With the political and social climate in the U.S. being where it is today, I thought now would be an appropriate time to offer an alternative perspective on the concept of “White Supremacy”. This is a term that we hear thrown around a lot to describe the repressive power structure – if you will – that penetrates every facet of society in this country and abroad, and the reactionary behavioral symptoms of said system that are prevalent in much of the White demographic. That is an extremely condensed breakdown, but, hopefully, you get the gist. Now, let’s take a look at the textbook definition of “White supremacy”:
“the belief, theory, or doctrine that white people are inherently superior to people from all other racial groups, especially black people, and are therefore rightfully the dominant group in any society.” (SOURCE)
Let’s examine this more closely. Number one, are we using the term in an objective or subjective context? If one isn’t objectively superior, then are they REALLY “superior” at all (especially if the knowledge that provided them the means to accomplish, well, everything, came from the minds of people of color)? If not, should the name “White supremacy” be dignified with being the official title for this disease plaguing the world? To me, if one was “superior” or “supreme” in nature, it would be self-evident; likewise, it would be self-evident that others are “inferior.” Historically, has that been the case with us (Europeans) and Africans, Asians, etc.? Absolutely not. We are talking about an ideology that had to literally be imposed on and forced into the minds of the people, whether covertly or overtly, through a process that began in 1492 and into today. Late 15th-16th century European war propaganda did whatever it took to paint their enemies in a negative light to justify their reprehensible and rapacious deeds and motives, and we often overlook the contradiction in those accusations, many of which were going on right there in Europe and even the American colonies. We see those same propaganda tactics used in the mainstream media today against people of color. But, is cannibalism a trait of a “civilized” people or society? Have we forgotten that it was the Moors’ “superior mathematical knowledge and sailing technologies” that “resulted in a Portuguese fleet capable of negotiating the high Atlantic seas?” (SOURCE). Have we forgotten about Timbuktu? Take a look at Herodotus’ description of the Labyrinth at Heliopolis, in Ancient Egypt. Yes, that remarkable architectural feat from the Ancient World came from the minds and hands of BLACK PEOPLE.
If ones TRULY felt superior, why would they have bombed Black Wall Street, a community that practiced Black economics and self-empowerment? Why would the Black Panther Party have been “the biggest threat to America’s national security” for, really, no reason at all? Would the CIA, FBI, and police have been so adamant about destabilizing and thwarting the growth and success of Black movements? If they were “inferior,” they would’ve inevitably failed anyways, right? Declassified government emails show that one of the factors in France’s commitment to attack Libya was to stop Gaddafi’s aspiration for a gold-backed African currency. Speaking of Gaddafi, would so many Black leaders over the years been assassinated or died under suspicious circumstances? How about the fact that Africa and many other “3rd World” countries are ground zero for chemical warfare? And, let’s not forget about the Tuskegee Experiment. Are these all indicators of a “superior” people? No. You know what that really is? FEAR. The FEAR of a BLACK NATION’s return to power.
You wouldn’t need to, nor allow someone to whitewash history. One would think the “superiority” of their own would be enough. You wouldn’t take the great Black civilization called Egypt and make it White. Everyone in the biblical histories wouldn’t be a damn European when that is not only impossible, but the biblical text doesn’t even support that. You wouldn’t keep showing Africans as “primitive” and “savages” and “slaves” in that Western region of Africa when that region alone has been home to NUMEROUS great kingdoms and empires, such as, Mali, Ghana, Dahomey (take a look at Benin’s bronze work below), etc. We can’t act like we don’t see the tremendous influence Black minds and ideas have over the entire world, and have had as long as man has walked this Earth. Yet, it seems the extent of Black History that makes it into these public school curriculums or on the big screen only goes as far back as slavery.
Working Title/Artist: Plaque: Warrior and AttendantsDepartment: AAOACulture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: 08Working Date: 16th-17th century photography by mma, Digital File DT1231.tif retouched by film and media (jnc) 9_24_10
White people/European-Americans, if anything you’ve read here struck a nerve, then you are more than likely part of the problem. It doesn’t matter if one is an integrationist, separatist, nationalist, whatever…what this boils down to is respect for other’s human rights. Why must some of us withdraw our support and isolate ourselves from movements like Black Lives Matter as soon as we feel like they are “racist” or their choice of expression is “threatening” or makes us feel “uncomfortable.” Threatening and uncomfortable? Name just ONE instance where a Black group, movement, or organization targeted White people. Compare that to the countless instances where Black people have been beaten, killed enslaved by Whites simply based on the color of their skin and how the sight of it made us “feel” when we saw it. So, what REALLY is our problem with these movements? Because it seems whether your are the Black Panthers, the Civil Rights movement, or the Black Lives Matter movement, Black people are constantly met with resistance by many of us in their struggle for equality, justice, and empowerment.
We need to be more proactive in trying to gain an understanding of movements like Black Lives Matter and the circumstances and conditions that sparked it. It is the lack of understanding due to the contrast between the White and Black experiences in the U.S. that causes such division and opposition when Black people take to the streets or internet to let their voices be heard. Besides, most if not all Black movements in U.S. history were not anti-White. We also need to stop these reactionary, defensive, and, often, antagonistic tactics like the “All Lives Matter,” “White Lives Matter,” and “Blue Lives Matter” campaigns that do nothing but trivialize and take away from genuine movements with genuine causes like Black Lives Matter. Seriously. It is time for those of us Whites who proclaim we are not racist to prove it. We must be just as outspoken when one of our own makes discriminatory, prejudicial, and racist remarks in our presence or else we are racist sympathizers and thus no better than a racist, and should be held to the same level of accountability for passively allowing this B.S. to perpetuate. On another note, what right do we have to debate U.S. immigration laws and speak ill of the Latinos coming over here when it was European foreigners who conceived and ratified the damn “Naturalization Act?” Who gave us that authority?
In closing, one may choose to use whatever term to describe this system that they like. I just encourage all of you who read this to consider whether or not using “their” designated term for such a weak and pathetic mental illness that wrongfully places one race at the top and all others at the bottom is really the most ideal and accurate. It is through my experiences and what I’ve learned in my 22 years of life that I’ve reached this understanding. We should strive, through the close study of history, to properly diagnose this cancer and remove it at its root. Let’s, as one people, seek to unite beyond color lines under the banner of principle to bring about the change we need to see. Education is key, and knowledge is power. To my fellow ’90s and new millennium babies, we are the future.
I’d also like to thank Horace Butler for planting the seeds that have led me to reach this understanding.