There are just a lot of people who don’t understand and don’t want to understand how racism and white supremacy work in order to maintain their paychecks, lifestyles, and family comfort.
There is no such thing as Black supremacy. There never has been and there never will be. Read this funny thread by Michael Harriot, a Black writer (and comedian) for the Root and fellow South Carolinian, to get his funny yet truthful take on why there is no such thing as a Black supremacist.
Breaking Down Racism and White Supremacy
Can Black people be prejudiced? Why yes, there are a number of Black folks who are hella prejudice for — obvious reasons. Can we Black folks be biased? Yes, Black people can be (and many are) biased just like any other group regardless of their perceived superiority, inferiority, or marginalization. Can Black people be Black supremacists? Nope, we absolutely cannot.
Black people didn’t create the races, White and European folks did that. We didn’t create superiority and inferiority within our national social order. We have no political power. We’re not domestic terrorists terrorizing Black White people because they are not able to or because we’re accustomed to having supreme power over them via slavery or domestic violence. Black people have no political power to control or improve their basic human condition. Most Black people don’t believe we should dominate society. We know from personal experience domination is not natural. We know what it feels like and we don’t like it.
Domination only leads to rebellion, because every living thing wants to and deserves to be free. Black people didn’t export supremacy theories and governance styles across the globe either.
There is absolutely nothing deemed superior or supreme about the descendants of enslaved people in America. White America not only affirmed we weren’t supreme in their original Constitution, but they made it so by the way they’ve overtly and covertly neglected and mistreated Black people. No other group of people was mentioned as inferior in our constitution EXCEPT Black (Negro) people.
The founders didn’t say Mexicans, American Indians, Chinese, Jews, the Irish, Italians, Arabs, Cubans, Canadians, or any other group of people were inferior to them in the Constitution, only the negro. Black folks were the only people who received that special designation of being less than in all of this nation’s history, hence the reason we’re treated so poorly today and why the reason it’s so easy for immigrants to come into the country and engage in the very terrorism they often are fleeing.
Black folks ain’t superior and any person spewing it has a personal motive. You should flee from them promptly. There is no way any Black person in America or Black people collectively can be Black supremacists.
Any person using the term is doing nothing more than deflecting from their own discomfort discussing race and is incapable or willing to deal with their adjacency to white supremacy.
Too Many Black People Are Sold Out To White Supremacy
Lately, I have been seeing a lot of Black celebrities, White folks, people of color (POC), a few well-known Black female feminists, and even biracial people of color (mostly those acknowledging their White or Jewish ethnicities) using the label “Black supremacy” to describe (and silence) Black people attempting to describe racism and White supremacy they experience from people of color and it is getting on my last nerves. I wanted to talk about it a little before White and White-passing folks looking for a personal racism escape route think they’ve found one.
The term seems to be used by White adjacent Black and biracial folks torn between the two worlds and Black feminists. Being Black is to be uncomfortable, and there are a lot of Black people who have either made it to Whiter pastures and they’ll do anything to stay there. There are a number of Black and biracial people who are torn between the Black world/Black life and the white supremacist one. There are also a lot of Black people who are paid by White people to talk about Black pain. Sometimes Black people create shit to appease their masters and to get their paychecks. I’ll call them the Black people who tend to white gates.
Their skins are undeniably Black, Brown, or biracial, but their upbringings, lives, resources, words, and livelihoods will show how closely connected these folks are to white supremacy and white comfort. It’s very hard for the two to co-exist. Someone or something will always be sacrificed, and it’s usually the Black parts of these types of folks’ lives.
To each his or her own, but they are also dangerous. They must be unveiled so no Black person is harmed and so that no Black movements are derailed. White people are looking for anything to make this discomfort go away, and a few ignorant people can make it happen with a ridiculous word like Black supremacy.
I realize people have to do what they need to do to survive, but in cases like this where we have Black folks reciting white supremacy bullshit, the consequences of their decisions and actions (or inaction) harm our collective groups in the antiracism scheme of things. Black folks are being sacrificed to preserve their comfort, friendships, familial ties, and their social capital. It’s times like these when it becomes clear to Black folks like myself we are not a monolith.
