Updated: Jan 6
"I'm going to leave you here to tell the story." --Dylan Roof to Charleston survivor Polly Sheppard
Attention is like the crack rock of feelings. Comparable to substance abuse, some people develop a dangerous need for it that becomes increasingly more profound as time passes. The lengths they are willing to go to satisfy the hunger for fame and notoriety are limitless and often come at the expense of others. “Clout chasing”, as it is frequently referred, results in everything from people risking their lives for likes to losing their lives for good. The hope is that they might achieve at least 15 minutes in the hot topics files although few ever get more than a small mention in an unpopular blog. But for some people, fleeting trendiness is hardly enough; they seek a center stage seat in our history books and want to leave the type of legacy that has an infinite hold on the world’s fixation. They want to be spoken of for generations to come as if they were mythical gods; giants who roamed the Earth ferociously and in defiance of the norm. For them, life is a fearless, optional experience and death signals the beginning of their everlasting presence thanks to the memories, recollections, and curiosities of the living. They need only to take the appropriate actions.
Therefore, I think white women, who pretend to be black women, want to be shot.
In April 1999, teenaged killers Eric Harris and Dylan Kiebold, began a shooting spree at Columbine High School, that left 12 students and a teacher dead (Press, 2008). In the aftermath of the killings, the Denver Post successfully sued for the release of over one thousand pages of diaries, sketches, video footage and tapes written and recorded by Eric and Dylan in the months leading up to the massacre. Their intent to kill as many as 250 people and become famous was well documented in their own words, including a tape where Kiebold professes, “Directors will be fighting over this story” (Kentworthy, 1999). In the end, the duo committed suicide before being apprehended, but in the wake of leaving innocent families devastated, as predicted, they secured their slots in American history. It has been over 20 years since the tragedy and documentaries are still being created, with the most recent film, “American Tragedy”, being released in 2020. They may not get the same respect or annual moments of silence as the victims, but there has been no shortage of continued interest in who they were.
Adam Lanza was inspired by the Columbine killers to take Sandy Hook Elementary school under siege, killing twenty-six people, including 20 six and seven-year-old children (Altimari & Kovner, 2018). The pulse nightclub shooter, who shot and killed 50 people, was encouraged by the San Bernardino Shooting (Carey, 2019), where married couple Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people at a holiday party and injured several others (Stevens, 2015). None of the killers listed survived their attacks to face prosecution but that was never their intent. They expect to die in the end, either by their own hands or due to police fire but their blazing glory will leave a trail of curiosity once the smoke clears.
When news outlets do stories on mass murders, their names will almost undeniably be mentioned. Hundreds of books, docuseries and Dateline exclusives will be dedicated to examining the motives and uncovering their background from birth to present tense. For once, their families might be forced to pay them some real attention. As time passes, the public search for answers will center around deep dives into the perpetrator, helping to grow their perceived after-death righteousness.
Their names, even if we do not know them off hand, are just as alive as those of the victims, who we mostly hear about once a year if the crime drew enough “attention.”
So, what does this have to do with white women wanting to be shot?
The same reckless, forget-me-not energy that fuels the shadow-driven desires of white, male mass murderers is what launches the deception rockets in these women. White women who disguise themselves as black women and white men like Dylan Roof, who shot and killed 9 black church members as they prayed in Charleston, NC, share the same sociopathic addiction to infamy. Although the means of execution are different, their self-serving, dysfunctional end goal is the same. Roof purposely left survivor Polly Sheppard alive for her “to tell the story” whereas these women become counterfeit experts, professors, and artists in the African American sector. They both want to be talked about. Forever. And they will go to great lengths, sparing anyone’s expense to achieve it.
History making notoriety.
Clubs, groups, and like-minded friends are not satisfying enough for mass shooters nor will they suffice for the Karens-Who-Wants-to-be-Keisha. The attention from being part of any legit black organization, as a white woman, is minimal at best. You don’t make national news because you were at the front of the protest, facing off against an officer, as a white woman. You will not be first in line for accolades and most times, you will be last to speak. White allies are still white people and will not, nor should they ever be, centered in black spaces or spaces serving black people. Those who are truly invested in the fight, who act from the gut of their soul instead of the reflection in the mirror, know this already. Their allyship is well appreciated, documented, and often highlighted by those who know them well, but they are still behind the line. You can bring water and sandwiches to the picnic but cannot approach the grill.
It is a thankless passion. Gratitude exists however, pedestals do not.
