RACISM

Why Are You So Uncomfortable With Black People's Self-Defense?

An essay about the Mongtomery Riverfront Uprising of 2023

Allison Wiltz
Momentum
Published in
5 min readAug 8, 2023

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A modified version of Ernie Barnes' "Sugar Shack" circulating on social media | Screenshot taken by the author

Black people have the right to defend themselves" should not be a controversial statement, but in America, a nation inundated with racism, Black people engaging in self-defense are often seen as violent. Empathy and racism are like oil and water; they don't mix. For instance, in a 1968 memo, America's first FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover, described the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense as "the greatest threat to the internal security of the country." Despite Black people promoting self-defense, agents painted the city red with propaganda, claiming they were a violent organization. Why does this double standard exist? Because Black people defending themselves challenges the status quo that we should silently endure White violence.

Malcolm X suggested, "We should be peaceful, law-abiding," but engage “in self-defense whenever and wherever he is being unjustly and unlawfully attacked." This advice, despite making many White Americans feel uncomfortable, is sound. Self-defense is an unalienable, incontestable human right. Whenever someone causes Black people bodily harm or threatens to do so, we have the right to stop the attacker and neutralize the threat by any means necessary. And…

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Allison Wiltz
Momentum

Black womanist Scholar bylines @ Momentum, Oprah Daily, ZORA, GEN, EIC of Cultured #WEOC Founder allisonthedailywriter.com https://ko-fi.com/allyfromnola