Confronting the Denial of American White Racism (Part 4 of 4)

Intergenerational White Victimhood

For my last installment on the topic of ‘Confronting the Denial of American White Racism’, I humbly submit a discussion on the pervasiveness of white victimhood through generations of American history; in fact, I call it: ‘Intergenerational White Victimhood’ (a psychological theory I’m developing). The basis for my research comes from a Newsweek/Gallup Survey, August 19, 1969, one year after the death of Dr. King, revealing that 44% of whites believed that black people had a better chance than they did at obtaining employment and earning a higher wage. 88%, in the same survey, outright stated that their chances were worse, insisting that they knew this to be true, not just a mere belief. Moreover, 80% of whites said that black people already possessed equal or better educational opportunities as well; only 17% of whites said otherwise (3% were indifferent). Remember, we are talking about 1969…

“By the 1970s, perceptions of white victimhood were already brewing, within the first few years after the fall of formal white supremacy.” – Tim Wise

This framework of thinking is all about reassigning the victim or playing the victim role, psychologically evading moral liability. It’s a tactic often employed by those that (sub)consciously know they have done something wrong or are responsible for correcting a wrong that was done, but yet want to pretend that they have no responsibility. It’s not only psychosis; it’s also a philosophical fallacy of false narration. Tim Wise believes that before the 1970s, whites were “convinced that things were equal”, but I somewhat disagree with this. I harken back to the prophetic words of civil rights activist, Fannie Lou Hamer, “…they [whites] know what they have done to us [blacks].” White racism deniers may want to suppress the truth, but the truth of the African-American plight is still present within them—it’s inescapable. And even with distorted or revised ideas of history, they still know what happened to people of color in this country. Again, it’s inescapable and undeniable, and none of us can divorce ourselves from this wicked reality.

“What can be said of a people who can stare at those images, and hear the words spoken by black people fighting for their lives, their rights and their dignity—as those people are beaten and killed and jailed—and turn away, or deny that what they are seeing and hearing is real? I know one thing that can be said for certain: we needn’t trust the judgment of such a people as this, on any matter of social importance. And when these same persons’ children and grandchildren, fifty years later manifest the same unwillingness to see, we must reject them too.” – Tim Wise

We cannot rely on the skills of discernment or moral calibration of such people: deniers of white racism. In fact, their denial is a just another manifestation of white supremacy, handed down intergenerationally. (Study the new found science and phenomena of ‘genetic memory’.) The denial of white racism is a real and localized problem among many within the collective consciousness of white America; a problem that should not be over-looked, dismissed, or minimized in any way, shape, or form. This denial has become a major character flaw; a flaw many of us (people of color) are constantly forced to deal with; it’s not just a mere annoyance. It will take white deniers to do the work of decolonizing their own minds, accepting responsibility of the mess that America has inherited and in many ways continues to perpetuate, and trusting that people of color know their own lives, their own stories, and their own plight better than paternalistic whites do. It’s time out for white deniers that want to cling to their own innocence and/or play the victim role; it’s time for more white Americans to become anti-racists, deconstructing the racialized acrimony that America has cemented at its psycho-social foundations. White lies will continue to endanger black lives until more white Americans decide to fight against the racist constructs that have persisted throughout generations of white supremacy and the false narrative of white victimization.

“At every juncture of history, black folks have said “we have a problem,” and they have been right. Meanwhile, most whites have said all was well, and we’ve been wrong.” – Tim Wise

I pray death to the denial of white racism for the betterment of all humanity.

T.K.E.G. (Think – Know – Experience – Grow)
~My 2 Cents~

Read Part 1 here.
Read Part 2 here.
Read Part 3 here.

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