Dear White America, Here is a Solution to White Supremacy
(Warning: The following is written in a stream of Black consciousness and will not reflect white cultural thought norms.)
It is Black History Month. That means, for 28 days, you permit yourself to think about yourself in racial terms. I see the reactions and comments on my Facebook, when I am not in Facebook jail. White people don’t like being seen as white people. They see the same thing Black people see when real American history is taught and they feel shame.
Which is new! I wish this was fully taught in classrooms run by white women: white people feeling shame about whiteness is new. I am not mad at you feeling shame, especially when you can look at your grandparents posing as United States Senators on Saturday, February 13, 2021 openly practicing white supremacy.
Please, because, I just got to get this off my chest, when it comes to the moral outrage I am seeing over the Second Acquittal of Mr. Donald J. Trump among my white friends and family: this is starting to get old.
Why do you all be acting brand new after five years of Trump TV and its blatant national displays of white supremacy. How many times we got to tell you? If George Floyd’s public death did not convince you, nothing will.
As for me, I like what Senator Mitch McConnell did. (I love what Saturday Night Live’s skit even better.)
It was white supremacy, with no chaser! The 4 out of 10 white Biden voters were left with their mouths open. One more time, they were reminded of how much work is before them.
Right after Mr. McConnell voted to acquit Mr. Trump, he took to the mic to explain himself. He surprised the Biden voters by intellectually agreeing with the Democratic House Managers. Yes, Mr. Trump was personally and morally responsible for inciting a riot against the United States federal government. Yet, because he is no longer in office, McConnell could not vote guilty on an article of impeachment. A technicality.
The fact that Saturday night, if Mr. McConnell ordered food from a restaurant, he received his order, is amazing to me. If he called an Uber; the Uber came. If he wanted to do anything, he could. Why? White supremacy is so normal, it does not disqualify you from the white community.
The last time we saw such an open display of white supremacy thinking was in early January 2021, at Kenosha County District Michael Graveley’s press conference announcing his decision to not charge Jacob Blake nor Officer Rusten Sheskey for crimes related to an interaction between Blake and Sheskey that left Blake paralyzed.
Just like in the second impeachment trial, there was undeniable video evidence of Officer Sheskey’s guilt. We, the public, could see Jacob Blake being shot seven times. So blatant was this display of white supremacy, Kenosha increased its public display of security to make sure the Black community did not disturb the peace. (White people make me laugh about the “coming” police state. Black people already live in a police state.)
It is Black History Month, remember, so, please allow me to get in the obligatory Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. quote: “Peace is not the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.” You can find those words inside a “Letter from Birmingham Jail” published in 1963. This was before the “I Have a Dream” speech.
To explain this quote, I need to bring up the work of Dr. Robin DiAngelo. (Yes, my dear Black people, I know Dr. DiAngelo is problematic. Just, give me a few paragraphs.)
Google her essay, where she crafts the concept of white fragility. (Believe me, most of you are butchering her concept in social media comment sections.)
First, Dr. DiAngelo is a scientist. She is a sociologist. That means, she studies patterns of human behavior. She does so using a method.
Second, her innovation was to study white people the way that white people study Black people. Her findings became the essay and later a book by the title: White Fragility.
According to Dr. DiAngelo, the only successful way to converse about race with white people is to not do it. Period. Full stop. Any discussion that involves a white person in America viewing themselves in terms of whiteness dissolves into an emotionally charged exchange. The white person melts down into an emotional puddle of shame or becomes the incredible hulk with unlimited gun ammo.
Third, she identified like ten or eleven of these meltdowns triggering objections to white supremacy thinking.
Meaning, if you listen to a white person “logically” explain why McConnell agreed, with the rest of us in America watching those 13 minutes of damning video evidence, Mr. Trump incited the riot, yet he had no choice, the way the law is written, but to vote for an acquittal, use one of Dr. DiAngelo’s identified trigger ideas as a rebuttal - and there is a good chance you will experience a rage response from said white person.
Did you hear that? Probably not.
Dr. DiAngelo’s work is a blessing to white America. Dr. DiAngelo’s list is a tool. It is a tool white America can use and begin the slow exploration of its collective subconscious. (Hippy talk.) Now, that she has identified the pain points, you can explore them.
Fourth, like most white people, who live in the United States, Dr. DiAngelo does not have an effective way out of white supremacy. She is a scientist, and she is just like you. She doesn't know what to do with the patterns she has found but to talk about them. She does not know how to use them to change white supremacy outcomes.
I will give you the answer for free. You know why? Because I cannot do the work with or for my white friends and family. Nor, is my stamp of approval needed. White people have to heal white people. And, considering how much white people invest into the culture of individualism, I have a lot of compassion for the work ahead.
Here is the solution to white supremacy: connection; heal the sense of separation between individuals; reform the culture of individualism into a viable collective identity.
As you explore your subconscious and what “whiteness” really means to you, you will have to give yourself permission to cry. Please choose to grieve the perceived sense of loss, the illusion of peace through sheer force. And, you have to cry for your Ancestors, all those who refused to cry as they made Black history through Native genocide, enslavement and segregation.
I marvel at the level of grace expressed by Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color (BIPoC) - this past Sunday, Feb. 14 and on today, Feb. 15th - towards the American body politic.
We know our white friends and family are fragile. One-on-one most white people, in 2021, are not interpersonally racist. They do not call the BIPoC in their lives by racial slurs, like Mr. Trump and his generation did growing up. They do not demand subservience. They desire a true human exchange.
At the same time, they also wish acceptance that they, as individuals, can treat the BIPoC in their lives as human. They do not wish to feel, in their friendships, any responsibility to protect those BIPoC from institutional behaviors, like Mr. Trump’s acquittal and Officer Sheskey’s dropped charges.
Our white friends and family ask BIPoC to accept white supremacy above and below; to share in the internal conflict.
There is the peace of resignation (another Dr. King articulation,) where there is no tension at the interpersonal level between Black and white, as they are resigned to the fate of white supremacy, together.
On Sunday, BIPoC did what BIPoC do: be human, in the face of inhumanity. We kept the peace. And, we will continue keeping the peace.
Now, it is up to you.
Thank you for reading this far. Please do not just agree with me. Please do something with this information.