Month By Month, Let’s Look Back At The Egregious Acts Of Racism That Made Our Blood Boil And Earned Headlines In The Dallas Area Throughout 2017.

Racism — as it always does — reared its ugly head in 2017 just as in years past.

But, this year, it came with a special bravado as white supremacists were emboldened by the fact that The President of the United States seemed to both embrace their ideals — or at least not openly disavow them.

In fact, just a month ago, the FBI reported that there was an increase in reported hate crimes at the end of 2016, a trend that seems to have continued well into 2017. And that rise came to Dallas this year, like when white supremacists rallied around the Robert E. Lee statue at Oak Lawn Park after the city council’s unanimous vote.

But that was a public and open expression of racism. Not everything that made it onto this month-by-month look back on the racist incidents that Dallas faced this year was so out in the open. Others range from secret postings in public spaces to neighbors just quietly being racist dicks.

None of this can be construed as good news, but here’s something that indicates how things are now even worse: Unlike last year’s version of this list, we weren’t able to skip any months this time around. Meaning? We saw headlines detailed local acts of racism in each and every month of 2017.

Also like last year, we’d like to make the distinction between racism and prejudice before we dive into this list. As we all know, racism is a belief that one racial group is somehow superior to another, and how that belief is often used to oppress groups of people. Prejudice, meanwhile, is a pre-judgement of certain subsets of people (e.g. all cops shoot people of color; women can’t drive), and while prejudice can indeed be born from racism, it’s not necessarily racially motivated. To be clear, this rundown exclusively details the racially charged incidents that made headlines this year — and only those. We’re well aware of the fact that not every act of racism makes the news.

January

February

March

  • The hate group-classified Bureau of Islamic-American Relations staged a small, armed protest outside a Richardson mosque. David Wright, the leader of the group, was quoted as saying the following spiel at the rally: “People at this mosque over here are raising money for terrorists and sending it overseas. They’re finished. It’s over. Obama is gone. Your free ride is done.” Locals didn’t necessarily approve, though, as a band of 15 to 20 counter-protesters showed up to call the BAIR members Nazis and whatnot.
  •  Breanna Harmon Talbot of Denison was arrested for making false claims that three black men had kidnapped and raped her. Of course, before her story was debunked and she was charged, some racist took to a Reddit thread devoted to Donald Trump and wrote “Three black man kidnapped and gang raped an engaged 18 year old white girl yesterday. IF THE RACES WERE REVERSED, THIS WOULD BE NATIONAL NEWS. THESE MEN DESERVE TO BE HANGED.” Hanging has not been used in Texas capital punishment since 1923; this user was clearly describing a lynching.

April

May

June

July

August

September

  • Two students at J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson circulated racist images on Snapchat that featured the KKK, hangings and slave beatings. Their apparent intent was to show supremacy over rival school Richardson High School. One of the images also showed Michael Brown and the officer who shot and killed him.
  • First Baptist Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress said in an interview on Fox & Friends that NFL players who were kneeling during the national anthem before games “ought to be thanking God that they live in a country where they’re not only free to earn millions of dollars every year, but they’re also free from the worry of being shot in the head for taking a knee like they would be if they were in North Korea.” Granted, this may not be an outright racist statement, but the subtext is there.
  • Two black men filed a lawsuit against chemical shipping company Univar USA, alleging that they had been working in a racially hostile work environment. As evidence, they cited the lynch-style hanging of a stuffed monkey in an office room, racist and Islamophobic graffiti, and their belief that they were denied promotions because of their race.

October

November

December

Cover image by Obed Manuel.

No more articles
X