Oseye Boyd

If there’s one thing I’m grateful for in 2020, it’s that people are showing their true colors. People have lost all sense of decorum as well as respect for others when in public and are acting out in appallingly shocking ways.

I never thought I’d see adults coughing on other adults, throwing tantrums in stores or running into closed doors after being asked to wear a mask. One woman, who has since been fired from her job in a school district, even coughed on someone’s child because she didn’t think the child’s mother was practicing adequate social distancing. The behavior of these people is beyond petty — especially coughing on someone’s child. It’s downright disgusting.

There’s something bigger at play here, and we’ll get to that later.

The thought is the government is infringing on their rights as Americans. The government is taking away their freedom and freedoms, and it’s a slippery slope to the loss of all freedoms promised to us in the U.S. Constitution. Those who follow blindly are sheep and unpatriotic socialists. 

It’s funny how this conversation about rights twists and shifts to fit the moment and to benefit only a certain group. Some of these same anti-mask people are the same people who tell Black people if they just obeyed the law, they wouldn’t get killed by police. We deserve to be shot and killed by police when we stay out past curfew or refuse to answer a police officer’s question. Our rights as Americans aren’t applicable in these situations.

However, God forbid you’re asked to wear a mask, can’t get a haircut or go out to dinner or to a bar because a pandemic is surging through our country. Now, it’s about your rights and freedoms as an American and the Constitution. It’s time to storm the statehouse with weapons and demand the government stop trampling on your rights. It’s as if laws and ordinances aren’t already on the books to protect public health. 

Somehow it’s perfectly acceptable and patriotic when white people rise up against government to change laws in their favor, but it’s absolute treason when Black Americans do it, and we should just go back to Africa if we don’t like this country. Think about all the anti-Obama rhetoric. I don’t recall Black people saying, “If you don’t like it, go back to Europe!”

Oh, the hypocrisy known as white privilege. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving. 

Let’s be clear: White privilege doesn’t mean white individuals don’t struggle or work hard. White privilege means this country is centered around whiteness. It means white people feel a sense of entitlement when it comes to America because they know America is theirs. History finds no fault in the Founding Fathers wanting independence from England. The Revolutionary War was a noble cause. A different story is told, however, about Black people who revolted against slavery or Native Americans who resisted. They’re not considered noble for fighting for their freedom.

The reason why white people are acting out in 2020, coughing on people, running protesters over in their cars, questioning Black people in stores, standing behind the cars of Black people to prevent them from leaving, harassing white people wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts, snatching signs from protesters, pulling guns on people, shooting them, etc. is because they can. The entitlement that comes along with white privilege is on full display in 2020.

You know why you don’t see Black people behave in these ways? We know we can’t. We’ve been taught since birth we can’t behave as white people. And we’ve seen it to be true time and time again. 

The entitlement isn’t just evident in actions; it’s evident in conversation too. I have yet to see an issue involving Black people where a white person doesn’t feel compelled to comment or criticize. Police brutality doesn’t exist because it doesn’t exist for white people; racism doesn’t exist because it doesn’t exist for white people. Black people don’t protest the right way — although we’ve done so by kneeling and marching (without guns, by the way), or it’s not the right time to protest. We’re expected to listen and acquiesce. 

Sounds like white privilege to me.

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