White Supremacy: An Illness Denied

It is always amazing to hear white people, in the face of an action or policy that clearly works against people of color, say that “race has nothing to do with it.”

The denial of racism is maddening yet painful, because this nation will not own its white supremacy. If we accept the definition of a specific mental illness, schizophrenia, as "a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception,” white supremacy might accurately be called a mental illness.

In America, when it comes to race, we have separated ourselves from reality. There is a breakdown between thought, emotion and behavior. Vicious white thugs in Charlottesville were called “good people” by the president of this nation, while a peaceful and nonviolent person who “takes a knee” is called a “son of a bitch.” That is none less than schizophrenia. To say that the words and the behavior we are seeing has nothing to do with race represents a break with reality.

White supremacy is so ingrained in the minds of white Americans – no matter their geographic location – that it has become wearily accepted as something that “just is.” What “is,” according to white supremacists, is that African Americans are inferior to whites in all aspects of life. What “is” is that African Americans are inherently criminal, that they were made by God to be slaves to whites, and that they are less than human.

White supremacists are afflicted with this disease, and they may well know it, but coming face to face with it is too painful; they vehemently deny its existence in general and in them in particular, but in denying its presence and its virulence, white supremacists are leading America to its own destruction.

The late Dr. Frances Cress Welsing said in her seminal work The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors,” that “racism is a system.” Racism is white supremacy, and white supremacy is racism, she said. White people live in fear that they will lose their power, and so they perpetuate racism and white supremacy, all the while denying it.

White supremacists live in fear that their “whiteness” will be obliterated by people of color. Welsing notes that in the world, 9/10 of all people are people of color, and 1/10 of all people are white. The genes of people of color are dominant, she said; when there are sexual relationships between a white person and a person of color, the child will not be “white.” That shows, Welsing said, that, in spite of the going argument that black people and people of color are inferior, the fact that sexual interaction between white people and people of color produce children of color proves that “colored” genes are dominant.

Even the thought that their dominance based on the color of their skin could be compromised through interracial sexual interaction is frightening to the baseline white supremacist. “Make America Great Again” might be seen as a “polite” way of saying “make America white again,” as many have posited. The ban on refugees coming from countries of “brown people,” as well as the push to build a wall between the United States and Mexico probably has a lot less to do with being upset about illegal immigration and more to do with a desire to save America from becoming too brown.

White supremacists do themselves or this nation by denying their racism. Just because one does not use the “n” word, or has a few black friends does not mean one is not a racist. Racism, the system, has been teaching white people how to think about black people since before the Mayflower landed. White Southerners have been taught how to think about black people since before the Civil War and even more so after the war ended. According to Charles B. Dew, author of the book The Making of Racist: A Southerner Reflects on Family, History and the Slave Trade, white children in the South (and I daresay in the North as well) were and are taught how to regard black people. They are taught that black people are inferior, not equal to whites in any way. Period.

Racism …is a system.

The president of this nation embarked on a tirade against black athletes (yes, they were all black when this debacle began) who decided to peacefully protest the way black people, and especially black men, are treated in this country, with law enforcement officers killing them more often than “serving and protecting” them. They took issue with a pledge of allegiance which violates its stated principle of there being “liberty and justice for all,” and they likewise reject the words of the national anthem which states that this is the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Their “taking a knee” has nothing to do with them not loving their country. African Americans in fact love this country and have fought for it, only to be treated as second class citizens after they have risked their lives for the cause of freedom.

They have “taken a knee” to protest the system called racism and white supremacy.

But the president and members of “his base” and others as well have chosen to manipulate the argument and skew the purpose of the nonviolent statement being made. They refuse to admit to the virulence and purulence of white supremacy.

The poison of white supremacy is oozing from America’s core and if we don’t fix it soon, this country will suffer irreversible damage. Some would say we are already at that point. If we are not, we are certainly close.

Illnesses that are denied simply get worse, and that’s a fact.

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