TheGrio Daily

White Rights

Episode 116

“If some people get to exercise a right freely and in any way that they want, and other people can’t, then it’s not a right. It’s a way to discriminate.” The laws and “rights” of Americans are not created or enforced equally. Michael Harriot uses examples to prove why many freedoms white Americans have only apply to them.


Panama Jackson [00:00:00] You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network. Black Culture Amplified. 

Michael Harriot [00:00:05] Hey man, I never heard somebody talk about their freedoms. You know, the one with the “S” on it, right.  We all like freedom. But when somebody talks about it and makes it plural, it’s a different kind of thing. Or where somebody says, You’re violating my rights, I have the right to do this. We all have, right? There’s a different kind of thing that these people are talking about. And that’s why I want to welcome you to The Grio Daily, the only podcast that will explain white rights. Yeah. Seemed like quite right. I know it sounds like I’m saying rice. I don’t know why, but, you know, everybody likes white rice. White rights are different from everybody else rights. And I know you think like everybody got rights, but there’s some rights that only white people get to have. Right. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. See, for instance, just like I said earlier, you hear people talking about their freedoms. You’re talking about white rights. Like the parents who say they don’t have to wear a mask, they don’t want their kids to wear a mask when they go to school or they don’t want to adhere to COVID protocols. They’re talking about white rights. Right. They’re talking about their freedom to infect people with a deadly disease. 

Michael Harriot [00:01:46] See, white rights are different, right? We all have rights that are enumerated in the Constitution. The ones that aren’t spoken about or the Constitution said they’re supposed to be left up to the states. Right. And that’s what they’re talking about when they say they are against abortion rights. They want the states to decide abortion or there was the same arguments against segregation. Right. Those are white rights. Why the right to have autonomy over your body is a white right. It’s a thing that only white people get to have. They’ll be talking about gun rights because we can never pass gun laws. And the reason we can’t pass gun laws is because, you know, the Second Amendment, they say shouldn’t be infringed upon the right to bear arms. But the right to bear arms, even though it’s spoken in the Constitution as being available to everyone is really a white right, because you try holding an AR 15 at the capital of your state legislature and see what happens to you. White people can do it, though, because the Second Amendment is a white right. How about, like, you ever try to tell a police officer I got a gun in my car? Like, they won’t take that for an answer. They’ll think you’re up to something because, you know, having a gun is a white right. Like in states all over the country, they’re passing these gun laws where you can carry a concealed weapon. It used to be that you had to have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. But now there are states like Georgia, Alabama and but of states are just passing laws that say, well just having a gun tucked in your waistband is something that you can do, but it’s only a white right, because if you just walk into, like try walking into the Piggly Wiggly with a gun on your holster, you get taken down. Like they’ll think you walk to something because having a gun is a white right. 

Michael Harriot [00:04:01] As a matter of fact. Right. The reason we can’t pass, you know, common sense gun legislation is because of this idea. Right. They don’t. They say, well, why don’t you have to just register to own a gun? Why don’t they ban certain kinds of guns? Why do you not even need to undergo a background check and verify your identity when you go get a gun? Because it’s a white right. And they say, Well shall not be infringed upon is right there in the Constitution. Right? That’s a great, great observation. Except voting is a right. Why do we have the right to vote but the government still passed laws that instruct us how we can exercise that right? Where we can exercise that right? You just can’t go vote anywhere. Just because you’re a citizen. It’s your right to vote. You still got to figure out how to comply with the rules that they set to do so even though voting is a right. It’s different for guns though because again Glenn’s or a white right. Well, sometime voting is a white right. Depending on what state you’re in, you just can’t vote like you want to. Because again, these rights are only available to some people. If you don’t have a certain kind of ID, you can’t vote, right. Some places you depending on where you live in this country, you have to register within a certain amount of time. If you are incarcerated for certain crimes in some states, can’t vote. Because it’s not just a right, even though you’re a citizen, there are certain restrictions placed on those things. 

