I’m starting to question at which point in life white people lose their conscience and what we can do to stop that process. I believe we’re all born with a sense of human concern, some form of conscience and somewhere along the line, white people (and potentially people of color aspiring to whiteness as well) lose it.
White supremacy is a racial project taught from a young age, and all of us learn it. Some of us learn other negative racial projects as well, like colorblind racism. Some of us learn positive racial projects that work to fight the hegemonic narrative of white supremacy, like pro-Black thought.
This means that white people are indoctrinated into a system of hate that centers their whiteness and says it is superior to anything else, but particularly in the U.S. context: Blackness.
In other words, white people are taught to hate Black people; hate for an entire group of people is learned. Even if white people have “progressive” parents, the world around them still preaches a white supremacist gospel. In the process of learning this gospel, I think white people lose their conscience in order to be able to dehumanize and erase people of color.
White people then have to fight to unlearn this racism, similar to how men have to unlearn our sexism and misogyny that is so embedded in our heteropatriarchal society.
This means that #NotAllWhitePeople is a misnomer. Or rather, we need to think about it in another way.
#NotAllWhitePeople hate Black people…because they unlearn the hate they were raised with.
#NotAllWhitePeople are practicing racists…because they are racists who have been taught to recognize their racism and are therefore working against their racist tendencies to stop it and are therefore inactive, recovering racists.
#NotAllWhitePeople are ignorant of their privilege…because they have been taught to unlearn the privilege they were bestowed when they were born into this world white.
You see what I’m saying? So there are some white people who’ve acknowledged this and are working toward stopping it…I think? But it doesn’t stop the millions of white people from terrorizing people who aren’t “white.” Even the white people who are fighting the good fight still do not often call out their friends or their family on their oppressive, racist attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Why? Because it’s a risk they’re not willing to take. I get it, they don’t want to lose theirs jobs, their parents or their cousins but until we all take some risks this ain’t gonna stop. As dramatic as it may sound, the truth is that being Black in America means that you risk your life every time you leave your house, regardless of if you’re in the hood or the Hamptons. The levels of risk differs, but the risk is ever present.
Basically: what happened with this Geris Hilton character, or Emmett Till, or any of the thousands of Black people turned hashtags is NOT a fluke, but the way the system was designed. These are not isolated incidents, but a pattern. I need white people to stop allowing white supremacy to snatch their consciences, because I truly don’t have the time for any more white bullshit in my life, whether it be the word “nigger” or the death of a “non-White” person at the hands of a white person (BASED ON THEIR GENETIC PHENOTYPE).
In closing: there is more genetic variation between two members of the same race than variation between two members of different races. This means that white people must have a conscience because we’re all actually so genetically similar. But the white devil is real, and even when I avoid him, he comes to me and the people I love. This shit has got to stop. It doesn’t just hurt us, it hurts you too.