James A. Baldwin: The power of the white world is threatened whenever a black man refuses to accept the white world's definitions. --------------------------------------------------
jordan maxwell: “This is a white man’s country. This is a white man’s world. White men from Europe dominate the whole planet — goes into any country and kills everybody — and takes over anything they want … I am not bragging about it. I am just stating it … England has exploited the people and the races of the world. The white has been using commerce to manipulate and exploit the whole human race. I do not believe that some young Black guy is going to waltz in and take over the old white man’s establishment… it ain’t going to happen. He is not in control.” -----------------------------------------------
William C. Anderson, Truthout: White supremacy is a conglomerate forged through fear, colonialism, imperialism and anti-Blackness, not through the purity of blood. -------------------------------------------------------------
The white man made the mistake of letting me read his history books. He made the mistake of teaching me that Patrick Henry was a patriot and George Washington - wasn't nothing non-violent about old Pat or George Washington.
Malcolm X ------------------------------------------------------
White America has done much to protect its image; history is told from the perspective of the winners, we are taught, and clearly, white Americans have been the winners. We learned little of the vicious racism of white people arriving here from Great Britain, occupying the land which belonged to Native Americans, and exterminating innocent people. We learned that there was slavery but our history lessons didn’t get too deep about it; there was no attempt to teach the horrors of that institution. We learned that there was Reconstruction but we didn’t learn that white people were angry about the gains made by black people during Reconstruction and that Jim Crow was put into place in order to reverse those gains. We didn’t learn about the means white people took to keep black people from voting. We didn’t learn about the lynchings that took place regularly; Emmet Till’s name was never mentioned. We didn’t learn American history. We learned white American history from the perspective of those who were in power.
No, I don’t believe racism in this nation can be eradicated. It will be the ruination of this great nation, called “exceptional.”
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith
REIGN OF IDIOTS - BY CHRIS HEDGES
"..This moment in history marks the end of a long, sad tale of greed and murder by the white races. It is inevitable that for the final show we vomited a grotesque figure like Trump. Europeans and Americans have spent five centuries conquering, plundering, exploiting and polluting the earth in the name of human progress. They used their technological superiority to create the most efficient killing machines on the planet, directed against anyone and anything, especially indigenous cultures, that stood in their way. They stole and hoarded the planet’s wealth and resources. They believed that this orgy of blood and gold would never end, and they still believe it. They do not understand that the dark ethic of ceaseless capitalist and imperialist expansion is dooming the exploiters as well as the exploited. But even as we stand on the cusp of extinction we lack the intelligence and imagination to break free from our evolutionary past."
Tim Wise: The development of the class structure in the United States has been, from the beginning, interwoven with the development of white supremacy. Indeed, a fair reading of those dual histories suggests that white supremacy and the elevation of whites as whites above persons of color, even when both shared similar class positions, has been critical in the shoring up of class division. Race, in other words, has been a weapon with which elites have divided working people from one another and prevented white working folks from developing a strong identification with their counterparts of color. ---------------------------------------------------------
Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States": The Constitution, then illustrates the complexity of the American system: that it serves the interests of the wealthy elite, but also does enough for small property owners, for middle-income mechanics and farmers, to build a base of broad support. The slightly prosperous people who make up this base of support are buffers against the blacks, the Indians, the very poor whites. They enable the elite to keep control with a minimum of coercion, a maximum of law - all made palatable by the fanfare of patriotism and unity. -------------------------------------------------------
White children, in the main, and whether they are rich or poor, grow up with a grasp of reality so feeble that they can very accurately be described as deluded—about themselves and about the world they live in. White people have managed to get through entire lifetimes in this euphoric state, but black people have not been so lucky: a black man who sees the world the way John Wayne, for example, sees it would not be an eccentric patriot, but a raving maniac.
by James Baldwin
hi-lites of white supremacy
*ALT-RIGHT ACTIVISTS SAY TRUMP AND BANNON ARE GIVING THEM “SPACE TO DESTROY” BY KEEPING FBI AWAY(ARTICLE BELOW)
*PROFESSIONAL RACIST RICHARD SPENCER MAKES HIS MONEY OFF COTTON FARMS AND BLACK LABOR(article below)
*THIS IS WHAT EMBOLDENED WHITE SUPREMACISTS LOOK LIKE (article below)
*WHY TRUMP’S SUPPORTERS HAVEN’T ABANDONED HIM (article below)
*A white ally in the battle against Reconstruction white supremacy (EXCERPT BELOW)
*Deconstructing The White 'More-ness' Privilege White people are not afraid to ask for more.(excerpt below)
*Don’t be so surprised by GOP racism — the idea of white racial purity runs deep in America(ARTICLE BELOW)
*Why white people freak out when they’re called out about race (raw story)
*White is the new white: Too many white people know what they are not, but don’t understand what they are(article below)
*White Supremacy Is Not an Illness (excerpt below)
Alt-right activists say Trump and Bannon are giving them “space to destroy” by keeping FBI away
Top alt-right podcasters say the Trump administration is deliberately backing off investigating domestic extremists MATTHEW SHEFFIELD
From Salon: While the neo-fascist alt-right is not entirely happy with President Donald Trump’s first few months in office, one thing for which they are grateful is that the new administration is giving them free reign to engage in building their movement, completely unencumbered by any law enforcement scrutiny of their activities.
“He’s going to give us space to destroy,” Michael Peinovich, the creator of The Right Stuff, an alt-right podcast network said during a Sunday guest appearance on “Fash the Nation,” the movement’s most popular web radio show.
Peinovich, who also goes by the pen name “Mike Enoch,” was referencing a 2015 remark by Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, then the mayor of Baltimore, which some people interpreted as giving support to rioters who committed numerous acts of violence in the city following the acquittal of several police officers who had been on trial for the death of a black resident.
“He’s going to give us space to operate, and frankly, it is space to destroy,” Peinovich continued.
“Now is the time that we have to make hay while the sun shines . . . while these investigations of ‘domestic terrorist groups’ are not being funded by the government, they’re not being pushed by the Department of Homeland Security” argued one of the co-hosts of the program, an anonymous former Republican political staffer who calls himself Jazzhands McFeels.
“We’d probably be facing fucking [racketeering] charges or some shit like that,” Peinovich said, discussing what he believed might have happened if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 presidential election.
“We have to use these four years to grow into something that can’t be defeated by that kind of thing,” Peinovich said, referring to possible future investigations of neo-fascist groups.
Some parts of the Trump administration actively want to encourage the growth of the alt-right, the former Hill staffer “Jazzhands McFeels” said, claiming that Trump’s top strategist Steve Bannon secretly was trying to enable the fringe movement.
“They kind of expect us to be doing this. I’m not saying he’s our guy, but they want — at least Bannon, I would think — wants us to be able to operate in that space. So we should and we are,” he said.
Both podcasters’ statements were met with agreement by podcast guest Richard Spencer, an alt-right editor who operates a series of niche web publications and conferences catering to self-styled racist intellectuals who has since tried to rebrand himself as more of an activist.
In 2016, Bannon told Mother Jones writer Sarah Posner that Breitbart News, the website he oversaw before going to work for Trump, was “the platform for the alt-right.” Subsequently, the White House strategist claimed that he was referring to the anti-Washington ethos that permeates the larger Republican base.
As a matter of policy, the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation do not publicize ongoing investigations but presumably, given how tightly knight the small alt-right movement is, the two podcasters likely have some knowledge about the lack of law enforcement oversight.
One government policy area which does appear to have changed under Trump is that government grants to non-profit groups that seek to combat domestic extremism appear to have been frozen.
Those funds were to be disbursed under a program called Countering Violent Extremism which was approved by the GOP Congress and former president Barack Obama shortly before he left office in January of this year.
