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Published 05/19/2020 | Reading Time 4 min 28 sec
By Nehemiah D. Frank
When it comes to combating racism, there is no comfort in handling it. You have to uncomfortably face it head-on regardless of the political consequences that follow. That is the embodiment of a true White ally.
Democratic politicians and moderate Republican elected-officials usually whimper-out when people of color need their leadership the most.
And Norman Mayor Breea Clark’s Facebook response to the racist bullsh-t that took place within the Norman Police Department is the perfect example of how politicians do little to dismantle racist systems.
You can’t be soft on racism, even if it’s a satirical joke.
Clark passes as White; so it would be nice if she used her power as a White elected-official over a city to influence her city manager to fire Jacob McDonough from the Norman Police Department. To not do so would be a grave injustice to her Black constituents.
Although she may not condone McDonough’s behavior, how she chooses to respond to this situation will set a precedent: one that shows Norman is ready to eradicate racists behavior or one that shows Norman isn’t tough enough on it.
You can’t be diplomatic when it comes to ridding institutions of racism. And attacking the root of it is nearly impossible because White supremacy is embedded into the very DNA of this country.
The only way to handle the cancer is to cut it out when it is detected. And that’s what should have happened upon the discovery of a racist email found in her city’s police department.
Norman cannot pride itself on being inclusive when college students run around in blackface and frat brothers sing racist songs about how Black students can’t join Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
Norman can’t pride itself by having another damn listening session just so Black people can show the f–k up and talk about how disappointed they are in a system they were frustrated with prior to this incident.
Norman cannot pride itself on being inclusive while more racist people trash their lived-experiences and concerns in a social media comment section posted by media stations when this listening session occurs.
And NPD doesn’t need a f–king internal investigation about something that’s obviously racist.
STOP WASTING BLACK PEOPLE’s TIME and STOP WASTING TAX DOLLARS because you have the damn emails; it’s the only evidence needed.
In the Facebook post, Clark says, “I appreciate NPD’s immediate response to this matter.”
NO! NO! NO!, Ms. Clark.
Somebody tell her to STOP PLAYING WITH RACISM!
McDonough should have been let go upon the discovery of the initial email because now it looks like the police department is only concerned with its reputation.
It would have been big of NPD to come out publicly the moment it happened. Such a response would have started the bridge-building process between the city’s police and its Black residence. But now it looks like they tried covering it up. To Black Oklahomans, it looks like they tried covering up racism within its police department.
Hence, Clark should have saved her gratitude. Because NPD doesn’t deserve a pat on the back until McDonough is let go.
The last issue I had with her post is she never apologized to the community on behalf of her city’s police department. She thanks the first responders but neglects to apologize to the very community hurt by McDonough’s racially insensitive emails, the Black community.
Even a 5th-grader can tell you why that sh-t was out of line.
Ms. Clark knows what she needs to do to be an anti-racist ally to the Black community.
And we Black people know it’s not easy fighting racism, but we’ve been dealing with not easy for 400-years, and all she has to do is tell Chief Foster and her city manager to fire McDonough’s culturally incompetent ass.