The Power of White ApathyMarch 22, 2008
Sounds counterintuitive doesn’t it? How can doing nothing at all actually demonstrate power? Quite simple. White power and white privilege are two very different concepts and realities. There are thousands of white people in this country that influence or create public policy that hurts black people. Yet there are millions of white people that benefit from the creation of that public policy through no fault of their own. White power creates white privilege. The two hundred million white people in this country all receive white privilege whether they want to or not. They always have so it is all that whites know from birth. Only a few brave souls even attempt to jettison their skin color birthright (or birthwrong).
Why would a white person intentionally undermine their own privilege? The right says it’s white guilt. I’m sure that’s a component of it. White people should feel guilty for receiving unearned privilege at the expense of blacks. Maybe some whites just want to do the right thing though and it’s not about guilt at all. The majority, however, just want things to stay the way they are. They are the source of white apathy toward black suffering. They really believe they play no part in sustaining white supremacy because to them that is represented by skinheads and the KKK. We are all literally indoctrinated into this system from childhood, mostly through public schooling and revisionist history but most of us also learn the sordid truth as we age.
What can white people do to fight white power? More importantly why should white people fight white power? After all black people aren’t trying to fight black power right? This is the fundamental flaw in white thinking. They assume that blacks and whites are coming to the dinner table on an equal footing. We are not. Black power was a response to white power. Black rage is a response to white oppression and injustice. They would not exist without white supremacy. White power is, in fact, a prerequisite for black power.
But is it really white apathy we are dealing with here? Or is it simply that whites tacitly do not want to relinquish their dominant social status? This is the other critical flaw in white thought: that black prosperity creates white misery. That is simply untrue and has been proven untrue in studies time and time again. Why then do whites persists in this manner? Are they just evil? Is it selfishness? Do they really see blacks as inferior? Do they think it’s just too difficult or too much work? I think all of these play a part but none more so than the fear of losing material wealth that whites have accumulated over the centuries from slavery, the GI bill and other government policies that continue their pernicious effect on the black community as a whole.
Whites have spent the majority of their time on this planet in fear. They fear everything and live in constant insecurity. I believe it has something to do with how they evolved over time but that is open to debate. The white mind thrives on rankism. Its main goal is to create a social hierarchy that is advantageous to itself. If this is innate to Caucasoids, and I believe it is, then it will take drastic psychological change to reverse it. The first step is getting white people to admit that they fear anything that is different from them. Diversity is not embraced by whites. It is seen as a threat even when it is exploited to their advantage. Whites will never collectively admit that this is their pathology. America creates a bubble for whites so that they do not have the burden of self-examination. Whites view themselves as normal and everyone else as abnormal. Unless that status quo can be altered radically there is no way to burst this social bubble.
We are already seeing whites in panic mode now as corporations globalize in search of cheaper labor and lower operating costs in foreign lands. This resentment and anger is being directed at nonwhites when the culprits are the powerful whites that run corporate America. Of course poor and middle class whites that feel their advantages slipping away have little recourse against the corporate machine. It is much easier to blame nonwhites than organize to curb the power of corporations that are exploiting all workers by taking advantages of lower living standards in other countries. It is laziness and race loyalty in the hopes that skin privilege will win out in the end over profit. It will not.