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Cops & Beckys -- Dred Feminist Rant #12

Cops & Beckys -- Dred Feminist Rant #12

I’m moving to a new city next year for a new teaching contract as a Visiting Professor. I’m excited about the new university and the new town. They’re paying me enough to afford a short-term rental in a very high-end gated community. Before sending in my security deposit, I paused and reviewed the recent news about the precarity of Black lives. There's a new way that white supremacy affects my living choices.

I’m an older African American woman. While I can afford to live in a predominantly white community, can I risk it? What if there is another Becky out there immersed in her white fragility and offended if I don’t wave, smile, or parade my white friends for racial legitimacy? What about things I usually do: shop, buy coffee, drive, read books in cars, etc., things for which Black people are harassed by cowardly white bullies and cops?

About those cops, I’m moving to a state in which the police frequently act like Gestapo against immigrants and other people of color. If Becky calls them, they might shoot first and ask questions of my corpse. That's when they'll plant the gun and the drugs to belatedly justify my death. Dare I pretend that my temporary class privilege will immunize me against Beckys and Cops? I don’t think so.

Instead, I’ll select an apartment in a neighborhood more used to seeing people of color living our lives, hopefully one not being gentrified, because that’s another risk as well. The cops may be more meanly aggressive there, but at least Becky will be too afraid to live next to me.

Wish me luck!