“What, you gonna smack me with that? Smack me, smack me n-gg(a/er)”
–Randy Teter, Ohio Resident
“We decide what the truth is”
–Michael Desiato, Your Honor (fictional character, Showtime)
By now you’ve probably seen the video of a Black guy (dubbed “Mr. TeaKO”) opening a literal can of Twisted Tea “whup ass” on a white guy named Randy Teter for his reckless use of the N-word. Apparently, in a viral Facebook post, Mr. Teter stated, “The only reason that guy won the fight was because he smacked me with the tea when I wasn’t ready. ITS CALLED A CHEAP SHOT BITCHES.”
Black people are living in a Twilight Zone; a twisted reality watching videos of people who look like you (or someone you know) navigate decisions of reacting with righteous indignation in everyday scenarios. What we’re really watching is the audacity of whiteness featuring any Black person, which could easily be you. We find ourselves constantly saying, “I would’ve done the same thing,” or, “they lucky cause I woulda,” all while the person exercises ancestral restraint. These incidents can be highly entertaining, yet the subsequent white noise seems to transmit a strange subliminal frequency. The Ken/Karen instigator tends to make-up alternative facts of cause and effect, victim and victor with very little accountability. For example, based on Mr. Teter’s alleged statement, he is a self-proclaimed non-provocateur who has obviously watched the video with prideful delusion. HOWEVER, at least, to his credit, he admitted he lost.
So now that you know where I’m going with this, let’s ride…
On January 5th, we channeled the HBCU energy of a Harris Howard hue and mixed it with a Stacey Spelman blue, for a two-seat Democratic victory in the Georgia Senatorial Election run-off. That same night we received news there would be no indictment for the officer who shot and paralyzed Jacob Blake. We were not surprised; just disheartened yet again by another low blow as we continue to stand our moral ground in what we try to keep a fair fight. Meanwhile, in D.C., Alex Jones was headlining a MAGA pep rally amplifying anarchy in the spirit of 1776 patriotism. No matter red or blue, you knew the next day would be an indicator of the direction in which the country is heading but we didn’t know how much it would expose the ugliness of our moral compass.
January 6: This date should be celebrated in the same vein as Juneteenth. To me, it marks a final emancipation of needing to prove the social, economic and political double-standards of two Americas. Our collective experience on social media made the MAGA insurrection a warped catharsis of gleeful vindication; a smirk of satisfaction as we go to bed minding our business while African Orishas laugh at Paula White in our sweet dreams. Now that we got a chance to say, “I told you so,” we must lay down that heavy burden of constantly fighting various versions of All Lives Matter, lay it down, down by the riverside. No more over-explaining White Privilege. No more providing gigabytes of evidence to willful deniers. No more starting a sentence, “If Obama had…,” and no more beer summits to appease police when they’re clearly in the wrong. Save your breath by saying nothing at all for all those whose last words were “I can’t breathe.” Rest your case, not for their corrupted judge known as ‘Your Honor,” but for the God that judges you.
Let January 6, 2021, be the official end of an era; an era that kicked into a unique gear of misinformation and racial anxiety when Sen. Barack Hussein Obama won the presidential election in 2008. As pundits popularized the term “post-racial,” his victory spawned the birther movement which fueled the Tea Party and unbeknownst to many at the time, the proliferation of legislation such as Stand Your Ground. While the never-ending war in the Middle East continued, police departments benefited from bloated Defense contracts procuring military equipment while more veterans joined the force. At the same time, police unions got more protection under the Law Enforcement Officer Bill of Rights (LEOBR) which made it easier for police to get away with murder. Something volcanic was brewing and it was uniting in hate for others.
Back to December 27, 2020: By now you’ve probably seen the video of Ashanti Smith, the Black woman who gave a quick “hold dat” counter punch to a white female Trump supporter named Therese Duke. Smith, who was working as a private security guard, got harassed by a MAGA mob that surrounded her. In the video, Duke appears to be indecisive between a feeble face smack or a face mask grab. Regardless of intent, Duke paid the price for her provocation with a very bloody nose to match her hat. For Smith’s retaliatory action, she was fired and charged with assault.
