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The Caucasian’s Guide to Living Under a Terrorist Threat

By Michael Harriot

After a keynote address on talking about race and another about not wearing blackface on Halloween, Yesterday I was again summoned to give an emergency speech to the secret monthly white people meeting. The following is a transcript of my remarks.

My dear, caucasian brethren, I want to first thank you for allowing me to speak to the Global Society for the Advancement of White People for the third time. It is indeed an honor and a privilege to stand before such luminaries as Hillary Clinton, Taylor Swift, Donald Trump and the entire cast of Exodus: Gods and Kings. Today I was summoned to speak to you about living under the existential threat of terrorism.

For the past few years, Americans have faced this every-growing threat head-on. I know it can be scary, but because my people have lived under the constant fear of fugitive slave hunters, lynching, Klan groups, Skinheads, vigilantes, neighborhood watchmen, police brutality and random angry men at gas stations telling us our music is too loud, I thought I’d share with you a few tips on surviving the terrorist threat:

1. Keep calm and carry on. I know you guys love that meme, but there is a lot of truth in it. The most important part of living under the constant threat of violence and death is to not let your everyday life crumble under the weight of fear. I know the reports of dark-hearted ISIS members hiding in shadows, wearing ninja costumes and waving black flags scares you, but less than ten American’s have been killed members of the Islamic States. If Black people were as prone to your kind of anxiety, we’d have panic attacks every time we passed a police car, saw blue lights or walked by white men handling ropes. Imagine if we stopped driving to job interviews after hearing about Sandra Bland, or walking to corner stores after Trayvon’s lynching. Trust me, you’ll learn to live with it.

2. You’re probably going to have to listen to some BS. If you decide to do something to fight back against the existential threat that you and your people face, prepare yourself for some idiotic pushback. When addressing the mass murder of innocent people by an armed, militaristic group trying to take away the rights of free people, the first thing people might ask you is “well, what about white on white crime?” I know it’s an idiotic question, I’m just trying to prepare you for it. I know that you are trying to address a specific problem, and the fact that white people kill far more white people than terrorists is not at all related to the problem that you’re working on… but still.

3. Prepare to give up some rights. When the FBI politely asked Apple to help it develop a way to unlock an iPhone, it sparked a white-on-white debate so vigorous that it lasted for weeks. Meanwhile, people of color sit back, shocked that you live in such a pristinely righteous world that you can worry about the individual little freedoms locked away in your smartphone. As you continue living under this threat, pray that you aren’t subject to unreasonable searches like Charnesia Corley, on whom police forced a vaginal search looking for a small amount of marijuana. If the police kick in your door, raid your house and shoot your dog… then figure out they are in the wrong house,  remember that this is the price we have to pay to be safe.

4. Remember, not all Islamic Jihadists are bad Islamic Juhadists. After the attacks in Belgium, Senator Ted Cruz said we need to keep an eye on Muslim neighborhoods, and many people agreed, but you should remember, not all ISIS members are bad. As a  matter of fact, most radical Islamists have never killed anyone. They wake up every morning and go to work to support the Islamic State just like me and you. When one of their cohorts commits a mass murder, their silence or unwillingness to step forward shouldn’t be held against all of the members of the group as a whole, right? Just because, like police, they wear the same uniform or, like police, they take the same oath, it doesn’t mean that when they kill one person, or 10 people, or, like police, kill 1185 in 2015 alone, that we can paint the entire group as bad. Even if you are a member of the group they constantly attack. Of course there are a few who kill indiscriminately but that is no reason to subject them to extra undue scrutiny like asking them to wear body cameras. Think of the good ones.

5. You might have to sacrifice your children If the “War on Terror” mirrors the “War on Drugs,” remember that you might not even be able to keep your children safe from the “protectors.” To make sure your neighborhoods are safe from the terrorists threat, they might lob grenades through the windows of the wrong house and shoot your children in the face, like they did Aiyana Jones. Sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make a Safe America omelet. It’s usually the darker eggs, but we all have yolks on the inside..

In conclusion, my caucasian brethren, be strong, be vigilant, but most of all, be safe. It is a brave, new, scary world you are entering. We welcome you to it, and, yes…

We already know:

Caucasian Lives Matter.

About the author

Michael Harriot is a renowned spoken word poet, the host of The Black One podcast and the editor-in-chief of NegusWhoRead. He is perpetually just getting warmed up because he has no chill. He is on Instagram and twitter as @michaelharriot

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