The prevalence of one ethnic and racial group over others has always been embedded in the global psyche of populations throughout the long history of its development. Thus, white supremacy represents a controversial topic referring to the sentiment that the white race is superior over others and, therefore, should be treated with greater respect, offered more opportunities, and have a right to dominate over others (Perez and Hirschman 2). This essay discusses the issue of historical blindness toward White supremacy and explores the new tendencies regarding the topic.
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In its political, social, and historical ideologies, white supremacy encourages the enjoyment of various structural advantages, privileges over other ethnic groups on both individual and collective levels. However, as cleverly mentioned by Charles Mills, white supremacy in the context of historical studies has been treated with a certain degree of “historical amnesia” and “conceptual blindness,” both of which refer to the forgetting of facts and the failure to admit the implications of such facts, even in cases when they are remembered (120). Thus, I would like to argue that the concept of white supremacy has not been put at the forefront of historical studies and was intentionally hidden or veiled in order to avoid explanations of its origins, development, and social impact.
Failing to Acknowledge the Past and Rectify the Present
The information pertinent to white supremacy has not been taught before, as it could have encouraged opposition from learners, especially those of the white race. Today, the domination of the white race over others is seen as such that has never existed, as well as represents a tribute to the self-transforming success and the rewriting of the terms of public discourse. Because of this, many white citizens fail to acknowledge their past, which cannot and should not be overlooked or changed to fit the current narrative of liberal democratic politics. What many fail to understand is that the history of white supremacy can teach the modern world that overcoming gaps between ethnic groups is imperative for reaching a great degree of unity and respect both in specific regions and worldwide.
White supremacy issues have been hidden from the mainstream narrative to shield people; however, it is imperative to include them in the discussion because racial division continues to persist, especially as the United States moves geographically from a white-majority to a nonwhite-majority society and the discontinuity between the First and Third world countries continues to deepen (Blow). It should be noted, though, that the said discontinuity is observed not only between the countries belonging to different income groups. Certain discrepancies exist and shape millions of people’s lives within the United States since it has yet to address the power dynamics properly.
One thing to highlight about White supremacy is that it is not an ideology imposed from top-down in its entirety. To a certain extent, it is: for instance, it is a well-known fact that the criminal justice system of the United States mistreats people of color. Statistically, out of the 2.2 million people in the country’s jails and prisons, Black people constitute one-third of the total number.
At the same time, a 2018 Pew Research Study revealed, African Americans make up only 12% of the US adult population (Chavis), which makes them disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system. Other sources report that African American men are incarcerated at more than five times the rate than While American men (Chavis). Racial bias in the criminal system is difficult to expose. White legal workers often manage to present the situation in a way that makes legal sense but falls short of justice and consistency when compared to similar cases involving white people.
With that being said, one should not forget that it is not only the government overtaking and directing the power dynamics. White supremacy permeates society at all levels and allows for bias in the most mundane, everyday interactions.
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This may include unequal treatment when hiring people of different racial backgrounds, handling credit scores, and deciding on whom to promote. This is exactly why it is so challenging to unveil and fight White supremacy – no number of laws and regulations are able to bring about a change that would transform the social sentiment once and for all. The demands of social justice grow louder and more intense, which is why it is imperative to acknowledge the existence of white supremacy, communicate its implications, and move forward as a society that is free of inequality and judgment.
The global polity throughout the centuries has been white-ruled, which allowed white supremacy to flourish. Learning the information about how racial dichotomization shaped our society is imperative for facilitating the discussion on the morality of supremacy and its adverse impact on the development of nations. While this information has not been taught before, it is opening new opportunities for historical exploration and the shaping of a worldview in which there is no place for the dominance of one race over another.
Therefore, naming global white supremacy and acknowledging its historical impact can become an imperative prerequisite for the issues concerning inequality to be honestly addressed. Another essential point to understand is that until populations of the white race admit the history of their supremacy over other races, they will continue to be complicit with it.
Blow, Charles. “White Supremacy Beyond a White Majority.” The New York Times, 2019. Web.
Chavis, Benjamin F. “Criminal Justice Reform Long Overdue for Black America.” The Philadelphia Tribune. 2018. Web.
Mills, Charles. “Global White Supremacy.” pp. 120-126.
Perez, Anthony Daniel, and Charles Hirschman. “The Changing Racial and Ethnic Composition of the US Population: Emerging American Identities.” Population and Development Review, vol. 35, no. 1, 2009, pp. 1-51.