Whenever questions arise around matters of race and racism, I discovered that white people have a preoccupation with their seeming “lack of understanding” as it relates to black culture, black people; in short, blackness. It would seem that the vantage point for white people begins and ends with ideas of either relating or not relating to such blackness. Within this frame, there is no wonder why there is such difficulty talking about racism, whether it is with other white people or when blacks are also engaged.
In my opinion, white people simply must "get over themselves" and realize that they've been virtually sold the “big lie,” or the "grand deception," if you will, in the same way that black people were physically sold into bondage. White people have been royally duped and their minds are the spoils of their capture.
People with wealth and power created the “white” skin myth because they had to contend with the “hoi pol·loi,” or common people, who shared the same “white color.” Class status was useless for the masses of poor whites in America because they were as poor as, or in some cases worse off economically than the newly freed slaves.
So through what can only be called a major feat of mass hypnotic suggestion, those wealthy and powerful elites were successful in conceptualizing and thereby convincing the poor masses of white people that even in the midst of their own poverty and desperation, they were “better” than the people whose skins were not the color “white.”
Yes, all it took was a notion and the impetus for the system of racism and white supremacy that we all live under today was spawned, all the while, the REAL POWER driving this ship of fools was and still is controlling ALL of us.
By now I would hope that most, if not all white people have at least realized that the use of skin color is a ludicrous and downright stupid way to determine supremacy of a group of people, especially since it makes even less sense when working in tandem with “class” as an economic and social construct, since this was also a self-perpetuating notion conceptualized and sold to the masses of white people to divide themselves from themselves.
So what is keeping white people from recognizing the nature of this stupidity and asking the right questions? What is preventing them from speaking openly and honestly to themselves about themselves about their “own” race?
One of the main problems I have encountered when reading posts by white people to white people is that scrutinizing blackness will inevitably arise, and group blackness will become a point of contention. Rampant stereotypical definitions with no honest engagement — only opposition, defense and explanations of each illogical view will become the convoluted state of any discussion. In addition, white people will detach themselves even further from their collectivity and attack the individual behaviors of overt white bigots, refusing to acknowledge their larger, mutual history and behavior which produced the bigotry and the bigot in the first place.
In my view, therefore, approaching race from the vantage point of “understanding blackness” is NOT the correct and meaningful way to confront issues of race for white people. Inasmuch as black people in America must learn whiteness in all its feigned beauty and culture and its supposed illustrious and victorious history, absent any mention of black contributions, it is still not necessary for white people to learn how blackness functions and it isn’t necessary because black people are not the problem.
Let me repeat,
BLACK PEOPLE ARE NOT THE PROBLEM.
Besides, scientists have been studying black people for centuries already. They believe they have blackness “down to a science.”
No, white people don’t need to “understand blackness,”
WHITE PEOPLE NEED TO UNDERSTAND “WHITENESS.”
The problem is “whiteness itself” and white people are the problem that must be solved. White people need to understand where they fit, collectively within the equation of whiteness in this country and in the world.
White people must begin to seriously study themselves and their own biases, prejudices and feelings about themselves, honestly and truthfully and and then relate them to the idiotic notion of supremacy as a fact of color. They need discover at which point in history they lost their mutual humanity and then throw their senses of mind and spirit back to that place and time to understand the mistakes and the lies. This must be done in order to understand who they truly were as human beings in the past, as well as “why” they are identified as a race, today.
Moreover, they need to begin to dissect those very concepts of themselves as inherently superior on the basis of the amount of melanin in their skins, shed the privilege of individuality in its entirety for the purposes of discovering when they in fact, weren’t “white” and when they actually became a color unto themselves. In reviving their true history, white people will need to smell the stench of some of their history’s worst atrocities against other human beings and devour their history’s indelible past completely and honestly even if doing so turns their stomaches at every turn of a page, or swipe of a screen.
This, however, seems to be the most difficult part of owning their entire oneness with nonwhite people, our shared human togetherness in one enormous world of thought, that frame of mind, that for white people, is purposefully elusive, tucked out of reach by design.
The desire to be "best" at the expense of other human beings, even in the face of the true reality of their own fragility and inhumanity throughout history can be too overwhelming and all consuming for some. The cognitive dissonance may be too painful to experience for others and still for many, the deception itself is actually what sustains them when nothing else can.
The fact is that the only reason why there is racism and white supremacy on a world scale is because the masses of white people perpetuate it, not because black people are this and black people are that; not because God willed it this way, and not because having white skin somehow ordains the right to be inhuman in a human world.
Face it. Embrace it. Understand that you've been tricked by race AND class. Neither actually exists except in the fictitious worldview that was created for us by the REAL power elite who don’t live among any of us. Moreover, in order for white people to dismantle racism and white supremacy, they need to understand that their problem is as white as their own skin color.
Recommended reading: "Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South," by Grace Elizabeth Hale.