System of White Supremacy and White Privilege
The New York Times reports that the term “white supremacy” was used fewer than 75 times in 2010, but nearly 700 times in 2020 alone (as of the article’s printing on Oct 17, 2020). In the past, the term construed extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazis. Now this term refers to a political and socio-economic system where white people enjoy structural advantages and rights that other racial and ethnic groups do not. Many white people are unaware that this system exists, which is one of its successes.
Peggy McIntosh’s seminal article “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” discusses the everydayness of unearned entitlements and advantages. White privilege includes powerful incentives for maintaining this priv [...]
“One of the things we don’t ever say explicitly is that whiteness is a brand, and that everything in the culture moves towards creating concepts of whiteness that control the white imagination... We’re being shifted and trained, culturally and constantly. We think about it as blacks, or people of color, but white people are not used to thinking about it, because whiteness is equal to normality. So, for the first time I think we’re in a place where we can begin to think about what structures whiteness. What presumptions does the white imagination move forward with?”
~ Claudia Rankine, poet, Citizen: An American Lyric
Understanding White Supremacy Part 1: With Barbara Smith, Extinction Rebellion: Capital Region
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