Studies show that we are racially indoctrinated during our formative years, fitted for eyeglasses tainting how we see the world through the lens of white supremacy. If we fail to address racism/white supremacy at its core (a lopsided and racially biased educational system, misleading media portrayals of People Of Color (POC), and self-imposed segregation, leading to the embracing of stereotypes in the absence of actual relationships), we will never fully evolve beyond it. It will simply continue to manifest in various forms.
With this understanding, it comes as no surprise when we experience push back on potential solutions to the problem, such as the rejection of Critical Race Theory and expanding our educational system to become more inclusive of the achievements of POC and their history such as the 1619 project, and voter suppression. Straw man tactics and red herrings are deployed as distractions and deflections.
Public Enemy’s “Fear of a Black Planet” paints the picture for what keeps white supremacy ideology afloat. According to psychologist Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, in her renowned publication, “The Isis Papers,” racism is a conspiracy “to ensure white genetic survival.” Jim Crow segregation would speak to this very issue and fear of an ever-darkening America.
Known as the Browning of America, the U.S. Census predicts that by 2045 the “white” population will be in the minority in the U.S. This has put many folks who identify as “white,” in panic mode. They fear equality equating something being taken away (white privilege), in order to balance the scales. But how can you lose something you deny exists?
In addition, we can look at tactics such as redefining “white,” to include people of middle eastern descent, closing the border to brown folks, supporting the extended incarceration of POC that keeps them from reproducing, promoting various forms of sterilization of POC, etc.
Whiteness is an ideology, not an identity but embracing it as an identity can lead to an “us” versus “them” worldview.
Jane Elliott is known to poll her audience with the question, “How many of you white people fear being treated the way we’ve treated Black people?” Several hands shyly emerge. She then asks, “How many of you Black folks wish to treat white people the way that you’ve been treated,” few, if any, hands are raised.
“Black people are some of the most forgiving people on the planet,” she comments. She continues, “You know the best way to address this fear white people, is to start treating Black people the way they want to be treated.”
Racism/white supremacy falls on a spectrum, with the hardcore white supremacist at the far end (KKK, Skinheads, etc. who find their self-worth, value, and purpose in the fabrication of superiority), and the well-intended seeking to evolve and grow beyond it, on the other end. It’s like cancer which can go undetected by the carrier while rotting the body from the inside out, and for some, it’s terminal.
The terminally ill will often resort to what I refer to as the 4D’s of defense whenever the topic of race is brought to the table, namely: Dismissal, Deflection, Discrediting, and Denial. Instead of seeking a cure for this disease, a 4 walled fortress of protection is erected. These defenses tend to function on autopilot as knee jerk rote responses and invoking the “rational rationale” used as an excuse to maintain the status quo of white supremacy ideology.
This conditioning is instilled in our youth early. As Russian Revolutionist Vladimir Lenin explained, “Give me four years to teach the children, and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” This sentiment predates Lenin in the book of Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: And when he is old, he will not depart from it.” This works in the positive, as well as the negative.
The glasses of white supremacy clouds one’s vision. America needs a new prescription!
By Rev. Tobias K. Houpe