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.
The question is, “can we get rid of it?” Can white supremacy become a thing of the past?
And if it cannot, how do we as a nation and as a world move forward? Can a nation which refuses to see itself for what it is remain a world power? Or does its ignorance lead to its demise, and to the demise of all people, White people included?
The current administration has revealed itself as an administration which cares most for White people – but not all White people but, rather, for the very wealthy. Ironically, white supremacy adversely affects even White people of lower socioeconomic classes, and when current White supporters of this president realize they have been used, they will be angry.
White supremacists, however, will not care. Even as many in that group espouse and practice and use violence against Black people, their hatred will end up backing up into their world. Those who have relied on white supremacy as their ticket to economic parity and superiority will experience the aftertaste of their hatred.
Not even that phenomenon will end white supremacy, though. It feels like that as long as White people are able to see people of color around them, they will fall back on and rely on the false narrative that they are somehow better … and that belief will always feed their arrogance and their capacity to hate.
The presence of God notwithstanding and God’s command for us to “love our neighbors as ourselves,” that command, which has always been ignored, will continue to be. We, people of color, will have to remain girded up and continue this fight for dignity, which “the White mind” believes, is not ours to have. The battle has obviously not been given to the swift but to those who have endured and we will have to continue to endure, to fight back and to demand the civil and human rights which are ours.
We will have to continue to declare that neither white supremacy nor the white supremacists that make our lives miserable are the boss of us.
Yes, we are stuck…with white supremacy, but in the end, their whiteness will not protect or save them. That is the truth we will have to never forget.
Rev. Dr. Susan K Smith is available to preach, and give workshops or hold seminars on the issue of how religion and politics have been ineffective in destroying racism. She is working on a book on the subject at this time. To book her, visit firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.crazyfaithministries.org.