UI – Part 536 – White Supremacy (2 of 4)
In this discussion on white supremacy, begun a few days ago (in part 1 of 2), the focus became that of supremacy itself, not just as a white, or caucasian, element. To be supreme was to have the upper hand, an advantage. Supremacy also aligns with ‘superiority,’
In April 24, 2014, with the title “10 Things Everyone Should Know About White Supremacy,” Chauncey DeVega, reporting for Alternet, wrote, “In the age of Obama, the phrase ‘white supremacy’ is used in political discussions like an imprecise shotgun blast….White supremacy is a racial ideology that works to maintain class inequality….In the most basic sense, white supremacy is a philosophical, material, ethical, economic, scientific, religious, and political system that works to maintain the dominant and relative superior group position of those identified as “white” (and their allies) over those marked as ‘non-white’….White supremacy works on an institutional and inter-personal level. Its ultimate goal is securing more resources, power, opportunities, and privileges—material, psychological or otherwise—for the in-group over the out-group….White racial innocence, and a sincere belief by many white folks that they do not hold racist attitudes, or benefit personally or collectively from systemic white racism, is an example of how white supremacy has evolved to make itself relatively invisible (to willfully ignorant white people) as a dominant social force in American life….White supremacy involves, both in the present and historically, the systematic transfer of wealth, income, and other resources from non-whites to whites as a general group, and a white elite, in particular.” You can read his entire article (Read).
With a specific focus on the USA, DeVega wrote, “….In colorblind America, ‘polite’ and ‘respectable’ white supremacy is far more dangerous to the life chances and safety of people of color than the overt racism of the Ku Klux Klan or other racially chauvinistic organizations.”
I particularly find DeVega’s disingenuous by his statement, “White racial innocence, and a sincere belief by many white folks that they do not hold racist attitudes, or benefit personally or collectively from systemic white racism, is an example of how white supremacy has evolved to make itself relatively invisible (to willfully ignorant white people) as a dominant social force in American life.” He has his own distorted view.
As in South Africa today White Farmers are being killed, their lands are being taken by the government, eminent domain without compensation, to be distributed to the blacks. Is this a transference from White Supremacy to Black Supremacy, or simply a taking of other’s property, earned or inherited, for the sake of a militant, bitter, class growing in dominance and exercising their anger and want for what others have? Even Nelson Mandela would disapprove of what the South African leadership is enabling today. Is this what liberals, black activists, are striving for in America? The liberals use their victims as targets to gain a sympathetic vote for what they promise, but seldom do, in order to have the advantage, to become the superior or supreme authority on matters (that matter to them personally).
When digested, Michelle’s graduation speech in 2015 at Tuskegee University pointed directly at the topic of white supremacy, the ‘white folks.’ She paints a picture to remind her audience of the past, to be prepared to relive the struggles, never highlighting how much progress has been made to equal the playing field for everyone. I will admit that at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century white supremacy was quite in evidence. Yet it was even then an effort to maintain an upper hand, a competition to remain atop the heap of humanity. But it has been diluted and continues to be. ‘Equality’ becomes the issue; redistribution of wealth also. Those that complain the most, refer to the topic the most, either do not feel equal or find the issue useful for a personal cause and objective. They are dominated by their own inferiority, encouraged by political agitators who highlight their ‘victimhood,’ seeking their support as a class, making promises, but not really interested in delivering on the promises, only their own success. The problem is more ‘elitism’ and not ‘white supremacy’ in this case.
The Obamas are a model of the progress made in accepting capable, hard working achievers, regardless of color, for the right or the wrong reasons, in today’s society. But they, these two people of color, are elitists today. Their black heritage is a useful tool to advance their personal agenda and fill their personal treasury. So, the Obama’s are elitists, indeed, and they are not white, yet they play the race card to gain an advantage. So what is new? They will do whatever they can to enrich themselves at the expense of those they label as ‘victims,’ of which they were once a part. And, yes, they remind everyone with every oration made that they were victims, and still consider themselves victims. Poor, poor, Michelle and Barack Obama.
Here are excerpts of what Michelle said, “I’d like to begin today by reflecting on (Black) history — starting back at the time when the Army chose Tuskegee as the site of its airfield and flight school for black pilots….while the Airmen selected for this program were actually highly educated — many already had college degrees and pilots licenses — they were presumed to be inferior….those Airmen could easily have let that experience clip their wings. But as you all know, instead of being defined by the discrimination and the doubts of those around them, they became one of the most successful pursuit squadrons in our military. They went on to show the world that if black folks and white folks could fight together, and fly together, then surely — surely — they could eat at a lunch counter together. Surely their kids could go to school together…. Generation after generation, students here have shown that same grit, that same resilience to soar past obstacles and outrages — past the threat of countryside lynchings; past the humiliation of Jim Crow; past the turmoil of the Civil Rights era….the road ahead is not going to be easy. It never is, especially for folks like you and me. Because while we’ve come so far, the truth is that those age-old problems are stubborn and they haven’t fully gone away. So there will be times, just like for those Airmen, when you feel like folks look right past you, or they see just a fraction of who you really are. …my husband (Barack) and I know how frustrating that experience (as a person of color) can be. We’ve both felt the sting of those daily slights throughout our entire lives — the folks who crossed the street in fear of their safety; the clerks who kept a close eye on us in all those department stores; the people at formal events who assumed we were the “help” — and those who have questioned our intelligence, our honesty, even our love of this country….And I know that these little indignities are obviously nothing compared to what folks across the country are dealing with every single day — those nagging worries that you’re going to get stopped or pulled over for absolutely no reason; the fear that your job application will be overlooked because of the way your name sounds; the agony of sending your kids to schools that may no longer be separate, but are far from equal; the realization that no matter how far you rise in life, how hard you work to be a good person, a good parent, a good citizen — for some folks, it will never be enough….Those Airmen who rose above brutal discrimination — they did it so the whole world could see just how high black folks could soar. That’s the spirit we’ve got to summon to take on the challenges we face today….rise above the noise and the pressures that surround you….stay true to who you are and where you come from….”
As much of a damper she put on things reminding her black audience of their past, regurgitating age-old problems, and a need to “rise above the noise,” she did mention, “that ‘never-failing miracle of progress.’” The comment “Stay true to where you came from…,” is not what America needs from the minority population that is being recognized, accepted, is achieving, and is seeing the fruits of success. I feel Michelle, and the same applies to other black leaders, needs to dwell more on the progress, not the struggles. There will always be struggles, struggles for anyone making the effort to achieve, regardless of color. Her calling the blacks and whites “folks” may have been an ironical leveling effort to join forces in a ‘folksy’ fashion, yet her reference to the ‘folks’ that avoided the people of color, is clearly targeting the ‘white folks,’ or the ‘white supremest.’
Now consider again her closing inducement, “stay true to who you are and where you come from.” That can be said to anyone, even the elitist claiming superiority, but stated differently. ‘Stick to your guns, take the reins, lead, rise above others as your ancestors have done for centuries… and so on. Build on the accomplishments of your parents and their parents, your folks.’ Don’t dwell on the past.
To be continued…. Part 3 of 4 to follow. There are elitists and they are members of both political Parties, but also members of the NAACP, the LGBTQ community, and others. But then there are those with superior attitudes. Do you believe they are all white?
Grace and Peace
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