We are taught white is superior.

Jen,
Seattle, WA

Any white American who says they are not racist is either not honest with themselves or they have been locked in a basement since birth. No matter your generation, all white Americans have been persistently and intentionally drowned in messages that black and brown people are inferior. It is all our responsibility to really look at ourselves and the racial superiority we have internalized and admit to racism. We have to admit that we have a problem before we can be part of the solution, which we must. We had no choice but to hear constant white superiority messages all our lives, but we can see them for what they were and are and push back against those narratives. Boomers and older Americans watched coverage of “race riots” and “inner city crime waves” and heard their parents talk about the good old days when a black man knew better than to look them in the eyes or address them as “sir” or “ma’a.” Every single day, GenX heard about the “war on drugs” and “gang violence” and “welfare queens.” You didn’t have to hear anyone say “we mean black and brown people are a problem” to know that’s what they meant, the picture and implications were everywhere. Today’s youth are watching video of angry black protestors get in cops’ faces, with much of the media implying they’ve no right to be disrespecting the “law enforcement” who abuse black bodies or stand by while their coworkers do so. White folks, if you think you didn’t Internalize any of the messages that our body politic sent through the media about white superiority while keeping its foot on the neck of black America, you fool yourselves. I have done years of work examining my biases, and I still cannot excise that white supremacy demon entirely. We must admit that we have a problem and get to work fixing that problem – we ARE the problem that threatens black and brown lives in everyday ways (workplace discrimination, criminalization of poverty, gentrification, and so many more) as well as in violent ones.

 

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