“They don’t give no awards for that”
With attention needs that could rival those of unhinged, callous shooters, Karen’isha eats up stereotypes like Sonic rings deposited into her mirror bank. She tries and succeeds at portraying herself as a disenfranchised, light skinned, black woman with good hair, a loud voice and an absentee father. It had to be shocking when she initially started getting away with this fabricated narrative but then that would require sociopaths to experience feelings of astonishment. True to said nature, her delusions of grandeur allow her the belief that her intended exploitation of black women is reasonable. She may even believe she can do a better job for black people because she has more feasible ideas and possesses the privilege of being “white-passing” (as opposed to just white) and therefore can position herself in places where the ‘loud, angry Black woman’ wouldn’t be accepted. Rather unsurprisingly, these women tend to choose activism as means of gaining popularity in black spaces. Establishing herself as part of the team helps her open a line of credit for black dick, black dollars, and the sacred union of black sisterhood. It’s the perfect role for the “white woman considering blackface when her earned attention is not enough."
It’s the arrogance for me . . .
At least three 100% Caucasian-suburban women have made national news for their extensive method-acting impersonation of black women. Each woman immersed herself in black culture and its people, while collectively (but individually) capitalizing off the of self-made, fictional existences. They tried on our customs, donning cornrows, headwraps and microbraids, like they were outfitted for them inside a Charlette Russe specialty dressing room. They wrote books, sat on boards in roles of decision-making, and collected thousands of dollars in funding and grant monies, shaking their phony blackness wherever they thought a colored tailfeather might be needed. In return, Black women were exploited, had opportunities taken from them and in many ways, were temporarily silenced based on putting their trust in these deceitful narcissists. The outspoken, sometimes problematic yet caring nature helped center each of these white women in the well of black affection, positioning them for the acceptance, love, and adoration they yearned for. Finally, their white tears would no longer be fodder for social memes but would now be acceptable black pain with cause for concern. Gone was the forgettable, vulnerable Donna Reid persona, stuck in a black and white silent picture of Stepford wife misery. Karen came out the phone booth as Keisha and suddenly her voice mattered and her name and memory were safeguarded. She got the attention she wanted along with a sense of protection. It is a protection that would come in handy if she were to get …shot.
She’s reached the pinnacle of her lies and received her forty acorns and a mule huff in return. Her immediate attention needs were being satisfied but she had yet to establish a legacy that would make her a nationwide household name.
**'Enter: Black women killed by the police:
Question: How did you meet Breonna Taylor?
Did you attend the same high school as her? Was she a friend of a friend who you hung out with frequently? Perhaps you connected with her over the counter at a grocery store or maybe she was the paramedic assigned to helping out one of your family member's call for help. Or, like most of the world, did she become familiar to you based on her death and now she feels like a distant cousin you mourn although you never had one conversation with her?
Two years ago, the name Breonna Taylor was unknown to the millions of people who now chant it in solidarity. The same is true for Sandra Bland, who before her death in 2015, was known primarily only to the loved ones whose lives she touched. Both cases gained national focus due to the nature of their deaths; Breonna was shot and killed by reckless police fire during a no-knock raid, and Sandra Bland’s death was ruled a suicide although far too many signs suggest police involvement/homicide. The coverups, lies and lack of basic empathy for the families of these victims helps keep them trending in the news and holding the public’s attention. Without doing harm to others, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor have become inadvertent martyrs. Their untimely and unjust deaths thrust them onto celebrity radars and into national headlines. T-shirts and magazine covers serve as frequent immortalizing reminders of the lives once lived while colorful replicas of their likeness now make up murals all over the globe. This can sometimes run the risk of being problematic, as expressed here by writer Danielle Butler, but nonetheless their memory is undoubtedly being upheld, often by strangers. Protecting black women means showing love, honor, and respect for those who we were unable to keep safe.
Breonna. Rekia. Sandra. Aiyanna. Korrine.
And the at least 48 others.
We will speak their names, forever.
That same forever is what unstable white men go on shooting rampages in quest of and what white women who are playing racial-catfish want to be shot for.
The goal is immortality. For some people, it is simply not enough to live a life of integrity and trust in the legacy they leave behind. The desire to control and manipulate their societal impact outweighs any sense of normalcy or virtue. Their actions are extreme, unpredictable and often deadly but in the simplest of terms, the objective is immor(t)al attention. Even Ted Bundy posed for the cameras and spoke candidly with reporters, earning him the adoration of fans and supporters that he would just as easily kill. It’s all the same type of volatile addiction to the kind of unending recognition that holds steady in the absence of life. Karen-Who-Wants-to-be-Keisha exists on these same terms and while the charade itself is outrageous enough, it's still not her end goal.