In February, Reuters reported that the Trump administration had decided to take the $10 million budget of the program, which was supposed to be given to private-sector groups trying to discourage extremism of all types, and redirect it toward counteracting Islamist influence only. The program itself would be renamed the “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism” initiative, according to the wire service. Since that report, several nonprofit groups which had been approved for funding allocations have publicly stated that they have not received any information from the federal government, despite the fact that the money was supposed to be disbursed within 30 days. “I hope the way that he [Trump] is looked back on in history is that he was the vehicle that moved the alt-right movement, the white identity movement in the United States, back into the forefront of the political scene,” Peinovich said on the podcast.
While he is not as widely covered in the political press as some other alt-right activists, Peinovich’s “The Right Stuff” podcast network currently hosts over a dozen neofascist web radio shows that in total have hundreds of thousands of downloads every week, far in excess of the audience the podcasts of many nationally syndicated conservative radio hosts.
The Right Stuff has begun recovering some of its audience after Peinovich was exposed in January as having a Jewish wife. His business partner claimed after he was “doxxed” that Peinovich was “separating” from her but neither activist has ever offered any proof of the assertion.
Professional Racist Richard Spencer Makes His Money Off Cotton Farms and Black Labor Surprise! White supremacy is a fraud. By Kali Holloway / AlterNet June 3, 2017, 10:56 AM GMT
As a professional racist, Richard Spencer’s career and life philosophy rest on a few basic bits of misinformation. The first is the innate supremacy of whiteness: The idea that white people’s superior inventiveness, strength and vision have made them high achievers who earned every bit of their status. The second is that non-white people (around the world, but particularly in the United States) serve only as a burden to white greatness. According to this historically revisionist theory, white people got to the top on their own, while people of color mostly just got in their way.
Spencer has repeated this racist lie many times. Speaking at the National Policy Institute, an innocuously named think tank run by Spencer to promote all things white power, he told an audience giddy over Trump’s election, “[White people] don’t exploit other groups. We don’t gain anything from their presence. They need us and not the other way around.”
He doubled down on those remarks when African-American pundit Roland Martin suggested centuries of free black labor had built America into an economic superpower, a truth Spencer dismissed out of hand. “White people ultimately don’t need other races in order to succeed, in order to be ourselves,” Spencer retorted. “Absolutely not.”
Spencer argued America had become a world leader “through the genius of Europeans...it has nothing to do with slavery....White people could have figured out another way to pick cotton....We do it now, we did it previously.”
As Lance Williams, writing at Reveal shows, Spencer’s answer is ridiculous, and not just because American history proves it wrong. Spencer’s own personal history, and that of his family, flies in the face of that illogical conclusion:
Spencer, along with his mother and sister, are absentee landlords of 5,200 acres of cotton and corn fields in an impoverished, largely African American region of Louisiana, according to records examined by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR). The farms, controlled by multiple family-owned businesses, are worth millions: A 1,600-acre parcel sold for $4.3 million in 2012.
The Spencer family’s farms also are subsidized heavily by the federal government. From 2008 through 2015, the Spencers received $2 million in U.S. farm subsidy payments, according to federal data.
The land was originally purchased during the Jim Crow era by Spencer’s maternal grandfather, R.W. Dickenhorst. The northern Louisiana region was a harsh place for black folks to live in the Civil Rights era, with a thriving Ku Klux Klan and a legacy of lynchings and anti-black violence. Dickenhorst, a well-to-do radiologist, grew even richer off his land holdings, thanks to the labor of poor black Louisianans who lived under the constant threat of white terror and were paid almost nothing.
Spencer’s mother, Sherry, inherited the lands when her father died in 2002. Those thousands of acres added lots of money to the Spencers’ coffers, as inherited land holdings have for millions of white Americans. The racial wealth gap currently stands at $13 to $1 for black and white households. The key to that difference is property ownership—the "central vehicle Americans use to store wealth” that is handed down within white families, according to Demos senior policy analyst Catherine Ruetschlin.
Huffington Post cites a USDA report that states, "of all private U.S. agricultural land, Whites account for 96 percent of the owners, 97 percent of the value, and 98 percent of the acres... Blacks possess 7.8 million acres “of overall rural land” ... For a century after the end of slavery, Black farmers tended to be tenants rather than owners. Since the early 1970s, activists and scholars have warned that the rural Black community was in danger of losing its entire land base. Land ownership by Black farmers peaked in 1910 at 16-19 million acres, according to the Census of Agriculture. However, the 1997 census reports that Black farmers owned only 1.5 million acres 'of farmable land.'"
The story of white supremacy Spencer peddles, in which wealthy white people like the Spencers got that way by power and pluck, and not institutionalized black economic exploitation, is a myth. White people got a leg up on everyone else because of a system designed to enforce and maintain white power while ensuring black vulnerability and subjugation. Richard Spencer should know this, because he’s a case in point.
The finances of NPI, Spencer’s “up with white people” organization, are unclear because it “hasn’t filed a public report since 2013,” according to reporting by Reveal’s Al Letson. (The organization was stripped of its nonprofit standing by the IRS just this March.) Spencer dropped out of a Ph.D. program at Duke University to run his white power club, and has had no other identifiable paid work before or since. While donations are likely up from racists and Trump supporters around the country, family money has likely been hugely important to keeping Spencer and NPI afloat.
When confronted about the land parcel during the Reveal podcast, Spencer refused to answer Letson’s questions about how much of those cotton-fueled profits have been filtered into his white power organizing machine. He also countered that he is “not involved in any direct day-to-day running of the business,” which is a moot point. Spencer later stated he is “proud of [what] my grandfather...built” and—without admitting that the Spencer story invalidates the lie of white American exceptionalism—copped to having gotten a boost from black labor.
“We’ve all benefited from white privilege,” Spencer says in the recording. “I want my children to have white privilege.”
What Spencer really wants is a future in which his children and other white people don’t have to compete for a country and power he believes they are entitled to by race. White supremacist ideology is precarious and insecure because it’s constructed out of lies. That's why black literacy was illegal for centuries, and why white racists—including Steve Bannon—want Trump to impose laws that stop nonwhite immigrants from taking over Silicon Valley today. White people have always needed to exploit other races to get ahead, and they still do. Ask some of those white California farmers who didn't realize they voted to keep their own Mexican farmworkers out of the country.
What Spencer is really offering his followers is a delusion of white superiority and a fable about coming white marginalization. They’ll buy it, because it fits their victim narrative and sense of entitlement, while soothing their insecurity about white extraordinariness. In that way, Spencer and Donald Trump have the same racist hustle.
White Male Supremacy Violence Disease (WMSVD) & christianity
... As though Christians didn’t vote repeatedly for slavery; or carry out witch trials in Salem; or elect brutal Indian remover Andrew Jackson in 1828; or impose Jim Crow segregation in the United States; or, in 1912, elect Woodrow Wilson whose first act as President was to fire all of the black employees of the Federal government; or poison Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia with napalm and Agent Orange; or set up torture sites all over the world after 9/11; or create the biggest system of mass incarceration the world has ever known.
To be fair, some Christians opposed all of that. But their version of Christianity did not and does not usually prevail.
This is what emboldened white supremacists look like
Douglas Williams - Monday 15 May 2017 06.00 EDT
‘This was no black-and-white newsreel, relaying the horrors of a time long since past.’ Photograph: Allison Wrabel/AP
From The Guardian: It was a scene out of the darkest days of the civil rights movement. A couple of dozen white supremacists rallied around a statue of Robert E Lee, a Confederate army general, in Virginia, carrying torches and chanting: “You will not replace us.”
But this was no black-and-white newsreel, relaying the horrors of a time long since past. This grotesque scene played out on Saturday, at a rally headlined by the white supremacist Richard Spencer.
The cause for this neo-Klan rally? The city of Charlottesville’s decision in February to remove the Lee statue from the park that bears his name in the city’s downtown area. The white supremacists also demonstrated at the city’s Festival of Cultures earlier in the day.
Perhaps it is no surprise that, in a state that hosted the capital of the Confederacy for the vast majority of the civil war, decisions around squaring grand monuments to the defenders of slavery with social progress have always been cause for tension.
When the city of Richmond decided in 1995 to place a statue of the black tennis star and city native Arthur Ashe on Monument Avenue – named as such because it is home to several statues of Confederate soldiers – the decision was greeted by a furor.
