There are two topics that come up repeatedly when discussing or in the case of one of these, “not discussing” racism and white supremacy. The first one is what I will call the “Defensive Posture of Whiteness” and the other is, “Obsession as the eye of Oppression.” Originally as commentary on two posts which came up on my Facebook timeline, and as I usually do when such topics appear, I felt compelled to offer commentary and an unbleached perspective many of my readers have come to expect from me. In fact, I was inspired to make at least one of these by Sandy Broadus asking me to expand broadly, and by Evita Ellis’s post on being obsessed with talking about racism.
The first post was by Evita, “Telling me that I’m obsessed with talking about racism in America is like telling me I’m obsessed with swimming when I’m drowning,” and the second one, by Sandy, was “Black Folks Only. What do you have to say to white folks demanding ‘civility’ from ‘both sides,’ and feeling ‘attacked’ by us.”
Of course, both of the attitudes which stem from these comments come directly from micro-aggressive behaviors, internalized biases and beliefs relative to the subject of race, racism and white supremacy as expressed through the lens of the Post Racial Colorblind era for both Black and white people. For example, the concept of being obsessed with talking about race comes from the period of history, the time from the late 70s through January 2017, when racism under the guise of segregation had “ended,” and white people could basically wash their hands of any accountability or responsibly beyond the Enslavement because there was a certain “equality” being experienced by the newly “integrated” Black person now being allowed to share white spaces and places. There were many white and Black people during this period of the Post Racial Color Blind era who were conditioned to believe racial barriers were gone even as they remained in-tact but with a new, plausible deniability proffered by the substitution of whiteness as a state of being into the introduction of “normal,” “neutral” and “natural” ways of thinking, and that the content of one’s character was what drove success or failure through merit.
This created a sense of security for white people, allowing for the mere discussion of the subject by Black people in defense of behaviors by white people, or efforts to thwart real discrimination as it still existed, or the level to which Black economic growth could begin to compare to white economic growth, or hiring a Black person to a position formerly expected to be “white only,” or gaining admission to a college or university where the unspoken rule was still “white first,” to be seen as reverse racism and the subsequent sharing with Black people the moniker of “racist,” or using the “Black card” for those who dared speak up and speak out becoming the new and most frequently engaged “equal opportunity.”
Needless to say, to this day, openly discussing these issues which remain after 60 years post Enslavement by activists and people dedicated to calling it out is seen by many as “obsessing” rather than verbal attempts at defense for the offense of white supremacy. Furthermore, in the minds of some white people who are either disengaged or ignorant of the truths of the Post Racial color blind era, this demand for “civility” when the subject is broached, lest they feel attacked, is also during that time from the end of the 1970s through January 2017, which signaled the end of the Post Racial Color Blind era, but didn’t end in the minds of the people who feel attacked by the utterance of racism as it exists.
So, when I read the first post by Evita, I became fully engaged.
“There is no such thing as obsession here unless it is the unbleached reality that you either face head on or wait for it to shoot you from a window, at a traffic stop, while your children play in playgrounds with toy guns or going to buy skittles, worshipping at church, while you retire to your cereal and TV at home, waiting for friends at a Starbucks, having a picnic, swimming with friends, standing outside of a hotel to get air while grieving the death of your 4 year old child, listening to music while your friend gets gas at the gas station, moving to another lane because a police car is behind you, napping in the common area of your dorm, exhausted from studying, going to a university, going to work, standing by an apartment building overhang as a shelter from the rain, selling water, walking, talking, crying laughing, sitting, standing, or just living within these white spaces, places, that MAGA says you don't have the right.
Racism and white supremacy is not the obsession of those who call it out, but of those who, through their expressions of hate and in their behavior, their institutions and the system they designed, support and maintain the ideology of skin-based superiority in perpetuity. They are obsessed with their own insecurity over the resilience of the people they oppress, and the lie of superiority they must work so hard to maintain.”
Likewise, after having written the commentary from Evita’s post and happening on Sandy’s, which was along the same vein, when asked what I had to say, I said this:
“I say they are projecting, obfuscating and gaslighting, and that is one of the worst insults of all the insults for which they are responsible.
Black people have been and continue to be in a perpetual state of defense to white offense, a generational offensive of abuses by the collectivity of whiteness and its fallacy of supremacy.
Their victimization is promulgated on a patently ridiculous idea that calling attention to both systemic and individual expressions of their own animus, microaggressions, and outright destructive behavior against *us* is "hurtful" to *them*, which isn't even the pinnacle of their arrogance, but certainly up there with skin-based superiority and unearned privilege. Therefore, as is the case with their insane insistence that even as the oppressed, we share the "racist" moniker of the oppressor, we should also apologize to them for our own defense of ourselves.
As a deadly, destructive, and collective series of white lies they've tried to bleach clean for generations, they need to realize it was them and only them who need to apologize to humanity.”
And here I stand and will continue to call it as I see it.