Are we stuck with white supremacy?

SUSAN K. SMITH | 5/8/2018, 11:54 p.m.
Someone asked recently, “Why can’t we get rid of white supremacy?”

Crazy Faith Ministries

Someone asked recently, “Why can’t we get rid of white supremacy?”

The question was sobering and troubling. Although there have been some gains for Black and Brown people, it feels like many to most of those gains are being eroded right before our eyes. In a recent podcast produced by “Reveal: The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX,” host Al Letson interviewed a woman who offered her observation that rabid racists who have been “hiding under a rock” are now emerging from hiding, spewing their racial hatred, seemingly supported by the current administration.

In that same podcast – Trumping Hate – Trump loyalist Roger Stone dismissed the idea that “white supremacy” exists, even as he talked about how America is supposed to be for White people.

The fact that so many White people who to many seem to be not only racist but dangerously so, willing to resort to violence to “protect” whiteness in this country and in the world brings the problem of white supremacy and of not being able to get rid of it front and center.

The wheels of white supremacy have never stopped spinning, social justice work notwithstanding. Although we in this country point to the importation of people of African descent as the beginning of racism in this country, the fact is that from even as far ago as the Roman Empire, a bias against Black people was a mainstay of “the White mind.”

Because of the color of our skin, we were easily identifiable as “other” when it came to regarding human beings; Europeans from Portugal, Spain and England all had designated areas of and in Africa where they planted their influence and from where they imported Africans back to their own countries.

Black people from African countries have always provided Europeans with the income they needed to build their economies by being the source of cheap labor.

In a fascinating report, institutional racism is explained through a song by Michael Jackson, They Don’t Really Care About Us. The machinations of the European mindset have put in place a cycle which supports the narrative Whites have of Black people.

One of the goals of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is to shift the narrative that exists around poor people, a narrative that says poor people are poor because of their own doing. The Poor People’s Campaign rejects that narrative and points to the existence of systemic racism as just one of the reasons people are “made poor.”

While everyone – the word “everyone” used intentionally – knows that there is something wrong with the way Whites treat Black people, few are willing to call what is going on and which has always gone on “racism.” The term is viewed by many Whites as being the supreme insult, and they reject it totally.

But the fact is that White people conveniently dismiss the term from their minds even as they continue their debasement of the rights of Black people. Their capacity and willingness to dehumanize and criminalize Black people continues with them finding justification in what they do from the perception of Black people that has been perpetuated for hundreds of years.