How are you doing today? If there is anything on your mind you’d like to discuss, I am more than happy to listen, and I have access to a plethora of different resources for a variety of needs I can refer you do if need be. I’m here to empower the people in any way that I can. Feel free to let me know.
When talking to white people about racism, I prefer to use the term “white supremacy” because I’m fully aware of the kind of energy that term inserts into the conversation versus me exclusively just using terms like “racism,” “institutionalized racism,” “systemic racism,” “discrimination,” “racial inequality,” or ” racial tension.”
I know that when I use that term, it, number one, conjures up a sense of guilt in the white people I’m dialoguing with. Now, I don’t take joy in making white people feel guilty, but, at the same time, being UNCOMFORTABLE is a part of the processes in unlearning oppressive cultural customs and practices.
Having to live in a society where there is a literally a whole system in place designed to benefit people with a certain skin shade and facial features at the detriment, in the form of chronic mistreatment and genocide, of people who look like me is PRETTY DAMN UNCOMFORTABLE! The uncomfortableness a white person has to feel when I use that term is but a mere inkling of the lifetime of uncomfortableness those classified as “black” have had to contend with all of their lives.
It brings up a sense of guilt because I’m using the word “white” in the title. Many of the people who are classified or who classify themselves as white automatically assume I mean “all white people,” which is not the case. But, it grabs their attention more effectively than just incorporating terms like “bigotry” or “racialized hate” into the conversation, which leads me to number two.
As a writer, it’s my job to be an expert on what kind of emotions and imagery certain words stir up. When we hear the term “white supremacy,” images of men in white robes, lynchings, angry mobs marching in the street with tiki torches, and burning crosses come to mind, not hipster-looking, cute baristas who work at your local Starbucks or Tucker Carlson.
When I frame the tone of the conversation to more a serious one in using the term and when I tie cultural practices or individuals society typically doesn’t associate to white supremacy, they begin to get a sense of how they may have been complicit in practicing it, whether it was knowingly or unknowingly.
Other times, they know I’m onto them and that I’m peeling back the layers of their self-proclaimed, allyship with “people of color” to unearth what’s at its core–that they really aren’t interested in learning about nor, much less, doing the kind of work it will take to deal with systematic white supremacy.
Before we go further, let’s take a look at the definition of white supremacy:
If we make an honest and in-depth analysis of this definition, we start to see white supremacy as something not to be relegated solely to some ideology that individuals, like the ones who set out to attack and murder protestors at the Charlottesville demonstrations, practice.
White terrorist organizations, like the neo-nazis and atomwaffen, indeed, subscribe to the ideology of white supremacy and, yes, like anyone who does, they have the potential to be very dangerous. But, with groups like the skinheads or the aryan nation, we at least know where they stand and how they feel about black people or anyone not classified as white. At least their belief in their inherent right to supremacy and domination is out in the open, so we know how to react to that.
These are groups who are willing to go out and commit acts of right out terrorism to support their ideology. These are white extremists, and white extremists are, by definition, white supremacists.
However, what about when that sweet elderly white lady who works down at the local library gets summoned for jury duty, and there’s a police officer on trial for murdering an unarmed black person–yet again? This might be the sweetest little lady you’ve ever met when you checked out your book on US History. She might even be exceptionally polite and cordial to black people when interacting with them. She might even be friends with other black people.
But, in that instance, when she or anyone else on that jury sees there was no probable cause or sufficient evidence, like the cases were with Darren Wilson and Betty Shelby, that the white officer had a reason to murder someone in cold blood and they still vote to not have the officer indicted or convicted, that, folks, is practicing white supremacy.
If your daddy or mommy told you, “We don’t have anything against black people, but I just think white people should stick with there own,” they are practicing white supremacy.
When the truth about this nation’s crimes against black people are not part of the curriculum our educational system implements and when the contributions #AADOS have made to Americans society are intentionally left out, that is a form of white supremacists indoctrination.
Many people, even other black people, get nervous or uncomfortable when I use that term, and they sometimes suggest that I use a softer and less heavy title to identify this system of injustice. The thing is, this unjust construct that is based on race is, indeed, SUPREME, and it is, as we’ve seen with Brett Kavanaugh situation, above the law.
It is above the law because it is the law of the land, and the white supremacists, the ones with real power (like your donald trumps of the world) have resources and sphere-of-influence to uphold and maintain it.
That is the definition of “supreme.” It’s a hard pill to swallow that those who are classified as non-white are completely governed and dominated by this system. But, before we began to effectively dismantle this system of non-justice, we have to acknowledge the reality of the powerless position we are in socially as black people. Once we realize and accept that, we will begin to realize why dismantling white supremacy needs to be our number one top priority.
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