No Words Remain: Racism and Remembering James Byrd, Jr.

On the way for lunch with a friend in Clear Lake, Texas, I saw a truly horrifying and upsetting scene this morning. Take a look at what the white pickup truck is dragging on the road in the pictures below. 

This is such a clear display of racism and violence–violence of all sorts. 

Some people have dismissed it by saying the legs and boots dragging on the ground and hanging off of the truck are only a Halloween display/gag. 

If such is a Halloween display of some kind, it’s the most disgusting, thoughtless, racist, ignorant, historically illiterate one I’ve ever seen. Such is also a gross manifestation of Trumpism–“joke” or not.

(And jokes don’t hurt or scare people.)

Additionally, just as Halloween costumes that make use of blackface are racist, so is this fake leg dragging along the road. Halloween does not provide legitimate shelter or exemption from such mores and realities.

Some people have dismissed it by saying there is no race present in the display. To this I say, racialized implications are always present everywhere in the United States and the “race” being targeted in this display is clearly those who are Black, such does not need to be explicitly said. Those targeted also include supporters of equality. 

Remember James Byrd, Jr.

Your Country Will Betray You.

This display is a stark reminder of White Supremacy. 

Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda 

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Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives

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  1. “Implications” and the Rhetorical Framing of Critiques – Hidden Power of Words Series, #30 – Without Ritual, Autonomous Negotiations

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