At Psychology Today Blogs, Laurie Essig takes on the myth makers, in this case, those whose myths support and perpetuate racism. Here’s a bit:
Mass incarceration and the resulting policing practices in this country assume Black guilt. But none of this could occur without the racial innocence of Whites. Within the myth of the Black male beast lies the story of the innocent White victim, the delicate Flora running away from the newly freed (and therefore dangerous) Gus.
This uniquely American creation myth– writ not with lightening but a gender binary that marked White women as victims, Black men as dangerous, Black women as excessively sexual and White men as heroic saviors– planted the seed for everything we are seeing today. And therein lies the real danger for not bringing what feminist theory calls an “intersectional analysis” to the history we are witnessing.
An intersectional analysis insists that this is not just about the construction of Black men as beasts, but White women as needing saving by White men and Black women as never innocent.