffereing from as far as this point is concerned; misunderstanding.
I hope this piece cleaned that up for ya’ll.
Miles Ahead is worth seeing, by the way.