Afraid of the Dark

15 Oct

Reports of rapid demographic change in favor of people of color in the U.S. seem to have caused a reaction among many whites bordering on panic. Explosive increases in participation in white nationalist groups, the proliferation of vigilante border patrols, and the return of overt racism in mainstream politics all smell like fear to me. This reaction got me to thinking, why? Why are they so afraid of the possibility of becoming a minority?

Here’s my take. But first, a reality check. White fears are of becoming a minority are over-blown. As I’ve written elsewhere in this blog, whiteness has shifted to envelope those formerly deemed non-white many times throughout history. The Irish weren’t always considered white, nor were Jews. They were included among whites in order to maintain white advantage.

As racial demographics shift, so-called white Hispanics and certain Asian American ethnic minorities are likely to be enveloped by whiteness. Whether we think of ourselves as white or not, accepting the privileges already being extended to us – being cast as the “good immigrants” or buying into the idea that Asians are a “model minority” relative to so-called “problem minorities,” for instance – will put us on the wrong side of the color line. And when the stakes are so high, we can hope folks won’t take the bribe, but I wouldn’t advise betting on it.

So white folks can rest easy. Armageddon is probably still a way off.

What’s more, even if census projections play out such that whites do become a minority in the U.S., they will still be the largest minority, and they’ll have most of the wealth. It’s one thing to be a numerical minority and another to also be a power minority. Unless the role of money in determining political outcomes is drastically limited by dramatic reforms of our political system, whites will maintain political control. And having the most wealth also means maintaining economic control.

I know most of you have heard the chatter concerning middle class consumers being the real drivers of our economy, but that’s just not true. The disposable income of middle class folk isn’t what drives our economy. It’s just the fuel. Those with great concentrations of wealth are the drivers. As long as the ride remains relatively smooth for the middle class, I don’t expect to see them withholding that fuel anytime soon.

Yet whites are afraid. Why? Because they aren’t just afraid of seeing their political and economic power eroded. They fear losing their cultural advantage. They fear losing their monopoly of control over everything from “pretty” to “innocent,” and from “moral” to “merit.” These assumptions of whiteness are the foundation of white culture and tradition.

I’m not talking about Irish tradition or French tradition. I know too little of those things to speak to that history. When I refer to whiteness, I mean that which was born in slavery and Native genocide along with the very idea of a white race. Cultural traditions help us deal with fear because they define a place where we matter to history and in community. They make us greater than our mortality.

But that’s not all whites fear. Whites also fear that if they lose control, they will be exposed as being undeserving of some of the advantages they enjoy. Americans have deluded themselves into the belief that this country is a meritocracy. If the meritocracy is corrupt, then what? And, when you believe so strongly in a meritocracy that is so full of corruption, what price will those who have been labeled losers and made to pay such a high price for it extract from you if they are able?

For decades now, white elites have expanded social relief to include us in order to avoid programs that attempt to overcome the corruption from which they’ve benefited. But in the ultimate bait and switch, they accuse those who take relief of being moochers. What will happen if those against whom the game has been rigged are able to correct the narrative of history such that it becomes known that the mooching and worse has really been on the white side of the color line?

And why does that scare them? Because racism, while effective for what whites wanted it to do, nonetheless contains a seed of irrationality. It makes them believe we are the monsters they’ve made us out to be. But we know our liberation relies upon us never letting that happen.

8 Responses to “Afraid of the Dark”

  1. yusuf October 16, 2012 at 1:10 am #

    Wow it is excellent to see a man like you reporting on this. It assures the rest of us that we are do delusional but that a system does exist that is to destroy black and ex halt white. Are you familiar with Louis Farrakhan? You should reach out to the nation of Islam and come to a mosque meeting a give a lecture one of these days. You would be well received.

  2. Non Juan October 16, 2012 at 3:37 am #

    Great post, but I was curious about this line..

    “As racial demographics shift, so-called white Hispanics […]”

    What do you mean by “so-called white Hispanics”? White Hispanics actually exist as more than a construct of racist American classification.

    • Race Files October 16, 2012 at 3:42 am #

      I meant that the category “white Hispanics” is an odd construct. Why would Spanish people, for example, identify with a U.S. construct of “white.” The Spanish, Portuguese, etc., didn’t invest the idea of “white.” People in the U.S. did in order to create an exploitable class of non-whites. The English might be implicated, but not Latinos.

      • Yusuf Salaam October 16, 2012 at 3:51 am #

        Are you Familiar with the book “how white folks got so rich” it is a small book but packed with great information. I can deliver on e to you or you can order it at finalcall.com under the store tab. I think it is about $8

  3. C October 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    It’s my habit of asking what does the context of a writing convey to me? What is it saying, and how does it relate, is there another perspective, and if so how does that influence my choices, outlook and character?

    “But that’s not all whites fear. Whites also fear that if they lose control, they will be exposed as being undeserving of some of the advantages they enjoy. Americans have deluded themselves into the belief that this country is a meritocracy. If the meritocracy is corrupt, then what? And, when you believe so strongly in a meritocracy that is so full of corruption, what price will those who have been labeled losers and made to pay such a high price for it extract from you if they are able?”

    Based on the above paragraph, the word extracted is “meritocracy.”
    One definition from Wikipedia:- “In a more general sense, meritocracy can refer to any form of government based on achievement. Like “utilitarian” and “pragmatic”, the word “meritocratic” has also developed a broader definition, and can be used to refer to any government run by “a ruling or influential class of educated or able people.”

    I would like to share the following video which expresses the delusion of “meritocracy”. Bear in mind, the definition of “a ruling or influential class of educated or able people”, In the video, the police are assigned to a responsibility by this government department, for merit of performance. What a joke! Listen to the words spoken, reasoning and excuses for the corruption.

    http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/10/watch_the_only_known_recording_of_nypds_stop-and-frisk_program_in_action.html.

    Is this an example of “meritocracy” gone corrupt? What is the price this young man (labeled as “loser” when a cop calls him a “mutt”.) and others are made to pay? A high price indeed, self-worth, freedom to walk and be aware of surroundings, human dignity, worth, these officers are extracting (pulling out with great force) by use of the physical harassment, of another being’s self-dignity, with hopes he will hold his head in shame. All this to meet and up keep their positions or promotions of the “ruling or influential class of “so-called” educated or able people of a government department.

    Afraid of the Dark indeed, in more ways than one!

    Is there no spirit within their soul? Do they(participants of this corruption) ever sleep?
    Do they not question themselves? Are we as humans not questioning ourselves? Do they really think??

    “He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.”
    ― Confucius

    “The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.”
    ― Confucius

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Is the New American Order a Tri-Racial System? | blacknectar - October 16, 2012

    […] Afraid of the Dark « Race Files […]

  2. Mixed Race Studies » Scholarly Perspectives on Mixed-Race » Afraid of the Dark - October 18, 2012

    […] Afraid of the Dark […]

  3. The Color of Fear | Inspired Vision - October 18, 2012

    […] Afraid of the Dark (racefiles.wordpress.com) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: