Wednesday, October 7, 2020

In the matter involving Wendell Davis vs Heidi Carter, white silence exposes white privilege

 You can hear a pen drop. 


The old folks say, not a mumbling word. The silence after reports ordered by the Durham County Board of County Commissioners is enough to make you wonder if they read the recommendations.  


After an external investigation determined it is legitimate that Davis, and other Black employees, perceived Carter’s actions racist – those pens dropping are hurting my ears. 


After the investigator made a strong recommendation that the board get its shit together, for the sake of Durham County residents, no action plan has appeared. Not a mumbling word showing a thought related to the investigations of Carter and Davis. No whoops, we got it wrong in accusing Davis of using the race card to affect the primary election. No mention of how white privilege and power may have minimized perspective involving sensitive racial matters.  


Not a damn word beyond Carter’s weeping moments. 


Carter used her white woman tears to evoke solidarity in the same ways Amy’s and Karen’s have used the assumption of Black guilt juxtaposed against white innocence to call the police. Carter’s statement following the release of the investigation report, coupled with the letter stating her excuse for not attending a board meeting (Read Rev-elution post from: October 5, August 26, August 21 and August 20), are classic examples of “officer, a Black man refused to do what I said.” 


Carter’s rage is packed with layers of historically tragic racist undertones. In other words, this is what white women do when consumed with a desire to get a Black man lynched, arrested, or fired. Carter leaves nothing for the imagination. She wants Davis escorted out of the building with a box packed with his personal belongs. Insert two sheriff deputies and a front-page article in all the local newspaper and the job would be done reflective of her public statements. Wendell bye. 


I cannot work with him because of fear for my safety is a call for white folks to stand boldly against the big, bad black dude. It is code for you know what they do. Get him before they do further damage. White girl, please. 


The insanity of this moment transcends the outdated narrative of Carter’s version of the blues. Black folks know this old song and dance. We know racism when we see it, and do not require the validation of an investigation to prove it is not just our imagination. The sadness relates to how white people refuse to shut up long enough to listen. When Black folks say "that" feels like racism, take the time to consider the possibility it more than likely is racist. 

That is what makes what has happened so bad. 


She is a good white woman is the excuse of the line-up of witnesses called to the stand to defend Carter. She has served Black citizen’s well, was the outcry from both Black and white expert witnesses. Add not all skin folk are kin folk to that list of been there, done that and not buying your excuse. Defending the character of white people is Exhibit A among the evidence related to why Black people are sick and tired of white people shit. 


It is one of the reasons Black people cry Black Lives Matter. Don’t get it twisted Amy. When you say a Black man is being shady, and call for his termination, it sounds like the excuses used by police after another Black person gets killed. They did something to deserve it becomes more important than pulling the trigger. The call to take a Black man’s job hurts Black people who have personally witnessed loss of employment resulting from retaliation for telling their version of truth. 


All that fails in comparison to the silence of Durham’s progressive white community. Where y’all at. Pull up. Holla at your boy. What you got to say about all of that? 


Wendy Jacobs, where is your leadership after both the International City/County Management Association, and the investigator the county paid $29,393, called you out for leading a highly dysfunctional board? What do you have to say after it was strongly suggested that you get your shit together, and by that they do not suggest firing Davis? What vision do you have for leading Durham beyond the mess you and other board members created by forcing an investigation of Davis after residents called for an investigation of Carter? 


Jacobs, you have to say something. You are in the middle of confusion stirred by your perceived desire to conjure evidence to influence Davis’s evaluation. The politics on the board is dreadfully impacting race relations in Durham. At best, you need to censure Carter for statements attacking Davis and for comments made since the release of investigation reports. At the minimum, you must own how implicit biases have jeopardized the work of the board. You must lead Durham beyond the madness fracturing our reputation as an open-minded, anti-discrimination community. 


The silence is deafening. One is left wondering what the silence is trying to say. 

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