In the book Why I’m No Longer Talking TO White People About Race, author Reni Eddo-Lodge states, “Racism’s legacy does not exist without purpose. It brings with it not just a disempowerment for those affect by it, but an empowerment for those who are not. That is white privilege. Racism bolsters white people’s life chances. It affords an unearned power; it is designed to maintain a quiet dominance. Why don’t white people think they have racial identity?”
Discussing the topics race, religion, and human rights with white people is contentious at best. They have always led the way regarding the direction that the conversation. Oftentimes, I encountered individuals that are willing to walk away instead of listening to me. It appears to me that their comfortability factor is not as high as the allow themselves to believe.
Dr. Nicki Lisa Cole wrote an essay The Definition of Racism: A system of Power, Privilege, and Oppression. This profound essay defined racism where many have failed because they simply believe that racism is tied to hate instead of the power that is wielded by what some defines as the dominant group of people. This group is generally defined as white by appearance instead of place of origin. Many of these groups (Italians, Irish, Polish, Jewish, etc.) immigrated to this land.
Dr. Cole states, “Racism refers to a variety of practices, beliefs, social relations, and phenomena that work to reproduce a racial hierarchy and social structure that yield superiority, power, and privilege for some, and discrimination and oppression for others. It can take several forms, including representational, ideological, discursive, interactional, institutional, structural, and systemic.”
The seven forms she listed above have shaped what some would call White Supremacy (Racism) and have been used consistently for centuries to maintain a system of oppression by those that control it. I have written about these things several times, but it doesn’t get the traffic it deserves either because of fear or the individual’s unwillingness to deal with truth. I do know that some are very selective regarding what they will read, support, and defend.
I also found that it is easy to defend one’s personal truths as it relates to those that look like them, while condemning others that do not. I have done this, yet I also defend others that do not look like me despite the horrific treatment of Black people in America. Every group of people have endured a level of atrocity that should not be forgotten including Black people in America who seem to have never been allowed to keep their pain alive. We have always been told to that our experiences are in the past, while others remain at the forefront of their very existence.
This is what racism is all about and how it shapes the past, present, and future of a people that have been marginalized for centuries because of the color of our skin and the lies that people have created to perpetuate false narratives. Dr. Cole utilizes the following forms including representational, ideological, discursive, interactional, institutional, structural, and systemic to show the negative effects of racism.
Representational Racism, “Depictions of racial stereotypes are common in popular culture and media, like the historical tendency to cast people of color as criminals and as victims of crime rather than in other roles, or as background characters rather than as leads in film and television.”
Ideological Racism, “It refers to world views, beliefs, and common sense ideas that are rooted in racial stereotypes and biases. A troubling example is the fact that many people in American society, regardless of their race, believe that white and light skinned people are more intelligent than dark-skinned people and superior in a variety of other ways.”
Discursive Racism, “This kind of racism is expressed as racial slurs and hate speech, but also as code words that have racialized meanings embedded in them, like ‘ghetto,’ ‘thug,’ or ‘gangsta.’”
Interactional Racism, “Racism often takes an interactional form, which means it is expressed in how we interact with each other. For example, a white or Asian woman walking on a sidewalk may cross the street to avoid passing closely by a black or Latino man because she is implicitly biased to see these men as potential threats.”
Institutional Racism, “Racism takes institutional form in the ways that policies and laws are crafted and put into practice through society's institutions, such as the decades-long set of policing and legal policies known as “The War on Drugs,” which has disproportionately targeted neighborhoods and communities that are composed predominantly of people of color. Institutional racism preserves and fuels the racial gaps in wealth, education, and social status, and serves to perpetuate white supremacy and privilege.”
Structural Racism, “Structural racism refers to the ongoing, historical, and long-term reproduction of the racialized structure of our society through a combination of all of the above forms. Structural racism manifests in widespread racial segregation and stratification on the basis of education, income, and wealth, the recurrent displacement of people of color from neighborhoods that go through processes of gentrification, and the overwhelming burden of environmental pollution borne by people of color given its proximity to their communities. Structural racism results in large-scale, society-wide inequalities on the basis of race.”
Systemic Racism, “Many sociologists describe racism in the U.S. as "systemic" because the country was founded on racist beliefs that created racist policies and practices, and because that legacy lives today in the racism that courses throughout the entirety of our social system. This means that racism was built into the very foundation of our society, and because of this, it has influenced the development of social institutions, laws, policies, beliefs, media representations, and behaviors and interactions, among many other things. By this definition, the system itself is racist, so effectively addressing racism requires a system-wide approach that leaves nothing unexamined.” https://www.thoughtco.com/racism-definition-302651...
Fear is the driving force behind racism and the desire to control another group of people for survival. This is my experience as a Black man in America that must fight to survive daily in the mist of self-preservation, self-determination, and to maintain knowledge of myself. I will never ask anyone for permission to be me, share my personal truth, or my history as it relates to Alkebulan and America.
“1. Well, the thing about white privilege is…”
“2. As a white woman, Rebecca, you have to understand that…”
“3. There’s a great article out by…”
“4. No, you can’t even sing the word because the history…”
“5. Excuse me.”
“6. I forgive you.”