There are many in America and abroad who don’t truly understand just what white supremacy means. Most Black Americans look at it in anger and every White American becomes a target, they react with an anger that seems to validate a violent response from the oppressor. To most White Americans, they take offense to it and make angry and ignorant statements when the statement of white supremacy has nothing to do with them individually. Many look at white supremacy as a simple race issue and a means to justify or deny its existence; it is fact that there are systems in place that collectively become white supremacy. Like most things in our societies we’ve placed a label upon it and the label to its effect speaks to the culture that is and has been the prevalent culture in America and that is the white culture.
It’d be ignorant to be the majority and not put systems in place to maintain your majority and supposed superiority over the minority populations in a nation you’ve stolen. The truth is oppressing the minority is the surest way but also the least effective way of maintaining power and eventually violence begets violence and the core issues are never resolved. America has a history of violence to the non-white cultures within its borders. In some parts of the United States, many people who were considered non-white were disenfranchised, barred from a government office, and prevented from holding most government jobs well into the second half of the 20th century. Many U.S. states banned interracial marriage through anti-miscegenation laws until 1967, when these laws were declared unconstitutional. Additionally, white leaders often viewed Native Americans as obstacles to economic and political progress with respect to the natives' claims to land and rights.
The backdrop of white supremacy stems to times before the American Civil War when non-whites particularly African Americans were subjected to inhumane, unjust and harsh lowly treatment. White supremacy would continue after the Civil War and more than four decades after Reconstruction. The desire to uphold white supremacy was a major thinking in the secession of the Confederate States of America under the guise of states’ rights. The inhumane treatment of slaves, Jim Crow, the KKK, sundown towns and other disruptive terrorism further cemented the expansion of white supremacy through violent means. Now we understand a bit of history about the subject.
Another definition for white supremacy is eloquently defined by Frances Lee Ansley. [By] ‘White supremacy’ I do not mean to allude only to the self-conscious racism of white supremacist hate groups. I refer instead to a political, economic, and cultural system in which whites overwhelmingly control power and material resources, conscious and unconscious ideas of white superiority and entitlement are widespread, and relations of white dominance and non-white subordination are daily reenacted across a broad array of institutions and social settings.(Ansley 1997: 592) America was established on the principles of white supremacy and has maintained its hold on to it by many nefarious means. Violence was once the main way of control, but operations went underground being controlled by banks and corporations whose wealth came from the beaten backs of African slaves and subjection of the ancestors of those slaves to harsh laws and limited “freedoms”. (, Piketty,33-34, 2013)
Most of these events happened in the past of this nation but it is a very recent past and we shouldn’t relegate it to past decades. To understand the condition of our nation today we must examine the reason it happened or continues to happen which requires us to revisit the past and tell the truth about it. Many of the banks and corporation we defend so heavily were established and made wealthy by slave labor. These same corporations and banks upon, the slaves receiving “freedom” devised horrible schemes and funded domestic terrorist in order to keep the status quo intact. When African Americans decided to build their own banks, businesses, towns and “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” they’re promptly destroyed by domestic terrorist protecting white supremacy.
White Supremacy is not the fault of white people as a whole just as it is not an excuse for the slow progression of black people. It is, however, a huge factor often ignored by white people and amplified by those that it oppresses. If we are to topple the power structure and have a true “United States” unified people enjoying “freedoms” equally we have to shed our denial that white supremacy exist and we have to hold those that uphold it accountable. We must not deprive or deny anyone the freedom to pursue success and we must not defame and destroy anyone who has achieved it by their own means. Programs such as affirmative action, welfare, civil rights freedoms and voting rights serve the purpose of protecting and putting a dent into the stronghold of white supremacy, but in the end it’s a double edged sword, while these have been tremendous in helping the minority down the road of success by cutting down barriers, they are but halfhearted attempts to give the illusion that all is good with the relationship between the majority and the minority. These programs are established by the very structure it’s supposed to defend minorities against. The enemy isn’t going to give you the tools to end the power majority has over the minority, that would be ignorance on the part of the majority.
In conclusion, it is not the fault of a regular everyday white person that the white supremacy structure is in place and the average white person doesn’t truly know it exists. The majority cannot see the plight of the minority and, therefore, can’t fully empathize. Trying to appeal to someone who doesn’t understand what you are going through will get an “I’m sorry” this is happening or a complete denial of the fact. Black people and other minorities cannot continue to use the white supremacy structure as an excuse to not at least try to progress. The fact is white supremacy is alive and well, Black Americans and other minorities just have to be creative in their approach to an old problem, because the old way isn’t working.
Tony L. Jefferson, Jr. 2015