And when a huge tapestry on Richmond’s flood wall along the James river ran into controversy four years later due to an image of Robert E Lee in full military regalia, the former Klan leader David Duke gave a press conference in front of the Ashe statue condemning the decision to replace the photo with one of Lee in civilian clothes.
But the context for our current-day battles is much different. And much more dangerous.
When David Duke came to Richmond, there were more cameras than supporters. His presence was openly mocked in the city, including by the city’s mayor, a young, boyish-looking man by the name of Tim Kaine. When asked to reply to Duke’s presence in the city, Kaine stated:
“You can take Duke out of the Ku Klux Klan, but you can’t take the kook out of David Duke.”
Duke and his ilk were isolated then, limited to a few splinter Klan groups and “history organizations” such as the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Daughters of the Confederacy.
They are not isolated anymore.
With Donald Trump and his “America first” rhetoric now dominating the airwaves, we are seeing a dramatic surge in white supremacist and fascist groups. These groups are not merely concerned with fashioning a history of the United States where they are the victors: Spencer and his followers are looking to remake our society to fit their vile and oppressive vision.
A vision where black deaths at the hands of the state are met with shrugs at best, but more likely with laurels and commemoration. A vision where, despite the rhetoric of racial separatism and “homelands” for each race, people of color would be lashed into servitude to a rich white power elite. A vision where the labor movement – that magnificent engine that builds equality through solidarity and shared struggle in places like Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Bogalusa, Louisiana – is destroyed utterly.
The left has a history of breaking such contemptible political currents, and it is that history that we must tap into and learn from today. As the battle of Cable Street proved in 1936, and the civil rights movement proved again and again across the south in the 1960s, the only way to defeat fascists and white supremacists is to meet them head-on in confrontation, with strong working-class social movements in the streets.
Building such movements will require more than disorganized street brawling; this will take strategy, planning, and (most importantly) solidarity and trust among neighbors and organizers.
The existence of such far-right and racist sentiment and organization is neither an inevitability nor a novelty. Virginia – and the rest of the United States – has seen fascist trash marching with torches at night for well over a century.
It is up to us to make sure that this is the last iteration of would-be Klansmen to do so.
Why Trump’s Supporters Haven’t Abandoned Him
May 5, 2017 | Darryl Lorenzo Wellington
From Talk Poverty: Just 100 days into his presidency, Americans no longer expect President Donald Trump to keep the promises that got him elected. He walked back his promises on China, delivered nothing on his pledge to create infrastructure jobs, and—instead of “draining the swamp”—filled his cabinet with billionaires tied to corporate interests. The policies he has supported would do real harm to some of his staunchest supporters—white men without a college degree. Yesterday’s House vote on the American Health Care Act, also known as Trumpcare, will kick millions off their insurance. And he has proposed the elimination of half of the federal programs designed to help workers in coal country, and flirted with trade wars.
Nevertheless, 96 percent of the people who voted for Trump say they’d make the same decision today.
When I was growing up—in the 1970s, in the deep South—I struggled to understand why some low-income white Southerners voted against their own interests. They dismissed unions, and supported politicians that let their states lag behind the rest of the country in every indices of health, livelihood, and employment. They routinely supported candidates who opposed everything from access to affordable childcare, to unemployment benefits and investing in good jobs, to Medicaid expansion today.
But now I realize they’re not voting for policy. They’re voting for white privilege.
White privilege runs deep in America, and it still shapes white concepts of social standing and entitlement. Those entitlements can be symbolic—for example, the power that whites have in the South to maintain Confederate emblems with public prominence and high esteem. They can also be very literal, as with public policies that help whites build and sustain wealth while keeping doors of opportunity closed to blacks (think redlining, predatory lending, unequal access to higher education, and lack of investment in communities of color). That helps explain why black people in poverty have higher death rates than white people in poverty.
Perhaps because it plays such a central role in life in America, “white privilege” is not a comfortable phrase to say—not now, and certainly not in my childhood. Back then, Southerners only used this term—or its counterpart, “white supremacy”—to indicate that someone supported the Ku Klux Klan.
Most white Americans still prefer to define racism in those overt terms. It’s a convenient approach that limits discussion of racism to bygone “whites only” signs and burning crosses, and that argues inequality in our schools ended in 1954 with the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. Few people—and even fewer white people—ever spoke the way famed basketball coach Greg Popovich did recently when he called out white privilege for what it really is:
If you were born white, you automatically have a monstrous advantage educationally, economically, culturally in this society and all the systemic roadblocks that exist, whether it’s in a judicial sense, a neighborhood sense with laws, zoning, education. We have huge problems… that are very complicated, but take leadership, time, and real concern to try to solve… People don’t really want to face it.
Our most pernicious social ills—the ones that create the privilege that Popovich described, and that many of Trump’s voters cling to—are rooted in policies that were designed to target people of color. We can measure racism by the impact of redlining and toxic mortgages. We can see it in the justice system, where black defendants receive twice as severe sentences as whites convicted of the same crimes. We can find it in classrooms that are still highly segregated, leaving children of color in schools that receive dramatically fewer resources.
America is essentially a racist nation—riddled by racial markers—that is levying its harshest economic and psychological toll on the 1 in 3 African American children and more than 1 in 4 Hispanic children who live in poverty.
Trump appeals to a strain of American racism every time he calls for a border wall, or calls inner cities “a disaster,” or swears he’ll ban Muslims from entering the country. That is what many of his voters—who are disproportionately likely to hold dehumanizing views of black people—want.
By backing Trump, conservatives have coalesced around maintaining a racially divided nation, and so progressives must now coalesce against it. Decisively.
Unfortunately, liberal politicians hoping to woo white voters have also skirted acknowledging white privilege, out of fear that about race will strain coalitions. Even the progressive hero Bernie Sanders was slow to talk about racial disparities in America at the beginning of his presidential campaign—before Black Lives Matter activists protested at his rallies. Silence concerning white privilege is a form of complicity. It’s the hypocritical denial of reality experienced by blacks that fosters disunity between minorities and white progressives, and discourages minority voters.
The time has come for whites who understand what white privilege means—and who know in their hearts that they want no part of it—to join people of color in a way which is neither compromised nor complicit. Then, through shared power, people of color and white progressives can grow our political strength.
A white ally in the battle against Reconstruction white supremacy
By Denise Oliver Velez Sunday Apr 23, 2017 · 6:00 AM PDT
From Daily Kos: ...The history of white ally-ship with the black community has also been erased. Supremacists often call such persons “race traitors.” After the civil war which emancipated black Americans, white supremacists crafted a media blitz to spread fear, terror and slime about any white man or woman who allied themselves with newly freed slaves. They excoriated Republicans—which at that time was the party which included blacks. (Oh the irony of how that has changed). They also launched a program of physical terror, lynchings and massacres to back up their supremacist propaganda. During this time period the pejorative image of "carpetbaggers" and "scalawags" from the North was widely disseminated. One of the white men who had stood up, time and time again for blacks and justice, was tarred by that brush. His name was Albion W. Tourgée.
Tourgée was an attorney for Homer Plessy—in the malignant SCOTUS case of Plessy v. Ferguson:
Perhaps the nation's most outspoken white Radical on the "race question" in the late 1880s and 1890s, Tourgée had called for resistance to the Louisiana law in his widely read newspaper column, "A Bystander's Notes," which, though written for the Chicago Republican (later known as the Chicago Daily Inter Ocean and after 1872 known as the Chicago Record-Herald), was syndicated in many newspapers across the country. Largely as a consequence of this column, "Judge Tourgée" had become well known in the black press for his bold denunciations of lynching, segregation,disfranchisement, white supremacy, and scientific racism, and he was the New Orleans Citizens' Committee's first choice to lead their legal challenge to the new Louisiana segregation law.
At a time when our national government is controlled by a racist in the While House, supported by openly white supremacist staff members, and backed by a Republican-controlled Senate and House—who have their positions due to the voting habits of white Republicans who either embrace and espouse racism, or enable it (which essentially makes it the same), we should explore not just black participation in fighting for racial justice and equality—we need to examine white allies in the battle. People of color are under siege—which makes the strengthening of coalitions with white allies crucial if we are to resist and push forward together.
