Not All White Supremacists Wear Hoods
The other night I was with one of my sons, Silas, who is biracial - black and hispanic - at an event for some kids his age. My son and one other young man are the only two kids in the group who are not white. On this particular night, the other child of color - who I’ll call Brandon - was not present.
One of the parents kept calling Silas by Brandon’s name, confused as to why he wasn’t responding.
Finally, another parent spoke up: “That’s Silas. Brandon’s the other one.”
The other one.
He caught himself, realizing what he’d said, and tried to backtrack.
But it was out there.
WHITE PEOPLE AND WHITE SUPREMACY
One of the reasons white people are so sensitive to the term White Supremacy is because we’ve been conditioned to think it has a singular definition. We believe White Supremacy means attending Klan rallies and getting swastika tattoos. We (white people) believe that so long as we aren’t skinheads and don’t use the n-word, then we’re not participants in White Supremacy.
But White Supremacy is not just an action or attitude, it’s a system. It’s a way of assigning and organizing the world in a way that puts whiteness as the majority and everything (and everyone) else as Other.
Here’s a simple example: in the church there’s theology, and then there’s “Black” theology.
White theology and theologians are held up as the standard. “Black” is a variation. Black is “the other one.”
It’s not just theology - every part of culture uses black as a variation:
Some of these things can be seen as positives (like black president), but they still send the strong message that we live in a white-dominant society. And that’s White Supremacy.
So, fellow white folks, if someone suggests that you might be a participant, and even a beneficiary, of white supremacy, don’t get offended. Listen. Ask hard questions of yourself. And perhaps you can be part of dismantling White Supremacy for good.