Comfort, Control, and Confidentiality
It’s a lot to process, however, it gets to the root of the issue with racism in the United States. This affects every man, woman, and child of all faiths and skin tones, whether you want it to or not. However, if you stick with me through this, there are some very strong words of encouragement at the end.
Most people only understand overt racism. That’s when racial slurs are hurled at certain ethnic groups via signs at demonstrations. That’s Bruce Willis walking through Harlem with the “I Hate Niggers” sandwich board sign in “Die Hard With a Vengeance”. It’s cross burning and lynching. It’s various hate crimes. Now that it isn’t national news, the under-informed are “tired of talking about it”.
Racism and racists’ agenda aren’t a “one size fits all” category. There are several layers, and believe it or not, it does affect you and your life. Let’s begin with terms that you may hear, and think you have an understanding of.
White Supremacy is the belief, and ideology, that White people are superior to those of all other races and should dominate society. Like most similar movements such as neo-Nazism, White supremacists typically oppose people of color as well as people of most non-Christian religions. Basically, that being Caucasian should be given preferential treatment.
It has roots in scientific racism (the belief that empirical evidence exists to support or justify racial discrimination or racial inferiority). It often relies on statements, beliefs, or practices that are claimed to be scientific and factual in the absence of evidence gathered and diagnosed by appropriate scientific methods.
White privilege is the ability for White people to maintain an elevated status in society that masks racial inequality. It’s described by anti-racist activist and founder of the National SEED Peggy McIntosh as White people in Western societies enjoying advantages that non-whites do not experience, as "an invisible package of unearned assets".
Experts define White privilege as a combination of exclusive standards and opinions that are supported by Whites in a way that continually reinforces social distance between groups on the basis of :
and Social Standing.
The way that both of these ideologies are perpetuated congruently is through different code words, phrasing, victim blaming, victim shaming, and harsh anti-immigration policies and practices. And, yes, there are Black people and other people of color who embrace these ideologies as well. They are the ones being paraded in front of other, non-submissive Black people. (Which, we’ll look at the “house negro” element in Part II.)
Covert White Supremacy’s three main components are comfort, control, and confidentiality.
White people who participate in this desire to be comfortable in all settings while maintaining some influential level of control over all situations, without acknowledging this power. Omitting acknowledgment of white privilege gives off the psychological effect that whites have somehow worked harder than non-whites and blacks must be lazy since statistically blacks are suffering a great deal in America. They pretended this was all natural.
These three components manifests themselves in various scenarios. They are not restricted to obvious positions like law enforcement or government. Often times, it was not the wealthy or elite that carried out the bulk of these practices. Their employees did. One such group of employees were home loan officers. White home loan officers carried out and maintained Covert, or “Polite White Supremacy” by using the subtle tactic of redlining (the practice of denying services, either directly or through selectively raising prices, to residents of certain areas based on the racial or ethnic composition of those areas, and is a direct descendant of gentrification).
Controlling the narrative with terms such as ‘black on black’ crime place a spotlight on black crimes, while omitting that ‘white on white’ crime is nearly identical statistically. Major news outlets rarely pay attention to black conferences for peace or organizations that uplift such as Black Girls Rock. As a result, the narrative continues that blacks don’t care about crimes or the well-being of black neighborhoods. The media outlets are quick to show up when there’s civil unrest, though.
Control the narrative = Control the perception.
The value of white lives influences the perception of good neighborhoods vs bad neighborhoods. The oversimplified assumption is that good neighborhoods have very little crime, while bad neighborhoods have high crime. This seems like common sense. Unfortunately, it’s slightly inaccurate.
The perception of neighborhoods as good or bad comes highly influenced from whether or not it is being over-policed. Good neighborhoods don’t have a large police presence so naturally one must conclude that bad neighborhoods have a high police presence. The problem with this comes from the documented fact that police departments across America are around disproportionately white males. Which makes sense, considering the first law enforcement was created to track down runaway slaves.
Confidentiality is silent compliance while pretending that Black people suffering happens because blacks somehow deserve it. This happens in a number of ways. It’s not hiring qualified Black people, then say Black people are lazy and don’t want to work. It’s making excuses for Dylan Roof, who was taken into custody in a bulletproof vest, then taken to Burger King after murdering 9 Black people in a South Carolina church.
It’s being more outraged about an NFL quarterback not standing during the national anthem than the whole reason why he was kneeling. In case you don’t understand why…
#Philando Castile, #Sandra Bland, #Terence Crutcher, #Eric Garner, #Freddy Gray, #Tamir Rice, #Rekia Boyd, #Aiyana Jones, #Trayvon Martin, and #Ramarley Graham…
Terms and phrases that perpetuate covert racism
All lives Matter. (Just Like All Buildings Matter #9/11neverforget, All Holidays Matter #ForcedofJuly #WarOnChristmas)
“No White person today has owned a slave. No Black person today has been a slave. Move on.” (Unless you own a for profit prison. Then, according to the 13 Amendmetn, you can).
“I don’t see color” (I’ve said it.)
“They’re Acting Black/White” (This too).
“They are always playing the race card”
“Illegal alien” (This, as well).
“Legitimate or real American”
“I have Black/White friends” (I think we’ve all said it).
I have to admit, a lot of this didn’t come to me until I was in my late 30’s. I said these things as a conditioned response. In a sense, I was aiding and abetting these ideals. Once you acknowledge you are part of a problem, you can be a part of the solution.
And a message to White people in this country. No one is asking you to apologize for your ancestors or to carry some guilted burden that was passed down to you. We, as Black citizens of the United States are asking you to pull down and dismantle the system they built.
It’s not about just me.