Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Five: 5 (W)hite Inventions

Your choices are great, Chauncey, but they are all (w)hite inventions. I would like to highlight some (W)hite inventions:

1. Nuclear weapons
Those White people who believe that our “sacred Western Civilization” is under attack love nukes. Possessing nukes is a kind of White entry club--it’s shorthand for power and modernity. Any time a nation of swarthy, savage hordes has a disagreement, the “Nuke Said Country” t shirts and bumper stickers surface. Also, fear of brown and/or Muslim people (India, Pakistan, North Korea, Iraq, Iran) possessing nukes drives modern American foreign policy. Can you imagine what would happen if a predominantly black country tried to build a nuclear program?

2. War Crimes Tribunals
Nothing makes White people feel better than punishing evildoers. Whiteness allows them to define what people are designated as war criminals, and which acts are designated as war crimes. While there can be white victims of white criminals, and nonwhite victims of nonwhite criminals, never will White people be held accountable for war crimes committed against people of color.

3./4.White flight/Gentrification
What ingenuity White people have. Not only do White people get away from black people by fleeing from them, they get away from black people by fleeing toward them (and driving them out) as well.

But there’s one White invention that underlies the preceding ones and dwarfs all others:

5. White supremacy
White supremacy is the power to define what’s normal; the power to frame current debate; the power to forge history: the power to conveniently remember or forget; the power to make other people give public accounts to satiate White fears. White supremacy is elegant, self-perpetuating (and self-denying)--just a masterful work of social engineering. For my money, no form of ideological domination can fuck with White supremacy--not nobility/class, not gender, not even religion.

Instead of fighting White Supremacy, people who are neither black nor white, without fail aspire to Whiteness and by extension White Supremacy (and why wouldn’t they? The benefits are too great). Even if they aren’t accepted into the club of Whiteness; at least they aren’t black.

And, as many of us know, a whole lot of Black people accept White Supremacy too.


Anonymous said...

Actually it was Jewish brains that created the A-bomb. Jews by birth aren't really white.

VavahF said...

that post on white supremacy is powerful. wooh