Choose the Black folks you listen to wisely. There are many of them who love White comfort as much as White people disinterested in discussions about their ties to white supremacy.
Black and biracial people using the Black supremacy label should be ashamed of themselves, especially if they have parents who grew up during Jim Crow. This new generation of young people born post the Civil Rights Era I’m willing to give a mini-pass to (kinda anyway) because our education system is racist and Black parents haven’t spent enough time teaching their kids about white supremacy as they have racism. But Google is free so there is no excuse.
Too many Black folks have been laser-focused on being accepted, getting into “good” schools and communities, and proving to Whiteness they are good enough. Many are just learning we will never be good enough, but not before they’ve aided White Supremacy in harming Black lives, including their own children.
Folks using the term Black supremacist is a bullshit cop-out to avoid acknowledging three truths:
- Black people cannot be racist, only prejudice (many people don’t know the difference between prejudice and supremacist),
- Black people have zero positions of power in America which would enable us to become superior or supreme, and
- Certain racial groups in America are in a unique position of being both victims of racism (oppressed), and perpetrators of racism (oppressors) when it suits them.
People using the term Black supremacists have an entirely different motive, and it’s keeping their White gate owners, employers, family members, and friends happy and comfortable. I’m not about to allow anyone (including Black folks) to use their privilege to scapegoat Black folks who recognize what white supremacy is going to them individually and to Black people collectively.
As Michael Harriot noted, Black supremacy isn’t a thing because Black people can never be supreme or superior. I also believe people misconstrue racism and white supremacy.
For example, a Black, Asian, or Hispanic police watching (or aiding) their fellow white officer abuse and kill Black and Brown people engage in White supremacy. Because the power dynamic shifts in this instance, some officers may be engaging in both racism and white supremacy. The racial aspect drives the white supremacy power dynamic. The power they each have behind the badge is related to slave catching or gatekeeping (white supremacy).
When they take their uniforms off, they all can be subjected to racism — being hated/mistreated because of their skin color.
The Asian and Hispanic officers can even discriminate against other people of color because they’ve been grandfathered into whiteness. The Black officer has not. They can all work for the same white supremacist government and engage in various aspects of racism and white supremacy.
No one is engaging in Black supremacy because there is no such thing.
No one co-opts white movements, just Black ones. This prevents Black supremacy. Every time we Black folks rise up, raise up, rebel, or fight for our rights, one of two things happens. Our movements are co-opted by White people (i.e. both the White woman’s suffrage movement and the White LGBTQ movement hijacked the civil rights movement from Black people), or white terrorists violently kill and intimidate Black folks, making sure they are kept in their places — at the bottom.
How in the hell does anyone sane with reading comprehension skills, common sense, ears to hear, and eyes to see get Black supremacy from any of that?
Black supremacy is a tidy place to park “both sides” arguments of people too selfish or immature to admit white supremacy exists and that many of the people they love engage in supremacy and/or racial discrimination.
Let me make this clear. Most Black people do not believe Black people should dominate anyone in America or anywhere in the world. We just want to be free and left the hell alone. White supremacists do not believe this. They believe they are superior and that they should dominate our society — the way White America does today.
Look who possesses most power in the state, local, and federal governments, policing, politics, media, corporate America, in the nonprofit sector, etc. White people run everything. You can’t dominate shit if you have no power.
Lastly, White and European people are the only people in the world who believe and act as if they are superior to all other races. The rest of us are just trying to either navigate or compete with white supremacy for seats at the table or scraps from the floor. This is a White man’s world. Black folks are just squirrels trying to gather a few nuts to survive the winter. There is more than enough evidence to prove this. Google is free and so are public libraries.
Anyone with a firm understanding of racism and white supremacy knows there is no such thing as a damned Black supremacist. Black supremacy is a made-up term coined by folks who either love/need their paychecks supplied to them by White people, are Black folks married to White folks who aren’t ready or willing to unpack their own ties to white supremacy, or biracial people torn between the Black/Brown parts of themselves and their other part — the White or White passing side.
It’s their personal problem, and they have to work it out.
