Friday, November 4, 2016
The White Action Gap
Fascinating analysis of a poll on white support and non-support of the national anthem protests, thanks to a Facebook friend responding to yesterday's post. Statistically speaking, these polls and numbers shouldn’t add up to white silence, Freeman writes: “Interestingly, the white players interviewed said they support Kaepernick's kneeling (and added they have spoken to or texted Kaepernick in support) but won't publicly do so, as one said, ‘Because it's not my issue.” In many ways, Freeman’s initial findings makes matters even worse. For starters, must a white NFL player’s child be killed or brutalized by police for it to become “my issue”? Let’s hope not. Secondly, this cowardly business of private support but public silence is almost more disappointing than non-support. It means “you get it”, but just not enough to inconvenience your life over your teammate’s lives. Call it “The White Action Gap.” The white action gap is not related to consciousness. It is not dependent on a changing attitude, a newfound awareness or even a passing outrage that the killers of Eric Garner, Natasha McKenna or Alton Sterling all remain free and gainfully-employed. Nor is it dependent on being disgusted that the Beaumont Bulls football team of 11- and 12-year-olds would receive racist taunts, death threats and even have their entire season cancelled – on account of their audacity to kneel. Certainly some white NFL players have some of these feelings. The white action gap is based on preserving white privilege over calling on courage. And no new poll can measure that.