[Sun Gazette editorials represent the viewpoint of Sun Gazette Newspapers, which provides content to, but is otherwise unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]
You most likely are not going to see this on CNN and its kin, but last week we came across a news clip of an African-American woman in Frederick (Md.) who was driving along, minding her own business, only to find the road partially blocked by what appeared to be an all-white group of people holding Black Lives Matter signage.
She was in no mood to be held up by the virtue-signaling crowd. We shall bleep out the more adult-themed words, but you will get the drift:
“You f***ing racist white liberals do this s*** every four f****ing years,” the woman snapped at what we can only imagine was an astonished group. “Now get the f*** out of my way – I’ve got my kids in the car and I’ve got places to go.”
Now, maybe that was the right reaction, maybe that was the wrong reaction. And given our own proclivities, some of us in the Sun Gazette newsroom hardly should be railing self-righteously against the use of profanity.
But the interaction, which hopefully ended without any escalation, is a reminder that not everybody in the African-American community is on board with the efforts of self-appointed do-gooders.
Those who have lived with oppression have seen this script play out before – an incident sparks a great conflagration, then those with guilty consciences (and panicked politicians) offer a public display of self-flagellating kinship in an effort to cleanse their souls without much heavy lifting required.
Ultimately, the easily-distracted press and politicians move on to the next crisis-du-jour (it’s already happening), leaving to their own devices those African-Americans who remain locked in cycles of economic, health and educational distress in the inner cities and other areas.
We’ve been following this “lather-rinse-repeat” trajectory for more than a half-century. Will this time be different? Experience suggests against it. Yet the only way it has a chance of happening will be through elbow grease, not showboating.
The current situation would be a good time to lift everyone up, not tear everything down. Standing on a corner, waving a sign, chanting a slogan and feeling self-satisfied is no substitute for real effort in making that happen.