I often write about black history that has been obscured, ignored and whitewashed. The history of white ally-ship with the black community has also been erased. Supremacists often call such persons “race traitors.” After the civil war which emancipated black Americans, white supremacists crafted a media blitz to spread fear, terror and slime about any white man or woman who allied themselves with newly freed slaves. They excoriated Republicans—which at that time was the party which included blacks. (Oh the irony of how that has changed). They also launched a program of physical terror, lynchings and massacres to back up their supremacist propaganda. During this time period the pejorative image of "carpetbaggers" and "scalawags" from the North was widely disseminated. One of the white men who had stood up, time and time again for blacks and justice, was tarred by that brush. His name was Albion W. Tourgée.
Tourgée was an attorney for Homer Plessy—in the malignant SCOTUS case of Plessy v. Ferguson:
Perhaps the nation's most outspoken white Radical on the "race question" in the late 1880s and 1890s, Tourgée had called for resistance to the Louisiana law in his widely read newspaper column, "A Bystander's Notes," which, though written for the Chicago Republican (later known as the Chicago Daily Inter Ocean and after 1872 known as the Chicago Record-Herald), was syndicated in many newspapers across the country. Largely as a consequence of this column, "Judge Tourgée" had become well known in the black press for his bold denunciations of lynching, segregation,disfranchisement, white supremacy, and scientific racism, and he was the New Orleans Citizens' Committee's first choice to lead their legal challenge to the new Louisiana segregation law. He was the founder of the National Citizens' Rights Association (NCRA) in 1891—the first interracial civil rights organization in the U.S.—the forerunner of the establishment of the NAACP in 1909 (which was also interracial).
Murder of Louisiana sacrificed on the altar of radicalism
There was no YouTube or Twitter during those ugly days after the war—however widely distributed supremacist cartoons illustrate the ugly attitudes toward both white defenders of black rights and the portrayal of freed black people—especially black men.
This print, “Murder of Louisiana sacrificed on the altar of radicalism” depicts:
President Ulysses S. Grant and Congress turned a blind eye to the disputed 1872 election of carpetbagger William P. Kellogg as governor of Louisiana. In this scene Kellogg holds up the heart which he has just extracted from the body of the female figure of Louisiana, who is held stretched across an altar by two freedmen. Enthroned behind the altar sits Grant, holding a sword. His attorney general, George H. Williams, the winged demon perched behind him, directs his hand. At left three other leering officials watch the operation, while at right women representing various states look on in obvious distress. South Carolina, kneeling closest to the altar, is in chains. Baptist minister and novelist Thomas Dixon Jr. wrote books that glorified the Ku Klux Klan:
As an author, he wrote "Trilogy of Reconstruction", which consisted of The Leopard's Spots (1902), The Clansman (1905), and The Traitor (1907). In these novels, Dixon used historical romance to present Blacks as inferior to whites and glorify the antebellum American South. Dixon is best known for The Clansman, which was to become the inspiration for D. W. Griffith's influential Birth of a Nation (1915). While he claimed to oppose slavery, he believed in a hierarchy of race based on pseudoscientific quasi-evolutionary theories.
Dixon was a classmate of future President Woodrow Wilson, who publicly praised The Birth of a Nation and helped to institute the government's harshest segregationist policies since before the Civil War. As well, Dixon wrote about the evils of socialism, particularly expressed in his trilogy: The One Woman (1903), Comrades (1909), The Root of Evil (1911). In 1919 the book Comrades was made into a motion picture titled "Bolshevism on Trial." As a counter to the rising tide of white hate, were the voices of writers and activists like Tourgée:
Albion Winegar Tourgée, from Williamsfield, OH, was the son of Valentine Tourgée. and Louisa Emma Winegar, both farmers. His mother died when he was five. He grew up in Kingsville, OH, the Western Reserve, a center of antislavery sentiment; and in Lee, MA, where he spent two years with an uncle. Tourgee attended the University of Rochester in 1859, and was active in campus Republican politics. During this time he wrote an essay critical of prosecutions of distributors of Hinton Helper's antislavery book ("The Impending Crisis of the South").
Tourgée was a private in the Union army, yet received his degree in 1862 in recognition of his military service from the University of Rochester. He fought at the battle of Bull Run (First Manassas), where he received a serious spinal injury, which caused him temporary paralysis and a permanent back problem that plagued him for the rest of his life. In January 1863, he was captured near Murfreesboro, TN, sent to a Confederate prison, and later exchanged and returned to Ohio. Later that year he married Emma Doiska Kilbourne, with whom he had one child. He returned to the service and participated in major engagements at Chattanooga and Chickamauga, TN. After the war, he and his wife moved to Greensboro, N.C., partly on the advice of a doctor that he seek a warmer climate for his health.
Tourgée's commitment to racial equality, broader democracy, and protection of the economic underdog, white and black, collided with the values of most of the southern elite. From 1866 to 1867, he edited a Republican newspaper, the "Union Register," in Greensboro. Tourgée. was also elected superior court judge and served from 1868 to 1874. He roused the ire of conservative opponents of Reconstruction by insisting that blacks be included on jury lists and that the jail be heated in winter, a concern for inmates that conservative critics believed would encourage crime. Read More
Deconstructing The White 'More-ness' Privilege White people are not afraid to ask for more. By Joel Leon / Extra News Feed April 15, 2017
From Alternet: White people are not afraid to ask for more. Also, in direct correlation, white people are not afraid to take, if what is asked for is not sufficient, or not meeting the standards of their request. They ask for more time, more money, more land, more food. I waited in line for Chipotle on a rather sunny Thursday afternoon, and saw a woman so daring in her asking — asking for more mild, more peppers, for a taste of chorizo. So inclined to ask for more she single-handedly held up the line to do so. She was exercising her right not just as a human, but as an American, white woman human. And, rightfully so. This is the American apple pie-esque fortitude one can only hope to dream of. I, meager self, stood in line and asked “why do I not ask for more?” And if that request is not met, why do I cower into my halfway cubicle desk like the hamster in the wheel? Why do I not demand even the littlest of things?
This idea of the fear of “the ask”, this harkens back to a time when asking for more hog, or more time alone with your partner on the other plantation, was a whooping, a beating, a punishment, a hanging. What is it about them, white persons, that makes them impervious to failure? It is indoctrinated in them from youth. History has given them the authority. They can look in school books and texts that show explicitly how, without fail, in every single possible instance known to man, they have taken without asking, taken, still after being denied, and see “no” not as a finality, but as a mere speed bump to a resounding, and more than likely defiant, “yes”.
It is a sad thing when a history of a people, can marked by a taking less than approach, as settling for what is leftover, when what has been laid out has been deemed sufficient enough by the powers that be, better known as the “oppressor”. Far often than not, the oppressor is wealthy and white, and the oppressed are poor minorities. In this modern day caste system called “democracy” there are indeed winners and losers, givers and takers; the land in which this nation was built upon was taken, taken and stolen from the hands and grips of an indigenous people already claiming the grounds as there own. “Taking” is historically a white privilege, it lives as early on as the spice trade, through the transatlanic slave trade, to present day fashion shows, with theft and appropriation on full display.
