Black People Can Never Be Respectable Enough (White Discomfort with the words ‘White Supremacy’)

(it looks like I might have to do a thread on respectability politics, so this will fit in somewhere)

ok….since some of y’all are determined to stay willfully ignorant, let’s start with the actual definition of ‘white supremacy’:


the belief, theory, or doctrine that white people are inherently superior to people from all other racial groups, especially black people, and are therefore rightfully the dominant group in any society.                    [Random House Dictionary]

now….before you good white liberals hit my comments section to tell me that it’s only those other white people who believe that (those in the white hoods and so on), explain to me why there are CONFEDERATE statues in northern cities? Schools named after Robert E. Lee in northern cities? Why there was a Calhoun College AT YALE? [I do actually know why]  Confederate flags being flown from  Maine to Minnesota to Washington State and lots of other places in between?

If it’s only those others who believe in white supremacy, then explain all the surveys and polls that show that 25-30% of white liberals believe that blacks are inherently more violent or genetically not as smart as white people. Really, I would love to hear that explanation.

And on the UU front….
Have you heard of Ethelred Brown? And you really want to tell me that white supremacy isn’t in the DNA of the UUA.
Why is it that we can count the number of ministers of color who are solo or lead minister on a couple of hands? Yet people of color have been trying to be a part of the U/U/UU ministry since 1860?

Here are some other questions I have for those of you who are itching to come into my comments with the “not all white people” line…..
-When and where was your congregation founded?
-Has your congregation moved since its founding? If so, when? And to where?
-How close is your congregation to public transportation? (this is a class issue as well as a race issue)
-Did your congregation have discriminatory membership by-laws at any point? (a number of U/U congregations did at the time of merger)

I’ve been around Unitarian Universalists for more than a minute. I also have been involved in the criminal justice/drug law/prison reform-abolition movement since I was a teenager. I can tell you stories about what you good white liberals were saying about these issues when the face of addiction was black/brown. I can also tell you how you same good white liberals are talking about these issues now that the face of addiction is white. But please…tell me how this is not white supremacy.

Tell me how its not white supremacy that public schools are more segregated now than they were in 1954 when Brown v. Board of Education was handed down from the Supreme Court?

Tell me how its not white supremacy when, in case after case, those black/brown slaughtered by police have to be saintly in order to elicit sympathy from the white public. Don’t believe me…just look at how Tamir Rice was treated. There was nothing that could be pinned on him so people went trolling after his parents. Or how people tried to find something in Sandra Bland’s background.

White supremacy means that no matter what we do, black people (and brown and Indigenous people) can never be respectable enough to be deserving of anything resembling compassion or justice in the minds and systems that white people set up.

W.E.B. DuBois is credited with saying, “A system cannot fail those it was never meant to protect.” White supremacy was set up to destroy black/brown/Indigenous bodies.

I’m sorry if black/brown/Indigenous people calling white supremacy “white supremacy” offends your delicate, fragile white sensibilities. Actually, I’m not sorry. Because you good white liberals have made deals with the devil (often members of your family) for time immemorial. Now that you’re being called on your complicity, it hurts. Oh well.

When you good white liberals are the first ones to condemn those who are saying people calling for the removal of confederate statues should be lynched (I’m assuming that you’ve heard about the state Rep. in Mississippi who called for that); when you stand up to your family members and tell them to get a clue because the Civil War was about slavery, then maybe we can move forward. Until then your discomfort and offense at being lumped in with those other white people when you hear the words “white supremacy” is not my concern.


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