"What has been, if not most surprising, most disappointing, is what went on in many of our Facebook feeds and Twitter timelines and comment threads and break rooms and happy hours. Seeing people faced with this overwhelming evidence of some of the most conspicuous forms of injustice we’ve seen in a very long time, and having them still try to deny its existence or explain it away. These weren’t minor quibbles over minutiae. This is you standing in the ocean, waves splashing against your ribs, undercurrents tugging at your feet, the faint taste of salt on the tips of your lips, while listening to someone tell you water doesn’t exist.
For (many) Black people, this is the most maddening and exasperating part of racism. Not the actual racism. But the denial that the actual racism exists.
Knowing this, and how frustrated so many of us are by this continuous insidious denial, I think about all of the doublespeak I’ve heard in the last 24 hours regarding Ray Rice. Some from people whose intelligence and opinion I usually respect. And I wonder how a Black person — a Black person who’s just as angry as other Blacks are when (some) Whites (and some Blacks) deny that racism exists — can actually attempt to excuse Ray Rice’s assault on his wife with a straight face.
I wonder if they realize saying ‘She might have hit him first’ is no different than saying ‘Well, Michael Brown might have been high.’ I wonder if they know that thinking this is all just a plot to disgrace Black men is the exact same thing as thinking George Zimmerman was just persecuted by overzealous race-baiters. I wonder if they’ve grasped that their unblinking support of Rice, even in the face of overwhelming visual evidence, makes them spiritual twins with the Staten Island teachers wearing t-shirts in support of the precinct that has seen two unarmed Black men die at their hands in the last year. I wonder if they realize arguing it was a fair fight between Janay Palmer and Ray Rice — who, along with being a professional football player, is a trained boxer — is as stupid as arguing Michael Brown was ‘armed’ because he was 6’4 and 300 pounds.”
- Damon Young, “What Black Ray Rice Apologists and Racists Have in Common”