What stops me from asking for “more”? What makes me add “please?” to end of my “more’s”? I am constantly in rooms with men, white men, who don’t cower, who do not just say “more”, but require it, silently; who stand firm in their more-ness — “more” is their birthright. Questioning their “why more’ may undoubtedly lead to a more profound “why not?”, followed by a gang of applause from the Steve Bannon/Sean Spicer type. Privilege, its essence, is ending police brutality with a Pepsi can. In my own life, I have to ask myself what keeps me from asking for more — more money, more cheese on a burrito bowl, more time? The “more can be extended to “better” — better schools, better food options, better jobs. This can be compounded to “bigger” — bigger home, bigger stake-hold of the American dream, bigger paycheck. More times than not, taking what America says is already there to be took, is a service only allotted to a select few. This idea of upward mobility, that is redeemable and supposedly mine as well, this fantasy of the “American Dream” which feels more like a relic of the “Leave it To beaver” days than an actual call-to-action for those looking for a way out of squalor, feels more myth than tangible reality. (read more)
Don’t be so surprised by GOP racism — the idea of white racial purity runs deep in America History News Network 29 MAR 2017 AT 13:34 ET
From Raw Story: Several weeks ago now, Republican Congressman Steve King tweeted that Dutch far right politician Geert Wilders rightly understands that whites cannot restore Western civilization with someone else’s babies. By someone’s else babies, he meant non-white babies. King believes Western civilization is white civilization and therefore only pure white people can perpetuate Western civilization.
King’s unspoken assumption is that Western civilization is directly or indirectly responsible for the modern world: science, technology, democracy, and capitalism to name a few. In other words, without the white West, human beings would still be living in caves. Rather than understanding the growing racial, ethnic, and culture diversity of the United States as a core strength, King and others like him view racial diversity and dare I say racial hybridity as a weakness that is corroding white America and the West more generally.
As has been pointed out by many commentators (including his colleagues within the Republican party), Steve King’s comments are blatantly racist and should have no place in American politics. However, instead of simply condemning King’s comments as reflective of a racist fringe, we need to recognize two things.
First, Steve King has served uninterrupted as U.S. representative of Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District since 2003. As documented by the New York Times, Steve King has made a career of making xenophobic comments about Mexicans as well as disparaging comments about the contributions of non-whites to civilization during his tenure as U.S. representative. And time and time again, the voters of Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District have reelected him. So my point here is how fringe can his ideas be if Iowa voters have consistently reelected him? After all, King’s “someone else’s baby” tweet received 14,000 likes on Twitter.
Second, the idea of white racial purity and biological determinism runs much deeper than we are oftentimes willing to admit.
For example, we live in a country in which the one drop rule (a person with one black ancestor or one drop of black blood is considered black) still determines a person’s race. Barack Obama, our nation’s first biracial president, is perceived as black despite the fact that his mother was white. Now of course, Barak Obama embraced his blackness (thank you Barack) but had he not, he would still be perceived as black by most Americans. In fact, 69 percent of biracial adults with a black parent report that most people (including black Americans) view them as black and have experienced racist treatment due to their perceived race.
Historically, early twentieth century segregationists’ and eugenicists championed racial purity or the one drop rule because of their obsession with maintaining a pure white bloodline that was uncontaminated with the blood of racial inferiors. While most Americans today would neither align themselves with segregationists or the eugenics movement nor are they terribly obsessed with maintaining pure racial bloodlines (save Steve King), a recent study shows that biological determinism still plays a significant role in how whites view blacks.
According to the study, while whites generally believed that traits and behaviors are largely shaped by environmental factors rather than genetics, whites nonetheless perceived genetics as playing a greater role in determining differences in intelligence and athletic ability among blacks and whites.
Additionally, polling data from the 2012 American National Election Studies documented that when white voters were asked to rank black and white people on a scale from hardworking to lazy and from intelligent to unintelligent, 62 percent of white American voters gave black people a lower score in at least one of the attributes.
Highlighting the prevalence of anti-black stereotypes and the biological deterministic worldview from which they stem is to suggest that while Steve King may be outlandish, but he is not an outlier. It is also to suggest that as a society we should not take too much comfort in chastising King for his remarks less we overlook how we are all complicit in and need to confront white supremacy in all its guises, past and present.
White is the new white: Too many white people know what they are not, but don’t understand what they are
We don’t worry about when “it” will happen next REV. JIM CONN, CAPITAL & MAIN
From Salon: It could have happened anywhere. It’s been a white guy in a Tesla on the I-10. It’s been another white guy in his construction truck. This time it was shortly after the election, and we were driving back from a few days of camping in Joshua Tree, about halfway to Yucca Valley. The pickup truck pulled up alongside us, and the white guy inside, maybe in his 30s, waved his fist at us. Menacing. Intimidating. Haughty. Gloating. Then he roared on, leaving us in the wake of his muffler.
I suppose an old Obama sticker on our bumper, another for Kamala and one for Hillary marks us. We’ve become targets for behavior certain white people now say they feel comfortable expressing. Anger. Rage. No more “political correctness.” They report feeling more comfortable in their white skin.
Really? White people, mostly men, run the country. They dominate our institutions. Fortune 500 company boards are overwhelmingly white and male (about 86 percent). White families hold more wealth than non-white families. White workers have jobs that pay more. A Gallup study released in August found that Trump supporters, on average, earn slightly more than other Americans. As The New York Times reported, 45 percent of Trump’s voters were college graduates. And 37 percent have done post-graduate work. That doesn’t seem like exclusion and powerlessness to me.
Furthermore, white people as a group do not walk around intimidated. We don’t get hazed just because we pulled up to a red light at an intersection. We don’t worry about when “it” will happen next. We don’t need to have “the conversation” with our kids. We don’t carry anxiety about a police traffic stop because we “fit the profile” of someone the police were looking for.
Too many white people feel disempowered because a black man has sat in the Oval Office for the past eight years — and, for the first time in the history of this country, a white woman could have followed him.
Many white voters deny any taint of racism, yet they have stirred a deep vein of it. While the Tea Party pushed the House to vote five dozen times to repeal all or part of Obamacare, Republicans passed voter restriction laws that disproportionately affect people of color. This polarizing year has unleashed fringe white-identity groups that have stepped into the headlines, with hundreds of racist incidents having been reported across the country since Nov. 8. Taken together, these actions point to a deeper significance — a campaign of erasure.
The poet Claudia Rankine uses the phrase in her award-winning book, “Citizen, An American Lyric.” She means the effort — conscious or not — to remove all traces of something or someone. Obliteration. She uses it to indicate how black people in society go unseen, their lives and experiences unacknowledged, and their triumphs unnoted. In the moment and in history, erasure makes people invisible.
A self-value and cultural heritage based on living in opposition to those who are different — people of color, the immigrant, the refugee, the poor, the unhealthy, the broken, people who aren’t like me — is a sad version of identity. Too many white people know what they are not, but do not have a firm grasp of what they are. That so much of this shallow identity remains male-dominated only makes it feel more tenuous.
In a workshop once, I heard the poet Robert Bly comment that “Americans elect one president after another in order to forget.” We forgot who began union busting and welfare “reform,” when good-paying jobs started moving away. We forgot who started wars we still fight and pay for. We forgot who allowed the economy to almost self-destruct. Now as a nation we reach beyond forgetting to erasure. And it comes with intimidation, emphasized with hand gestures and road rage.
(Philip Bump/The Washington Post)
Race and party are tightly intertwined. The priorities of the parties reflect their membership, and therefore talking about partisan opposition often overlaps with talking about racial tension. That also means that defenses of the power of Republican voters overlap with defenses of the power of white voters.
Another way to frame O'Reilly's central premise is this: In the face of a diversifying American population, should protections be maintained that continue to support the political dominance of white people? A lot of white people, including O'Reilly, would say yes. A lot of nonwhite people would presumably say no.
On Jan. 20, the power structure of the federal government will be dominated by the Republican Party. The new establishment will be more white, will be acting on behalf of a heavily white party and will be less inclined to answer the preceding question in the negative. Nonwhite voters preferred Clinton and white voters preferred Trump (generally, though not universally).
It's the preference of the latter group that carried the day — and O'Reilly's entire argument is that it deserved to.
White Supremacy Is Not an Illness
Monday, December 19, 2016 By Christopher Petrella and Justin Gomer, African American Intellectual History Society
From Truthout: ...While nearly every participant agreed that programs and initiatives captured under the banner of "diversity" would fail to remediate historical and contemporary racial wrongs, we quickly noticed something else: a number of white discussants began describing racism as a "disease," as a "mental illness," and as a form of "deviant behavior." In a private conversation after the gathering, one staff member approached us with the suggestion that we should consider "lobotomizing the racists that hold our country back."