They will not sacrifice Black people though to maintain their comfort or to spare their White friends and family members to do so. Not on my watch There are plenty of Black and biracial people comfortable, torn, or confused about their roles in maintaining white supremacy and we cannot allow them to do what white supremacy teaches us all to do, protect their houses keep their secrets while keeping White folks comfortable.
Until we’re all comfortable, no one will be comfortable.
There are plenty of Black and biracial people who love white supremacy, who have sex with white supremacists, and they don’t care about anything but themselves. They have parents who are White and linked to white supremacy and they don’t want to have uncomfortable conversations about race. They work for white supremacists and have surrounded themselves with all White people. They enjoy being the only Black. Some of these Black folks married white supremacy before 2020. Shit has gotten real, but now they’re yoked and some folks have made a decision to put their spouse's comfort before their own or the safety of their extended family. The struggle is real.
These Black, Brown, and biracial folks have gone to school and been the only Black person in their all-white circles because their parents made the unfortunate mistake of believing all white stuff was somehow better for Black people. These kinds of folks believe it’s their job to protect our invisible domestic terrorist social order by mislabeling Black people to save White ones. It’s the same thing they did with slaves too close to whiteness to see how white supremacy harmed the collective.
Then there are those Black and biracial people of color who love everything white supremacy affords them for denying, forsaking, forgetting, belittling, or minimizing their own Blackness. There are many reasons, these are just a few of the most popular.
These kinds of Black, Brown, and/or biracial people who like using Black supremacists will deny or minimize their own Blackness to remain in good graces with Whiteness and White Supremacy. Period.
Sometimes it’s a choice. Sometimes it’s implicit bias. Other times, it’s ignorance. No matter the explanation, Black and White people need to know (and help dispel) the notion that Black supremacy is real. It is not.
This is why the issues of race must be discussed at length, frequently and often. Discussing race and racism is complicated.
Two Things Can Be True At The Same Time
White, Black, and biracial people need to understand that two things about race can be true at the same time. A certain group of people can be victims of racism and perpetuate racism or harbor anti-Blackness. Black and biracial people refusing to acknowledge this are acting just like fragile White people unwilling or unable to work through their own racism issues. As a Black woman, I have experienced racism and anti-Blackness by plenty of non-White people, especially since I’ve been living here in South Florida.
I often shake my head when I experience racism from non-White folks because those same people in a fresh setting could encounter racism from White people or other folks who mistreat them just because of their race or ethnicity. Some people of color folks have the attitude they need to make someone feel bad because it was done to them. Hurt people, hurt people. Broken people, break people. People often perpetuate the cycle of abuse. When you know better, you’ll do better and too many people of color engage in the same racist behavior White folks engage in.
Blacks and people of color need to stop acting as if a racial or ethnic group upholding White Supremacy can’t also be victims of racism. Both things can be true. Black folks do it all the time, even to their own people. Certain fair-skinned groups in the people of color category can also be flat out racist and be victims. Just Google for free and you can find all the examples you need to validate it. Two things can be true at the same damned time.
People and groups can be victims of racism and perpetuate racist. It’s stupid as hell, but it is so.
The behavior is a result of centuries of White power infecting all of us. Some people/groups are not smart enough to figure this out yet, so they continue to help white supremacy by perpetuating it. Calling another oppressed group with no power supremacists is not the way to accomplish it.
We also need to stop acting as if certain groups are untouchable. For racism, anti-Blackness, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy, any group or individual engaging in it needs to be called out. Each group knows what they experience when it comes to racism, even if/when the racism comes from a person with similar skin color. Black people are discriminated against by many racial/ethnic groups for no reason except their parents taught them Black people were lazy, no good, etc.
Likewise, non-White people able to pass as White people engage in White supremacy and domestic terrorism towards Black people. Italians, Irish, Asians, Jewish, and even some Caribbeans and South Americans participate and have participated in white supremacy and anti-Blackness. Black folks have reciprocated I’m sure. That’s how white supremacy works. We must acknowledge it, and we must end it. Make no mistake though, none of the foolishness is rooted in the imaginary Black supremacy as some would like blame. Don’t buy into it.
