A week ago Bakari Henderson was murdered outside of a bar in Greece by a mob of Serbian men after taking a selfie with a White waitress. While his death was a tragedy it could have been prevented if this young brotha understood the unwritten social rules regarding being a Black man in the world.
Barkari Henderson like many young Black males who grew up over the last 20 years grew up believing the lies about a “post-racial” America and a world that’s a “Rainbow”. And because they have some White friends they think that they’re free to do whatever they please wherever they please just like White people.
That’s a lie that cost Bakari Henderson his life. And it can cost many other young brothers their lives if they don’t understand it too.
When it comes to Black men, the world works differently for us than it does for White men, White women, and even Black women. And a Black man has to know how to set a course for himself to avoid the dangers around him.
Because Bakari Henderson grew up believing that he lived in the world of the “Rainbow” with his White friends he never taught that a Black man has a target on his back the minute he steps foot outside of his house. And that target grows larger when he travels abroad to places like Greece.
When a Black man goes out of his house he is on his own behind enemy lines. And when he goes into someone else’s country he is in the center of enemy territory. So a Smart Black man knows to watch his back and watch himself in his social interactions with both White and nonblack people. Because the wrong look, or the wrong move in a place like a store can lead to a Black man getting locked up or it can put him six feet under.
A Black man taking a selfie with a White waitress may be something innocent in some of the more liberal parts of America. But in some of the southern, midwest and western parts of America and abroad that kind of action can cost a Black man his life. Seeing him take that selfie with that White waitress was all the reason those Serbian racists needed to go on the warpath. These Beta White Knights saw a nigger in their bar with their woman in their country acting like a White man. And they sought to send a message to all the other niggers around the world regarding their women.
What happened to Bakari Henderson was no different than what Carolyn Bryant’s husband and brother and law when they planned to murder Emmit Till back in the 1950s. Those Serbs literally lynched him all for taking a picture with a White woman.
And just like 14-year-old Emmitt Till didn’t understand the unwritten social rules regarding racism in the Jim Crow South in the 1950s, 22-year old Bakari Henderson didn’t understand them about traveling abroad in European countries in 2017.
The times may have changed. But the racism is still the same. Bakari Henderson didn’t get the survival skills a Black man needs from his parents. And that cost him his life.
A Black man has to understand at an early age he can’t do the same things that White men, Hispanic Men, Asian Men, White Women Black women or Nonblack women can do in the world. They’ll always have social privileges and freedoms he’ll never have. Thanks to White Supremacy, he’ll always be perceived as an enemy and a threat. So he has to do things to minimize the danger to himself. That’s why it’s important for a Black boy to learn all the unwritten social rules regarding Black men in a White Supremacist world from an early age. Because the earlier he learns those rules, the earlier he knows how to avoid life-threatening situations like the ones Bakari Henderson and Emmitt Till wound up in.