Let's Stop Talking About Racism [Re-Post from 2014]
Ugh, so it's all over the news. Donald Sterling is a virulent racist...but he was banging a Black chick (well, "half Black") so people are questioning "if he can be racist".
Then last night, in response to his two goals (including the game winner in OT) the word #nigger started trending on twitter because Boston fans don't like PK Subban and started firing off thousands of tweets with the word in it. The same Boston fans that cheer Jerome Iginla and Malcolm Subban (PK's younger brother who was drafted by Boston).
Oh, and that Klan leader who shot and killed those innocent people last month? Was caught having sex with a Black, transgendered hooker a few years back.
This isn't anything new. Legendary segregationist, Senator Strom Thurmond had a "Black daughter"even while he conducted one of the greatest filibusters in US history trying to block civil rights in 1957.
Hell, a guy I considered a great friend resorted to calling me a "ghetto monkey Nigger" after a perceived slight...and despite the fact he worked for a Black guy.
The mental disconnect continues when you hear Clive Bundy wonder if "Black people were better off as slaves"...which is barely a half step removed from Duck Commander reminiscing that Black people were happier as share croppers in the segregated south. This man has an adopted Black grand child.
Consider that both points of view are not that far removed from a man who would have been Vice President Of The United States ruminating about "lazy inner city men" as a reason to explain income inequality and economic disparities. As opposed to...I dunno, structural, systemic White Supremacy. The former being a much bandied about stereotype, the latter being empirically provable.
The cognitive dissonance required to sleep with someone "Black", have Black friends, like Black athletes, have Black family and still be a racist isn't that hard to fathom when you stop talking about "racism" and start talking about White Supremacy. An ideology that underpins our society at almost every level.
White Supremacy seeks to create an "us vs them" reality. Too bad actual reality doesn't synch up with what we are taught. Our brains, being wired a certain way then make connections and exceptions that keep us going...but don't really make sense when scrutinized.
It also goes beyond CD and into other psychological phenomena, from White people remembering Black people who don't fit stereotypes as being "lighter skinned" than they actually are, to White people's amygdylia's (fight or flight center of the brain) being triggered when they see "Dark faces" to White people being unable to empathise with minorities.
None of these tests were done using "opinions" but rather based on autonomic brain activity. I'm certainly confident that the results would be repeatable if you, say...took a Russian and Ukrainian who were brainwashed into hating each other and conducted the same test or a Rwandan Hutu or Tutsi. Human brains are fragile things. They organize the world for us and sometimes that organization doesn't make sense. White Supremacy takes advantage of that.
Wanna know why somebody like that Duck Commander dude or even Mitt Romney, who probably love their adopted family members as much as their own flesh and blood could ascribe to something as racist as thinking "Black people are lazy"? The "just world" fallacy. Our brains are wired so that as opposed to believing that the world is a fundamentally fucked up place, with fucked up people in it that make selfish decisions that only benefit them...they would rather believe that people aren't going anywhere in life...because they are lazy. Victim blaming is rooted in our desire to see the world as a better place than it actually is. This is a protective measure. The world seems more orderly and less dangerous to your survival...I mean, surely someone couldn't just hate you for no reason right? Surely you did something to deserve it! It's scary to think someone could want to see you dead just because you're alive or people who seem perfectly fine and normal could harbour "hatred" in their heart just because you look different...yeah.
White Supremacy brainwashes not only it's victims, but also the people who reinforce it, despite that brainwashing not matching up with your reality. The mind, being flexible comes up with it's own answers that while not making sense, at least organizes reality in a way that allows you to be able to carry on.
So, it's completely possible to be an Obama loving Liberal, who worships at the church of Oprah and still be terrified of the Black guy walking too closely behind you on the sidewalk...in broad daylight...or walking home with candy and a soda pop and wearing a hoodie in the rain.
Once you understand White Supremacist ideology for what it is (not the violent, divisive, distastefully hateful rhetoric that is the domain of nazi's and Klansmen, but an ideology that permeates through our legal, educational and financial system to this day) and the profound effects it has on human psychology, the question about "racism" really becomes more about White Supremacy and how it manifests and who it vicitimizes. Personally, I think anything that fucks people's heads up so much that they stop being able to empathise with other human beings should immediately be put into the "bad" category.
I think we'd be alot further along as a society and more honest in our discussions if we stopped talking about "racism", which expresses it self in subjective ways and started talking about White Supremacy in an objective way.
Allow me to kick start the conversation...in a society where your legal, financial, political, educational and justice systems are underpinned by White Supremacy, everyone and anyone can be a racist. Racism isn't natural. It's taught.
Racism is a byproduct of White Supremacist ideology, so we shouldn't be analyzing racism, we should be looking at it's root cause...White Supremacist ideology and putting more energy into unlearning it at every level.