The subtext was palpable: racism is little more than a behavior-based psychopathology that discloses itself in discrete manifestations of bigotry, prejudice, and misunderstanding. According to such a construction, racism can only be treated with medical intervention. Racial inequity, therefore, is simply the sum of the actions of individual bigots and racial justice can be achieved by "curing" those individuals.
The presumption that one can eliminate racism by snuffing out a few "bad apples" misses the mark. In fact, such a paradigm misdiagnoses the systemic and ideological production of race itself which is squarely centered in white supremacy.
The "racism as disease" paradigm only seems to make sense if one were also to believe that racism is 1) a matter of (mis)recognition and (mis)perception meted out in an apolitical and behaviorist colorblind present; 2) an unfortunate holdover from slavery, a past mistake that has yet to be rectified; and 3) an anomaly; a radical deviation from the telos of dominant political institutions and practices.
...White supremacy, however, is unexplainable by the anomaly thesis. In School Desegregation (1984) scholar Jennifer Hochschild rightly argues that "racism is not simply an excrescence on a fundamentally healthy liberal democratic body…Liberal democracy and racism in the US are historically, even inherently, reinforcing; American society as we know it exists only because of its foundation in racially based slavery, and it thrives only because racial discrimination continues. The apparent anomaly is an actual symbiosis." White supremacy is not an unfortunate, anomalous stain on an otherwise virginal tapestry of democracy but rather, to paraphrase Hannah Arendt, it's terribly, terrifyingly normal.
In fact, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has for decades admitted that racial injustice is too normal to be considered a mental illness or a disease. In 1969, a group of black psychiatrists urged the organization to acknowledge that racism is the "major mental health problem of this country" and to include extreme bigotry as a recognized mental illness in the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual (DSM). Though the APA endorsed the "general spirit of reform and redress of racial inequities in American psychiatry" it rejected the psychiatrists' desire to classify extreme bigotry as a mental illness. In order for racism to be considered a mental illness, the APA declared, racism must deviate from normative behavior. Because racism is ubiquitous, it could not constitute a mental illness. The APA used this rationale to keep racism out of the DSM in 1980, 1987, 1994, and 2013.
The ideology of race itself leads back to whiteness and white supremacy. US immigration and naturalization legislation, race-based marriage statutes, inheritance law, redlining, and the segregation of public facilities are all examples of how whiteness informs policy and practice. They draw, secure, police, and legitimize the parameters of whiteness and non-whiteness.
So-called anti-miscegenation statutes reinforce this argument. From a strictly etymological perspective "anti-miscegenation" most closely refers to a proscription against "race-mixing" in marriage or conjugal entanglements. The term, however, does not accurately depict the ideological underpinnings of the law. Most anti-miscegenation laws, in fact, did not prohibit marriage or sexual relations between two non-white people. What architects of anti-miscegenation laws feared most was race-mixing between white and non-white people because such a social practice would compromise the prospect of white racial purity, white national purity, and global white supremacy. Similarly, US naturalization law from 1790 to 1952 carried with it an explicit prerequisite of whiteness. For instance, the first US Immigration and Naturalization law (1790) restricted naturalized citizenship to "a free white [male], who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years."
Ultimately, framing white supremacy as exceptional, individualized, and through the language of disease obscures its origins and movements. As George Lipsitz argues, "Whiteness has a cash value" that produces advantages and "profits" for white people in virtually all areas of social organization including housing, education, employment, and intergenerational wealth. Lipsitz continues, "white supremacy is usually less a matter of direct, referential, and snarling contempt than a system for protecting the privileges of whites by denying communities of color opportunities for asset accumulation and upward mobility" and access to full and legitimate citizenship. Those who continue to explain racial injustice through appeals to disease or illness implicitly reinforce a discourse that misdiagnoses the machinations of white supremacy. If we are truly to craft an antiracist politics capable of threatening the endurance of white supremacy, we must reject analyses and interventions that individualize social injustice by relying on notions of disease, mental illness, or deviance.
White supremacy and Trump fever: The toxic combo that’s killing people — white people
Donald Trump is a deadly drug for white folks, promising an endless, self-destructive high. There is a better way ANDREW O'HEHIR
From Salon: One of the most memorable essays I’ve ever read came attached to one of the most surprising and unexpected books I’ve ever read. That book was “Brother to a Dragonfly,” a personal memoir by Will D. Campbell, a white Baptist preacher from southern Mississippi who variously described himself as an “outlaw,” a “renegade” or a “bootlegger” within the world of white Southern Protestant theology. Campbell, who died in 2013 at age 88, was an important figure in American cultural and religious history, especially considering that almost no one has heard of him. In particular, he was a hero in the fight against white supremacy, who grasped early on perhaps its most pernicious and insidious quality: White supremacy cripples and kills white people...
...To a significant extent, Campbell represented the road not taken in the white South — and not just in the South. Honestly, we have a tendency to pin our sins on the South that is not entirely fair. He represented an alternate mode of consciousness for American white people, one that did not require an Ivy League education or a Northeast Corridor address or an appetite for $6 cups of coffee. Why that mode of consciousness did not win out — why so many whites in the Trump era have defaulted backward to the discredited and destructive ideas of yesteryear — is a difficult and troubling question.
In his later years, Campbell was known for ministering to a wide variety of “unchurched” people who had lost touch with organized religion but still considered themselves Christians, from Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson to the inmates at Tennessee state prisons. He held unauthorized marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples decades before that was legal in any state, and reportedly presided over divorces as well. He once held a funeral for an entire town: Golden Pond, Kentucky, whose residents had been evicted by the Tennessee Valley Authority.
But Campbell’s only real brush with fame came as a young man, when he advocated for racial integration as the newly appointed chaplain at the University of Mississippi — in 1956, when virtually every white minister of virtually every Southern denomination found some way to apologize for Jim Crow. That stance cost him his job, of course, but also opened his eyes to new possibilities, and a new calling. Campbell was present at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, when it was desegregated by federal troops in 1957. He was present at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. If Campbell was by many standards an activist or a radical, whose circle of friends and acquaintances included the Trappist monk and philosopher Thomas Merton, the French anarchist Jacques Ellul, comedian Dick Gregory and cartoonist and playwright Jules Feiffer, he would likely have steered away from those words....
...Most people yearn to believe they are doing the right thing, and invent arguments to support that premise. The manifest cruelty and unfairness of Jim Crow segregation could only be justified by a widely held belief that people of different races were, well, different, and needed to be kept apart in disparate conditions for a whole range of reasons, not all of which were spoken aloud in public. That was the system we now call white supremacy, which sometimes meant lynching black men in the town square for real or imagined offenses against the social order, and sometimes — more often, actually — meant benevolent assurances that separate schools and neighborhoods and restaurants and drinking fountains would allow black people, in the fullness of time, to work their way toward civilization....
...But the idea Jimmy Carter proposes in that essay, and that Will Campbell lived by, is nonetheless radical or revolutionary. It is that white people do not suffer when white supremacy is ended or ameliorated. In fact, they are made better, happier and more complete people, potential partners in all the dialogue and drama of the human race, instead of poisoned robots in thrall to a transparently false and evil ideology.
It’s no mystery to historians or sociologists or psychologists that systems of oppression damage the oppressor as well as the oppressed: You can find examples ranging from Anglo-Irish society to Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” to apartheid South Africa. But we’re not good at history here in America, or good at reading. We have to go by the empirical evidence in front of us, which suggests that a large proportion of white Americans have been severely damaged by the legacy of white supremacy, and now suffer from a kind of dementia disorder. They seek to blame people of other races or people from other countries for problems that are either self-inflicted or the work of their capitalist overlords. And in the name of reclaiming a lost golden age, they are rushing to sign their own death warrant.
What is White Supremacy?
*Workshop Definition* White Supremacy is an historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations, and peoples of color by white peoples and nations of the European continent, for the purpose of maintaining and defending a system of wealth, power, and privilege.
