Destroy the White Supremacist Within You If You Want to Stop Mass Shootings
It always comes to a nasty to surprise to people to find out that they, too, contribute to white supremacy. Neither white people nor the Black and Brown recipients of their racism think they perpetuate it. White women, including feminists, act all willfully oblivious about upholding it.
That nasty surprise is cognitive dissonance. The one that has you denying, dismissing, and angrily denouncing any accusations of racism, of internalized white supremacy, and doubling down on your ignorance. You might’ve read about this before. I wrote about this before. White supremacy is a social disease, but not a mental one. We need to surgically remove any connection—we want to use as an excuse for our willful lack of understanding—between white supremacy and mental illness. It’s ableist and betrays a cognitive dissonance most of us aren’t ready to come to terms with (obviously), to rise above. That would mean we’d have to put in the work besides decrying discrimination on social media—to do something materially besides digital virtue signaling. That would mean looking within us, looking around us, and changing behaviors and thought patterns that hurt other human beings—that hurt us. It would mean speaking about white supremacy without attributing its violence solely to the mentally ill for it is “far more likely that people with a serious mental illness will be the victim of violence.” All your faves need to stop conflating the two.
A lot of people don’t want to be associated with something as barbaric as white supremacy, yet we are all responsible for birthing racism, for nurturing, for raising, for enabling, for protecting, for forming trauma bonds with it—for having a toxic relationship with it.
Racism exists everywhere. At every level of society. At every crevice of the world. Human hierarchies exist because of it. We have dating preferences because of it. The language we speak, the accents we have, the choices we make, the thought patterns we have, the art we create… they are all influenced by it—either for or against it. We are all the sand, the cement, the water, the rocks, the pebbles, the foundations of white supremacy—knowingly, unknowingly, willingly, and unwillingly. And we must do everything that we can to annihilate it. If we have to pluck out an eye, if we must cut off a limb to make the world a better place for everyone, then we shouldn’t hesitate to do so. That’s how we must confront white supremacy. Hell, white supremacy is willing to sacrifice its own babies to sustain it. That’s the type of monster we’re dealing with. We must be as equally resolute in our determination to exterminate it. We must identify it and we must call it out as soon as it rears its ugly head: in art, in the media, in orgs, in politics, in academia, in the publishing industry, in Hollywood, in Wall St, in boardrooms, in Black and Brown spaces, in our houses, in our relationships, in our psyches.
White supremacy keeps colorism, sexism, classism, imperialism, capitalism, ableism, islamophobia, antisemitism, homophobia, transphobia… alive in order to survive. We must crush it at every intersection of oppression while crushing every form of oppression at every intersection.
If it’s traumatizing to you to just read about it, to hear it, to see it on the news, then imagine being the victim of white supremacy? Imagine being constantly told to react to it in a peaceful manner? Imagine seeing the exaltation of those who fight against it with milk and honey while extremely violent white people are given the same exaltation for the liberation of their people? The only combative Black and Brown people white supremacy loves, white liberals love, vendidos love, are dead ones. Then, they deform their legacy to continue to uphold white supremacy. It’s hellish. It’s hellish how Black and Brown liberators have been sanitized in their canonization. It’s evil. And we carry that evil with us everywhere we go—even if we’re oblivious about it. It is our responsibility to always seek mental emancipation—especially from our own relationship with hate, from our own contribution to the oppression of other human beings, from our internalized white supremacy.
White people must carry out the brunt of the work to end white supremacy, but white supremacy has also been ingrained, inserted into our genetic makeup. We won’t stop mass shootings from white supremacists if we don’t also stop the white supremacist within us. Period.
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