An Open Letter to “Support Darren Wilson” Zealots
My name is Jenn M. Jackson. I wanted to write you a personal letter just to give you a clear picture of how your activism looks from the outside looking in. When you created your “Go Fund Me” campaign to “Support Darren Wilson,” the cop who shot unarmed teen Michael Brown, 18, in cold blood on August 9th, you knew exactly what you were doing so I am not going to waste my time trying to appeal to your humanity. Obviously, there’s none left. Instead, I want to give you a moment to see what it feels like to be a black mother of two black boys, wife to a black man, and possessor of a black body that you obviously hate. I want you to know what your campaign means to me.
Now, I know you have cloaked this support of the massacre of black bodies as help for “Officer Darren Wilson and his family during this trying time in their lives.” And, I know you know better. We both know that Officer Darren Wilson doesn’t need any support. As the Ferguson County Police department has shown, they will go to any lengths to insulate him from the justice he has earned. We also both know that your $190,000 raised (and counting) could be better used refitting public schools in Ferguson County, repaving roads and walkways at local parks, or outfitting local libraries with newer technology for those who patronize them. I won’t broach the topic of how to better allocate these funds because, frankly, that all goes without saying.
But, as I write this letter to you through tears, what pains me the most is that – through all of this – your most cardinal thought was of Wilson and his family. You are so consumed with your whiteness (which is an ideal not a color) and pseudo-respectability that you stand with Wilson even after reports have been released detailing how Michael Brown was shot repeatedly in the head, arms, and neck, the final and fatal shot of six going directly through the apex of his skull. You stand with a man and a police department who left Brown’s body lying in the middle of the street for hours – much longer than many would leave a rotting animal carcass or an injured pet. You stand with him even after dozens of eye witnesses claimed that Brown’s hands were up signalling that he was surrendering to Wilson. You stand with him. You stand with him? You do.
When I first heard your “campaign” existed, I wondered, “Why?” But, it only took me a few minutes to realize your white fear probably led you to do it. You’ll want to scapegoat black bodies but we both know it’s really your fear of obsolescence, invisibility, mediocrity, and extinction that leads you to do stupid shit like this.
What you’ll struggle with though is that black people have fear too.
For example, I went to Home Depot with my husband and three kids yesterday. He went to look for replacement parts for our bathroom sink. And, as he sauntered away seemingly carefree, I looked back wondering if it would be the last time I ever saw him. I feared that he might be shot and killed in an instant for being black at the wrong time. I was afraid. Likely to you unnecessarily, yet, I was afraid nonetheless. And, since your whiteness prevails, I know you will never understand that. But, I am sure you have enough presence of mind to see how differently our fears manifest, no?
You will never understand how black love is important. You will never understand how black bodies matter. You will never understand us. Similarly, I will never understand the banality of raising money for a killer – especially in these circumstances.
I’m not going to try to convince you. I’m not going to attempt to relate your human existence to mine. I’m not going to pat your shoulders and ask you to come around. There’s no point. And, quite honestly, fuck you.
You are the reason Darren Wilson will become a cult hero (or already has). You are the reason another generation of heterosexual white boys think they are untouchable, infallible, suprahuman, and above the law. You are the reason. Yes, you do-gooder. You are the reason.
Only you would think to support a cop who breached protocol and fled the scene of his own crime, skulked away in hiding, and ended the life of unarmed, surrendering Michael Brown.
You raise your money. You encourage others to do the same. You pretend that all you care about is justice. But, don’t wonder why people think you are a piece of shit. You just are. Whether you are doing this for shares, likes, or whatever, it doesn’t matter. You are literally everything wrong with white people in this country. And, we see you.
With sincerest fervor,
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