Michael Harriot [00:06:05] And the point of all of this is that those restrictions are put in place to protect people. To protect that, right. The right to free speech.s supposedly a right, except, you know, you can’t say CRT. You can’t call a white person racist. You can’t say certain things. You can’t slander a person either right. White people say like not being able to use the N-word is a violation of their freedom of speech. Right. When they don’t want a white supremacist to appear on a college campus, that’s a violation of the freedom of speech. But the freedom of speech is not just like that, right, the First Amendment, does not just include things that come out of your mouth. It includes the freedom to assemble. Unless you are a Black protester, which includes the freedom of association. Unless you’re with those Marxist CRT people. It includes the right to, for instance, burn a flag, unless, of course, it’s a Confederate flag. But the point is that rights are just things that are written on paper. How they are enforced is what makes them accessible for all people. In a slump, people get to exercise a right freely in any way that they want. And other people can’t, then it’s not a right. It’s a way to discriminate. 

Michael Harriot [00:07:57] And that’s why rights and freedoms are just something that exists in our imagination and how we enforce them is what makes it a right. And that’s also why you’ve got to tune in to this podcast. You’ve got to download that app too, man. Ya’ll got to download an app and you got to tell a friend about this podcast, and I suggest that you subscribe on every platform that it is available or what everyone you use. And it’s also why we end every segment with a Black saying and today’s saying is “You have the right to remain silent unless you’re white, and then you can say whatever you want.” We’ll see you next time on theGrio Daily. If you like what you heard, please give us a five star review. Download theGrio app, Subscribe to the show and to share it with everyone you know. Please email all questions, suggestions and compliments to podcast at theGrio dot com. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:09:16] I’m political scientist, author and professor Dr. Christina Greer, and I’m host of The Blackest Questions on theGrio’s Black Podcast Network. This person invented ranch dressing around 1950. Who are they? 

Marc Lamont Hill [00:09:29] I have no idea. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:09:30] This all began as an exclusive Black history trivia party at my home in Harlem with family and friends. And they got so popular it seemed only right to share the fun with our Grio listeners. Each week we invite a familiar face on the podcast to play. What was the name of the person who was an enslaved chief cook for George Washington and later ran away to freedom? In 1868, this university was the first in the country to open a medical school that welcomed medical students of all races, genders and social classes. What university was it? 

Roy Wood Jr [00:10:04] This is why I like doing stuff with you, because I leave educated. I was not taught this in Alabama Public Schools. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:10:10] Question three. You ready? 

Eboni K. Williams [00:10:11] Yes. I want to redeem myself. 

Amanda Seales [00:10:13] How do we go from Kwanzaa to like these obscure stories? This like the New York Times crossword from a Monday to a Saturday. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:10:23] Right or wrong, because all we care about is the journey and having some fun while we do it. 

Kalen Allen [00:10:28] I’m excited and also a little nervous. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:10:31] No need to be nervous. And as I tell all of my guests, this is an opportunity for us to educate ourselves because Black history is American history. So we’re going to have some fun. Listen, some people get zero out of five. Somebody can get five out of five. It doesn’t matter. We’re just going be on a little intellectual journey together. 

Eboni K. Williams [00:10:47] Latoya Cantrell. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:10:49] That’s right. Mayor Latoya Cantrell. 

Michael Twitty [00:10:51] Hercules Posey. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:10:52] Hmm. Born in 1754 and he was a member of the Mount Vernon slave community, widely admired for his culinary skills. 

Kalen Allen [00:10:59] I’m going to guess AfroPunk. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:11:02] Close, closed Afro Nation. According to my research, and Samuel Wilson, a.k.a. Falcon. 

Jason Johnson [00:11:14] Wrong. Wrong. I am disputing this. 

Latosha Brown [00:11:16] Very, very, very rare 99.9999 sure that it is Representative John Lewis, who is also from the state of Alabama. That let you know, Christina, we got some goodness come out of Alabama. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:11:27] There is something in the water in Alabama. And you are absolutely correct. 

Diallo Riddle [00:11:30] The harder they come. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:11:32] Close. 

Diallo Riddle [00:11:33] Oh, wait, the harder they fall? 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:11:35] That’s right. I’m one of those people that just changes one word. 

Roy Wood Jr [00:11:40] I just don’t know nothing today. I’m going to pour myself a little water while you tell me the answer. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:11:45] The answer is Seneca Village, which began in 1825 with the purchase of land by a trustee, the A.M.E. Zion Church. 

Roy Wood Jr [00:11:51] You know why games like this make me nervous? I don’t know if I know enough Black. Do I know enough? How Black am I? Oh, my Lord. They. They. We going to find out in public. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:12:00] So give us a follow. Subscribe and join us on the Blackest Questions.