In a New York Times op-ed Sunday, writer Erin Aubry Kaplan shared her “astonishment” and “resentment” at recently seeing a young white couple perusing a mini-library she built in her front yard in Inglewood, California.
According to Kaplan, when she saw the couple stopped at her trendy book-sharing hut, she was “flooded with emotions” that “converged into a silent scream in my head of, Get off my lawn!”
“Get off my lawn,” but racist. pic.twitter.com/s6Mo5sVPsA
— tsar becket adams (@BecketAdams) December 6, 2021
“What I resented was not this specific couple. It was their whiteness, and my feelings of helplessness at not knowing how to maintain the integrity of a Black space that I had created,” Kaplan wrote, before worrying at length that she was contributing to the gentrification of her neighborhood.
- “As the couple wandered on, no books in hand, I thought about how fragile my feeling of being settled is. … In that moment, I had been overwhelmed by a kind of fear, one that’s connected to the historical reality of Black people being run off the land they lived on, expelled by force, high prices or some whim of white people.”
Many conservative commentators saw the op-ed as an example of the kind of anti-white racism that has become acceptable in mainstream media, but Kaplan suggested in the essay that she could not be racist as a black American.
- “Ultimately, the moment with the couple I saw through my window raised for me a serious moral question about how I should act. Screaming at them to get off my lawn would be adopting the values of the oppressor, as my racial-justice activist father used to say,” she wrote.
- “Yet my resentment was not analogous to the white resentment of generations past (and of now, I’d argue). White resentment has always been legitimized, and reinforced, by legal and cultural dominance, a dynamic evident in everything from the rise of Trumpism to the current battle against the political boogeyman of critical race theory.”
In his Netflix special released in October, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick compared playing in the league to chattel slavery.
— Burgess Owens (@BurgessOwens) October 30, 2021