BY Elizabeth Martínez ~ soa WATCH.ORG
I. What does it mean to say it is a system?
The most common mistake people make when they talk about racism is to think it is a collection of prejudices and individual acts of discrimination. They do not see that it is a system, a web of interlocking, reinforcing institutions: economic, military, legal, educational, religious, and cultural. As a system, racism affects every aspect of life in a country.
By not seeing that racism is systemic (part of a system), people often personalize or individualize racist acts. For example, they will reduce racist police behavior to "a few bad apples" who need to be removed, rather than seeing it exists in police departments all over the country and is basic to the society. This mistake has real consequences: refusing to see police brutality as part of a system, and that the system needs to be changed, means that the brutality will continue.
The need to recognize racism as being systemic is one reason the term White Supremacy has been more useful than the term racism. They refer to the same problem but:
A. The purpose of racism is much clearer when we call it "white supremacy." Some people think of racism as just a matter of prejudice. "Supremacy" defines a power relationship.
B. Race is an unscientific term. Although racism is a social reality, it is based on a term which has no biological or other scientific reality.
C. The term racism often leads to dead-end debates about whether a particular remark or action by an individual white person was really racist or not. We will achieve a clearer understanding of racism if we analyze how a certain action relates to the system of White Supremacy.
D. The term White Supremacy gives white people a clear choice of supporting or opposing a system, rather than getting bogged down in claims to be anti-racist (or not) in their personal behavior.
II. What does it mean to say White Supremacy is historically based?
Every nation has a creation myth, or origin myth, which is the story people are taught of how the nation came into being. Ours says the United States began with Columbus's so-called "discovery" of America, continued with settlement by brave Pilgrims, won its independence from England with the American Revolution, and then expanded westward until it became the enormous, rich country you see today.
That is the origin myth. It omits three key facts about the birth and growth of the United States as a nation. Those facts demonstrate that White Supremacy is fundamental to the existence of this country.
A. The United States is a nation state created by military conquest in several stages. The first stage was the European seizure of the lands inhabited by indigenous peoples, which they called Turtle Island. Before the European invasion, there were between nine and eighteen million indigenous people in North America. By the end of the Indian Wars, there were about 250,000 in what is now called the United States, and about 123,000 in what is now Canada (source of these population figures from the book _The State of Native America_ ed. by M. Annette Jaimes, South End Press, 1992). That process must be called genocide, and it created the land base of this country. The elimination of indigenous peoples and seizure of their land was the first condition for its existence.
B. The United States could not have developed economically as a nation without enslaved African labor. When agriculture and industry began to grow in the colonial period, a tremendous labor shortage existed. Not enough white workers came from Europe and the European invaders could not put indigenous peoples to work in sufficient numbers. It was enslaved Africans who provided the labor force that made the growth of the United States possible.
That growth peaked from about 1800 to 1860, the period called the Market Revolution. During this period, the United States changed from being an agricultural/commercial economy to an industrial corporate economy. The development of banks, expansion of the credit system, protective tariffs, and new transportation systems all helped make this possible. But the key to the Market Revolution was the export of cotton, and this was made possible by slave labor.
C. The third major piece in the true story of the formation of the United States as a nation was the take-over of half of Mexico by war -- today's Southwest. This enabled the U.S. to expand to the Pacific, and thus open up huge trade with Asia -- markets for export, goods to import and sell in the U.S. It also opened to the U.S. vast mineral wealth in Arizona, agricultural wealth in California, and vast new sources of cheap labor to build railroads and develop the economy.
The United States had already taken over the part of Mexico we call Texas in 1836, then made it a state in 1845. The following year, it invaded Mexico and seized its territory under the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. A few years later, in 1853, the U.S. acquired a final chunk of Arizona from Mexico by threatening to renew the war. This completed the territorial boundaries of what is now the United States.
Those were the three foundation stones of the United States as a nation. One more key step was taken in 1898, with the takeover of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam and Cuba by means of the Spanish-American War. Since then, all but Cuba have remained U.S. colonies or neo-colonies, providing new sources of wealth and military power for the United States. The 1898 take-over completed the phase of direct conquest and colonization, which had begun with the murderous theft of Native American lands five centuries before.
Many people in the United States hate to recognize these truths. They prefer the established origin myth. They could be called the Premise Keepers.
III. What does it mean to say that White Supremacy is a system of exploitation?
The roots of U.S. racism or White Supremacy lie in establishing economic exploitation by the theft of resources and human labor, then justifying that exploitation by institutionalizing the inferiority of its victims. The first application of White Supremacy or racism by the EuroAmericans who control U.S. society was against indigenous peoples. Then came Blacks, originally as slaves and later as exploited waged labor. They were followed by Mexicans, who lost their means of survival when they lost their land holdings, and also became wage-slaves. Mexican labor built the Southwest, along with Chinese, Filipino, Japanese and other workers.
In short, White Supremacy and economic power were born together. The United States is the first nation in the world to be born racist (South Africa came later) and also the first to be born capitalist. That is not a coincidence. In this country, as history shows, capitalism and racism go hand in hand.
IV. Origins of Whiteness and White Supremacy as Concepts
The first European settlers called themselves English, Irish, German, French, Dutch, etc. -- not white. Over half of those who came in the early colonial period were servants. By 1760 the population reached about two million, of whom 400,000 were enslaved Africans. An elite of planters developed in the southern colonies. In Virginia, for example, 50 rich white families held the reins of power but were vastly outnumbered by non-whites. In the Carolinas, 25,000 whites faced 40,000 Black slaves and 60,000 indigenous peoples in the area. Class lines hardened as the distinction between rich and poor became sharper. The problem of control loomed large and fear of revolt from below grew.
There had been slave revolts from the beginning but elite whites feared even more that discontented whites -- servants, tenant farmers, the urban poor, the property-less, soldiers and sailors -- would join Black slaves to overthrow the existing order. As early as 1663, indentured white servants and Black slaves in Virginia had formed a conspiracy to rebel and gain their freedom. In 1676 came Bacon's Rebellion by white frontiersmen and servants alongside Black slaves. The rebellion shook up Virginia's planter elite. Many other rebellions followed, from South Carolina to New York. The main fear of elite whites everywhere was a class fear. Their solution: divide and control. Certain privileges were given to white indentured servants. They were allowed to join militias, carry guns, acquire land, and have other legal rights not allowed to slaves. With these privileges they were legally declared white on the basis of skin color and continental origin. That made them "superior" to Blacks (and Indians). Thus whiteness was born as a racist concept to prevent lower-class whites from joining people of color, especially Blacks, against their class enemies. The concept of whiteness became a source of unity and strength for the vastly outnumbered Euroamericans -- as in South Africa, another settler nation. Today, unity across color lines remains the biggest threat in the eyes of a white ruling class.
In the mid-1800s, new historical developments served to strengthen the concept of whiteness and insitutionalize White Supremacy. The doctrine of Manifest Destiny, born at a time of aggressive western expansion, said that the United States was destined by God to take over other peoples and lands. The term was first used in 1845 by the editor of a popular journal, who affirmed "the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole continent which providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government."
Since the time of Jefferson, the United States had had its eye on expanding to the Pacific Ocean and establishing trade with Asia. Others in the ruling class came to want more slave states, for reasons of political power, and this also required westward expansion. Both goals pointed to taking over part of Mexico. The first step was Texas, which was acquired for the United States by filling the territory with Anglos who then declared a revolution from Mexico in 1836. After failing to purchase more Mexican territory, President James Polk created a pretext for starting a war with the declared goal of expansion. The notoriously brutal, two-year war was justfied in the name of Manifest Destiny.
Manifest Destiny is a profoundly racist concept. For example, a major force of opposition to gobbling up Mexico at the time came from politicians saying "the degraded Mexican-Spanish" were unfit to become part of the United States; they were "a wretched people . . . mongrels." In a similar way, some influential whites who opposed slavery in those years said Blacks should be removed from U.S. soil, to avoid "contamination" by an inferior people (source of all this information is the book _Manifest Destiny_ by Anders Stephanson, Hill & Wang, 1995).