Dismissing White passing POC racism is a huge problem in America. It’s nothing more than good old divide and conquer and the world knows America has a race problem now.
POC and Blacks would be in a much better position to fight white supremacy if all POC recognized their Black roots and how we’re all discriminated against by the dominant race and social order in our society — the White one. When we fail to do so, we act like crabs in a barrel. No one gets to the top because we’re all pulling ourselves down. The White chef stirring in the crab pot doesn’t care one bit. His or her plan to mix us all together and use us to maintain their power and control goes on as planned.
Some Blacks and POC folks have forgotten where they came from or how they arrived here. They have forgotten who fought for them before they arrived so they could be free and have the liberties and freedoms we aren’t afforded. In 2020, Black folks are here to deliver friendly reminders.
I won’t get into the various plights and stages of the unique immigrant groups in America or the racism they’ve endured (Google is free), but nearly all of them have been taught one thing… and that’s “at least you’re not Black.” Most have heard it, few will admit it because they’d also have to admit they have engaged in racism and biases in favor or White Supremacy.
We all need to work through our own shit as it relates to White supremacy. We also need to stay focused. We are working on anti-Blackness. Black lives are mattering and we will stay centered on this until America does right by us if you’re reading my work. The enemy is white supremacy, so don’t go conjuring up a damned imaginary boogie man like Black supremacy to let the real villain off the hook. Not in 2020 Satan, not on my watch.
While I’m not advocating for an oppression Olympics here, I advocate that America acknowledges how it mistreated and neglected Black people, including people of color.
Center Black people. Take care of Black people. Listen to aggrieved Black people. Respect Black people. Acknowledge and address anti-Blackness. Repay Black people for carrying this nation on its back for the last 400-years.
Black people fight the battles and everyone else wins our wars. It’s time to pay us what we’re owed. I will not allow racist whites or selfish, ignorant Blacks and people of color who love white supremacy to hijack this moment so much they will use its tools to silence and oppress Blacks and people of color.
Some Folks Just Don’t Know How To Discuss POC Racism
Some people are not eloquent or particularly articulate in discussing racism and white supremacy (see the lengthy list of celebrities tangled up in their underwear for trying to talking about anti-racism using racist tropes), but that doesn’t mean they should be discounted or are wrong. There are plenty of Black people who have experiences with racist Brown people in other non-White racial groups, but they may not share those experiences in a way palatable to others outside of their immediate circle. That doesn’t make these people Black supremacists, it just makes them ignorant and inarticulate on the subject.
Sometimes people just say racist stuff that’s incoherent and inexcusable (i.e. DeSean Jackson’s anti-Semitic ignorance). He may have a legitimate gripe. How he went about it was wrong and racist. He like the other Blacks folks I described can’t say what he really wants to say because his livelihood is on the line. He used a trope instead of stating what he really wanted to say.
Jackson couldn’t say what he wanted to say because it would cost him. In the end, picking up an old racist trope rooted in Nazism and carrying it still cost him. Because White and White passing men hold his career in the palms of their hands, they also prevent him from saying what he really wants to say. Instead, he must try to talk in code, and clearly he isn’t good at that. His backfired, royally.
Each racial group, including Black folks, will need to decolonize their minds because that mushy mess controls how we treat each other. White supremacy has us all messed up. If we’re going to ask White people to treat us better, Blacks and people of color will need to treat each other better too. That better begins with non-Black people acknowledging how they engaged in anti-Blackness, and a lot of Black people need to address their prejudices. Learning to communicate the specific actions and harm racism has done to us instead of some spewing racist garbage talking point of white supremacy will help each group rectify their racist behaviors and attitudes. Also identifying why we lean toward certain people or groups with certain beliefs is of the utmost importance.
It’s a journey we all must take. No one is exempt. I unpack something new every week. I listen to more Black people. I read more Black and Brown people and pre-COVID-19, I have spent the last ten years trying to learn, taste, touch, and experience various cultures. I love history so I research on my own. We all need to practice these activities. I have found doing so helps me to appreciate our similarities and to respect and celebrate our differences.