She doesn’t just want to try on the black panther suit and prance around; she wants the actual black death experience and the subsequent attention that comes along in the aftermath. Just like mass shooters whose goal is not survival but celebrity, her risky agenda is self-absorbed and devoid of any real consciousness. She figures, if she is loud and belligerent enough, a stereotype that she plays up or down according to the type of black she's wearing that day, she can make herself a target for police. If she were to be added to their “watchlist”, that might increase the possibility of her death coming at their hands. And then, let the parade begin!!
The black community would have her name and story trending within fifteen minutes of the newsbreak. People across the country would protest and march, demanding justice and turning her into an extended family member whose memory is important to uphold. In death, she would join the ranks of the all the other (respected) black women (and women of color) who were wrongfully killed by the police. She would forever be one of them, remembered for the good she brought to the community and nothing less. It would be too late to question her credibility and even if information on who she really was were to come out, her work and the way she died would leave legitimate questions falling on uninterested ears. Born a white woman, die a black one. The road to immortality would be won.
White supremacy wears many hats but it’s origins will always trace back to the scalps and follicles of white people. The roots of this maniacal tree are centered in the belief that whiteness is the dominant, preferred race. At its most basic level, white supremacy is a narcissistic attention scam that suggests all other races are inferior stowaways, and that one should always revert to the exceptional white (male) psychology and history for answers. Those who intend to benefit from it will demonstrate behaviors that can be easily traced back to feelings of superiority. The white men who turn to mass murder and the white women who double as race illusionists are branches of the trees supremacy built. They have the same type of addictive need to make an everlasting impact on the world, no matter what it costs, and the core of the “why” is “because white supremacy.” Murderers have placed themselves in positions of deciding who lives and who dies while [some] white women believe they could unquestionably represent a black woman (widely known fact: there are always questions). If and when challenged by the opposition, these people will provide little insight, few answers and at best, surface-based apologies. Still they believe, even if just subconsciously, that they are superior over others.
Karen's attention needs are abnormal and unrequited, resulting in distorted logic and unacceptable behavior. This part can be likened to the many white women who provoke unnecessary scenes with Black people in parks, neighborhoods, stores and many other everyday situations. When caught on camera, they are usually screaming, crying and calling the police (with false information). All of their motivation is the same as white, male mass murderers and should treated with the similar disgust.
For now, the women guilty of this immoral crime have morphed their own backgrounds into a mirage or utilized dead black identities to fancy up their lies. When outed, they admitted their offenses and dribbled on forward like what they did was just an accidental foul. But how long before the next ones begin seeking who they deem to be "thrown away" black women (cause yaw know how you love canceling and throwing Black women away), killing them and assuming their lives in another city? Because it will happen again and it's not too far fetched when white supremacy is at the helm to assume murder could eventually come into play in these situations.
It shouldn't be taken too lightly. Every time it happens, there's a bit of outrage and an onslaught of memes but the general consensus is let's move on and not give it too much attention. I often see "there's bigger work to do" stretching from the highways of Facebook to the trains of Twitter. While I agree with that statement, I propose we add what to do about these situations in that work. Ignoring a small problem allows it to blossom into a bigger one and the only way this can grow is into deaths of more Black people. They are already killing trust of our own and calling into question some of our allies. So, I ask this question: can we really afford to wait until this becomes "bigger work" before we start brainstorming how to deal with it? Does part of "protecting Black women" include not allowing those who disrespect the legacy of being a Black woman, emotionally abuse us through intentional deceit and misuse of our ancestors (old and new) for personal gain, just walk off with a "my bad" and a Diane Sawyer sit down interview?
There is literally no reasonable excuse for this type of conniving presentation of bullshit. It is an ego based exercise of white supremacy intended to capture mass attention at the expense of a whole race. Every Becky can't be a Kardashian but some Karen's believe Keisha is within their grasp. So far, no lives have been lost but it's only a matter of space and opportunity because if Karen-Who-Wants-To-Be-Keisha gets her plan off the way she envisions, the Kardashians will be talking about her.
And for this reason, I believe white women who pretend to be black women want to be shot.
And they are as dangerous and maniacal as mass murderers.