Earlier, Native Americans had been the target of white supremacist beliefs which not only said they were dirty, heathen "savages," but fundamentally inferior in their values. For example, they did not see land as profitable real estate but as Our Mother.
The doctrine of Manifest Destiny facilitated the geographic extension and economic development of the United States while confirming racist policies and practices. It established White Supremacy more firmly than ever as central to the U.S. definition of itself. The arrogance of asserting that God gave white people (primarily men) the right to dominate everything around them still haunts our society and sustains its racist oppression.
One could say then, as a general rule, that white misunderstanding, misrepresentation, evasion, and self-deception on matters related to race are among the most pervasive mental phenomena of the past few hundred years, a cognitive and moral economy psychically required for conquest, colonization, and enslavement.
The Racial Contract, Charles Mills
Nathanial Rich observes:
Today, like sixty years ago, much of the public rhetoric about race is devoted to explaining to an incurious white public, in rudimentary terms, the contours of institutional racism. It must be spelled out, as if for the first time, that police killings of unarmed black children, indifference to providing clean drinking water to a majority-black city, or efforts to curtail the voting rights of minority citizens are not freak incidents; but outbreaks of a chronic national disease. Nebulous, bureaucratic terms like "white privilege" have been substituted for "white supremacy," or "micro-aggressions" for "casual racism."
What Does It Mean to Be Wrong For So Long? Reflections on Black Reality and White Delusion
July 20, 2016
Although there was no such thing as polling back then, I suspect that if you had asked a representative sample of Londoners in the early 1770s whether or not the American colonists were getting a fair shake from King George, most would have said yes. It is doubtful they would have thought much about any supposed grievances that were at that very moment fueling the rise of a revolutionary movement, soon to burst onto the scene. Loyal to the system of which they were a part, and believing that system fair, they might well have wondered what all the fuss was about.
Whenever we benefit from a system as it is, taking that system for granted becomes second nature. We don’t see what others who are harmed by that system see, because we don’t have to. There’s no mystery here and very little that is controversial, at least in theory; as such, it should be apparent that most Brits in the mid-18th century would have found the likes of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and Alexander Hamilton and James Madison to be foolish upstarts and trouble-makers. And no doubt, looking back at what would have been the dominant British view at that time, most Americans would probably feel smug in asserting the absurdity of such a perspective in retrospect. Even most Brits would likely acknowledge the fatuousness of their ancestors’ denials and unwillingness to see the colonists’ point. It’s always easier to admit one was wrong many generations after the error has occurred.
So too, in what became the United States, most slaveowners never questioned the legitimacy of their system, and most whites — including those who didn’t own slaves — neither joined the abolitionist movement nor supported it. Indeed, most whites have been implacably aligned with white supremacy for the entirety of our nation’s history, only condemning even its most blatant iterations (like slavery and indigenous genocide) many generations after the formal manifestations of those had ended, and when doing so took no more courage than crossing the street.
That may sound harsh. It may be difficult to hear. But just because truth isn’t pleasing to one’s ears doesn’t mean it’s any less accurate. And the fact is — and it is at the heart of our current troubles — most white Americans have never believed that it was necessary for blacks to agitate for their rights and liberties (or their lives)—at least not at the time that particular agitation was happening. Just as Londoners wouldn’t have seen the unfairness directed at the American colonists (and let’s be clear, what King George did to white colonists was nothing compared to what those white colonists did to Africans and indigenous persons), so too, most whites have never been able to see the unfairness of the system vis-a-vis black people in the moment. Oh sure, fifty years later, we can look back and view Dr. King as a secular saint and talk about how great the civil rights movement was, and then we can contrast it with that “horrible, awful” Black Lives Matter movement, as Bill O’Reilly recently did. But when Dr. King and the movement were actually doing the things for which we remember them, most white folks stood in firm opposition, saw no need for their actions, and believed they were more “divisive” than unifying.
White America must see what it does not want to see
By Greg Dworkin ~ Jul 09, 2016
How History and Reality Means Many of Us Have to Fight to Not be a White Supremacist
The very foundations of my way of life are in white supremacy.
By Emily Pothast / The Establishment
From Alternet: ...How am I a white supremacist? Well, I was born and raised in the United States of America, a country built by slave labor on stolen land, and every privilege I’ve ever enjoyed has come at the expense of someone else’s oppression. The education I received was white supremacist education, from its demand that I learn to write and speak “proper English” to its reliance on a literary, scientific, and artistic canon comprised of and curated almost exclusively by white men. My aesthetic tastes are permeated with subtle coding that extends subconscious preference to those who look like me and communicate themselves in a way I can identify with. I have interjected my unwanted, unwarranted opinion into conversations that are out of my lane, and I have chosen to look the other way rather than confront instances of racism because of cowardice, complacency, and a misplaced sense of politeness. The very foundations of my way of life are in white supremacy, and the list of microaggressions I have committed, and will no doubt continue to commit in spite of my “good intentions” for as long as I’m alive, is virtually endless.
Does this mean I should just give up trying to fight my own colonizing, racist impulses? On the contrary, I see this as a call to fight harder, to never stop working on this part of myself. But at no point, now or in the future, will I ever be entitled to declare this work done. I will never be able to truthfully announce, “There is not a racist bone in my body!” as though racism is something that could be surgically removed. My racism is a chronic, inherited condition. I can medicate the symptoms, and with effort I can even loosen its grip around my soul, but it will always be part of me, like green eyes or a predilection for dumb puns.
Now, if you’re like many well-meaning white people, you might be feeling defensive at the implication that, like me, you might be a white supremacist too. I have noticed that there is an ugly tendency for liberal, well-meaning white people to take loud umbrage at being called “racist” or a “white supremacist.” And I can understand the reaction. When I started paying attention to social justice conversations a few short years ago, I also found some of the language shocking to my sensibilities. The first time someone called me a white supremacist in an online forum, I found it ridiculous. After all, I’m from Texas—I know “real” white supremacists, the kind of people who watch Fox News and sport Confederate flags on their pickup trucks. The idea that there was no difference between me and those people, or even that we might be perceived as different shades on the same shitty gradient, struck me as absurd.
But once I began unpacking the implications of the words “white supremacy,” I realized that there really is no better way to describe the system of murder and exploitation that benefits some of us at the expense of others, and there is no better way to describe my behavior when I reinforce those oppressive dynamics with my actions. I realize this is a bleak reality to absorb. But in comparison to the suffering on which we’ve built our entire way of life—and which we continue to perpetuate even in our finest moments—it really is a small thing to have to come to terms with.
Responding to accusations of racism with defensiveness is a common way that white people make our own emotions the center of the conversation, thereby creating the all-too-familiar vicious circle of a conversation that goes nowhere. Social psychologists call this behavioral response “self-justification.” It is a natural human tendency to rationalize our own actions, to minimize the discomfort of cognitive dissonance by maintaining an internal narrative in which we basically play the good guy. And so we often defend ourselves rather than listen, lashing out at the criticism until it leaves us alone with our ego intact.
Racism is not a quality that very many of us would put into our idealized versions of self, and so the idea that we are capable of being racist, or that we might even be white supremacists deep down in our kind, well-meaning souls, is something we have a very deep aversion to confronting head-on. It’s much more pleasant to imagine that the “real racists” are somewhere else, like Idaho, or that gun show your cousin Cody goes to every spring. But pointing a finger at everyone but ourselves is an exercise in self-righteousness, not an antidote to the deep foundation of white supremacy underlying and permeating our entire culture.[...]
...All White people are privileged by White supremacy, but not loved by White supremacy—simply favorably used to perpetuate its evil. White people under its thumb never get to create or be a whole person; their whole existence, instead, is about perpetuating Whiteness—through art, politics, daily habits and preferences. Such White people are but tools of Whiteness, deprived of experiencing humanity in its wholeness. This reality shouldn’t make a White person an ally, but a fellow soldier in liberation work—someone who is active in resistance, rather than just consuming others’ resistance for a newspaper or from a view on the sidewalk....
White ‘Allies’ And The American Tradition Of Consuming Black Grief By Myles e. Johnson