Posted on June 9, 2022

Why Black People Are Afraid of ‘Crazy’ White People

Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post, June 7, 2022

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Black people are not afraid of White people. We’re afraid of “crazy” White people.

Let me try to explain. Things felt so dicey during the Trump years, I half-joked that my husband and I might have to reenact that scene from “The Sound of Music” and flee the country. Now, an alarming new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center shows that my “Operation von Trapp” might need to go live. The ranks of “crazy” White people appear to be growing — and the rest of us don’t know what to do about it.

“Crazy,” of course, is not a clinical diagnosis, and what constitutes “crazy” changes by the day as much as by the generation. Right now, I am defining “crazy” as anyone who believes any aspect of the racist “great replacement” conspiracy. This is the noxious idea that liberals are deliberately replacing White people with non-Whites and immigrants. {snip}

According to the SPLC poll, “Nearly 7 in 10 Republicans surveyed agree to at least some extent that demographic changes in the United States are deliberately driven by liberal and progressive politicians attempting to gain political power by ‘replacing more conservative white voters.’”

{snip} The SPLC reports that more than a third of all respondents felt that demographic change in the United States is “a threat to white Americans and their culture and values.” Nearly half agreed that demographic changes were part of “a purposeful plan to replace white voters.” {snip}

This explains some of the eye-opening results in a Washington Post-Ipsos poll of Black adults released last month after the Buffalo shooting. {snip}

  • 75 percent of African Americans worry they or a loved one will be physically attacked because they are Black.
  • 70 percent of African Americans think at least half of White Americans hold white-supremacist beliefs.
  • 75 percent of African Americans say white supremacists are a “major threat” to Black Americans.

This present-day Black fear of White violence was perfectly expressed by Rob Redding, one of the everyday people interviewed for a Post report on how 1 in 3 Americans believe that violence against the government can be justified. {snip} He spoke approvingly of arming himself and added, “I’m a Black man in America. … I believe in protecting myself.” Notice he’s not protecting himself against the government. He’s protecting himself against “crazy” White people.