Conducting these activities have caused me to mourn the way Black people have been forced and are continually forced to give up their culture for acceptance as other racial groups are allowed to maintain theirs. From straightening our hair to bleaching our Black skins with skin whitening products to being forced to speak the King’s English, White supremacy strips us all of our culture and humanity.
If there was such thing as Black supremacy, Black people would have the power to make folks darken their skins, kinky their hair, speak African-American vernacular, eat the way we eat, and they’d all be rushing to live in our neighborhoods because we’d have the power to deem our communities and schools “the best” or “good.” There ain’t no such thing as Black supremacy folks. Nobody is breaking their neck to assume Blackness.
The cost is too high and the burden is too heavy.
Learning how to talk about racism without repeating racist tropes is imperative. We cannot allow stupid labels like Black supremacists to distract from the real problem which is white supremacy, and we cannot allow ignorant and comfortable white adjacent Black folks to co-opt a genuine discussion about other groups historically engaging in anti-Blackness while coming up with new ways to shift blame away from the true culprit, white supremacy.
Black People Are Responsible For Decoding White Supremacy
In closing, Black, Brown, and biracial people are responsible for unpacking their own shit and decoding white supremacy. White supremacy is in everything we do. We eat white supremacy. We drink white supremacy. We work for and with white supremacy. We consume white supremacy on television every day. white supremacy educates our children. White supremacy rules over us. Some of us are so in bed with it we can’t see the forest for the trees. It’s our responsibility to figure this shit out so that we aren’t perpetuating it.
I hope to never inflict racism or prejudice onto another racial group. I know how it feels and I don’t want anyone to experience it. Black and Brown folks are perpetuating the same violence and discrimination committed against us by white people. Why is this so hard to see? The real supremacist gets to live another day as we help it find a scapegoat. We need to do better. We need to be better.
There will be some Black and brown people who will not be strong enough or mature enough to decode white supremacy. There will be plenty of other Black and Brown folks who love white supremacy and white comfort and will do anything to maintain that comfort they’ve worked hard to achieve. Then there will be those who act as if they don’t know people in their group engage in racism, white supremacy, discrimination, and prejudice. Those folks will change the subject to Black supremacy in the same way White people run to their whataboutitis.
Some Black people are not going to be invited to the cookout after 2020 because they are making up nonsense to keep their safety nets safe. They need to be called about on their bullshit like making us nonsense such as Black supremacy. I still can’t believe we are having this time-wasting conversation in 2020.
There are plenty of Black, Brown, and biracial people unwilling or unable to unpack their love of white supremacy. May the force be with them. It’s not my circus.
I’m trying to save folks who want to be saved. There are plenty of Black, Brown, and White folks who don’t want to be saved, and that’s fine with me. But don’t lie on behalf of Whiteness as if Black supremacy is a thing. It’s not, and I’m not having it.
The trauma of white supremacy is real. Decolonizing our minds and actions will be a continual work we need to undertake to avoid upholding white supremacy. I’m here to destroy it, not be its pillars.
Remember, Black people have no power. Black people have never been deemed superior by any group since slavery. Black people have never acted in a manner that made them supreme, and there is no such thing as a Black supremacist. No one (except maybe the Kardashians) are trying to physically become Black people. Black supremacy is a term used to decenter anti-Blackness and to deflect from one’s own proximity to whiteness/white supremacy.
There are a number of Black and Brown people who have their own motives for spreading misinformation and gatekeeping their master’s gates, and that’s cool. But those folks aren’t going to scapegoat Black men and women discussing well-known, documented racism by other non-White racial groups on my watch. The supremacy label belongs to one group, and that’s White people. I also won’t excuse the inexcusable. Racism is wrong. Ignoring it is wrong. Denying it is wrong. Supporting it because you’re in love with someone tied to it is wrong.
Black supremacy is not only wrong, it doesn’t exist. We cannot have a democracy as long as ignorant people are allowed to remain so.
Make sure you examine the folks bringing and carrying those fake Black supremacists bones. Usually, you’ll see the reason for their non-sense. Stay focused. There is only one kinda supremacists, and it’s the White kind.
Marley K in Quarantine 2020