I wouldn’t be surprised if an edited video was circulated in MAGA media to manipulate the minds of Smith being the aggressor as their innocent colleagues in crime appears to be politely for directions. But for a firm in the business of protection, extended proxy to the so-called Blue Lives Matter movement, how do you look at that video without being concerned for your employee’s safety?
She. Is. A. Security. Guard.
Where’s the public relations auto-reply of “paid administrative leave” or “under internal investigation?” According to CNN, there were 316 arrests made on June 1st, 2020, in D.C. at the height of the BLM/George Floyd protests, as compared to the 61 arrests made on January 6. It’s sad to think even one of those arrests might have been someone like Ashanti Smith, where there is no video.
Back to the videotape: If it were Black people DEFECATING and scaling the walls of the Capitol, the media would openly call us monkeys – oops, I did what I said we should no longer do. It’s just so frustrating thinking of all the POC sentenced to hard time because of words like “intent” and “attempted” yet thousands of Trump supporters showed up with pre-meditated criminal intentions of sedition.
While the attempted coup had its fair share of bloopers, the military-grade apparel, handguns, assault rifles, ammo, pepper spray, zip-ties, Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs that were seized should not be taken lightly. What they originally tried to call a Free Speech rally certainly didn’t reflect that on any of their merchandise. Furthermore, it’s difficult to draw a line connecting shirts like “6MWE” and “Camp Auschwitz” to the protest of purported election fraud. I guess nothing symbolizes the fuhrer, I mean fervor, of free speech like gallows and a noose.
Most of these literal haters talk big but quickly shed their bravado when faced with the repercussions of their actions. Remember, Christopher Cantwell of Charlottesville fame. He went from talking tough on Vice News to being dubbed “The Crying Nazi.” Fast forward to the aftermath of the Capitol insurrection and you’ll find plenty of profiles of cowardice and Oscar-worthy montages of non-complying patriots in a #noflylist search. From a crying Karen who used onions for fake tears to a brute in bison clothing who fasted in jail until a judge granted his entitled request of receiving organic food. These people are trying to live out their Purge Anarchy fantasies, claim victim and then have the nerve to expect a sleep number mattress in jail. Their jaded meltdowns expose an unstable mental illness of redundant contradiction that only finds comfort in the absurd. They only seem in tune with reality when begging for forgiveness from the judge. Sadly, there are many em-pathetic judges who will rule lightly for the remorseful rioters since it’s their first coup attempt.
Deep down they all thought their whiteness made them exempt from criminal consequence, and for the most part it did. You saw how they were allowed to walk out of the building unbothered. Most of them wouldn’t have to worry about minor offenses such as “Federal trespassing,” “property damage” or “accomplice to murder” if there wasn’t so much self-incriminating video. White supremacy stood its ground fairly well under the circumstances. There was just one major problem: The world was watching, so the United States has to save face for its brand as the beacon of democracy.
So here we are, awaiting the next episode of the United States vs. AmeriKKKa as the same sickos who Trump infamously told to “stand down and stand by” plan a Million Militia March at every State Capitol on Wednesday in protest of Joe Biden’s Inauguration. We can only imagine Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan’s face when he heard the name. We can also imagine that despite the Jewish community having distaste for the NOI leader, they know (and he knows) what we all know is looming in the balance – when these red hat patriots don’t get their way, they’ll look to seek harm on any Black church and synagogue they can.
So in the wake of Georgia, a Southern state, now being represented in the Senate by Black and Jewish men, try to believe in tomorrow without dwelling on yesterday. In 2017, Rev. Raphael Warnock was arrested in the Capitol Hill rotunda while praying in protest of Trump’s potential repeal of Obamacare. This year he’ll be freely walking past his arresting officers on his way to cast his vote as a U.S. Senator – and that’s a truth they can’t deny.
Trevor is a creative mercenary and ethical lobbyist born and raised on Beale Street. Follow him on Twitter @trevbetter.