After a joint investigation by media outlets, government officials and people gifted with a rare superpower called “eyesight,” a small group of Americans have uncovered the existence of a previously unknown, widespread phenomenon that they are now calling “white supremacy.”
Exactly one year before a gunman burst into a place of worship and opened fire in Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue, in an article that now seems as antiquated as a scientific journal distancing itself from spurious claims about the earth being round, Bloomberg’s Megan McArdle warned this writer to “Be Careful Who You Call A White Supremacist.” Yes. She actually wrote that. Even more telling, a formerly credible news outlet published it.
My, how things have changed.
Now Caucasian journalists are expecting to share the Pulitzer Prize for Whiteness after their grueling investigative work revealed the discovery late last week. While a group of social scientists known collectively as “the blacks” have talked about the possibility for centuries, before news outlets began acknowledging the existence of institutional white supremacy last week, experts regarded any reference to the phenomenon as an unproven hypothesis.
Today people across the political and social spectrum are bristling at Trump’s assertion that he, alone, can fix America’s immigration problem with an executive order banning birthright citizenship. NBC proudly quoted Jess Morales Rocketto, who noted that the proposal is tantamount to “ethnic cleansing” while a Newsweek headline called it the goal of white nationalists” similar to when The Root said the same thing about the Trump Administration’s policies two weeks after Trump was inaugurated.
On Wednesday (which is today, if you’re counting) The New York Times published a piece about Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) meeting with Holocaust deniers at Auschwitz, a Nazi Concentration camp, because he wanted to get a “second opinion” on the Holocaust. The piece laid out King’s long history of white nationalism that they could have easily discovered by listening to black people or reading The Root when we discussed it here, here, here, here, here, here and here (more than two years ago when we tried to alert our readers about this little-known group called the “alt-right”).
But now Times’ award-winning Journalists have revealed King’s tendencies in a new peer-reviewed (and by “peer” we mean “white”) article, appropriately called “The White Supremacist Congressman.”
After a man in Louisville, Ken. allegedly targeted African Americans in what authorities are investigating as a “hate crime,” and another suspect reportedly mailed bombs to politicians, journalists and others targeted by Donald Trump’s incendiary rhetoric, many news outlets are now starting to warn their respective audiences about the inherent danger of hate speech.
The Week recently discovered that black people had already known about this possibility.
They seemed shocked to discover an appalling lack of black journalists in newsrooms even though those black writers were desperately trying to alert the public to this danger, writing:
Back in 2016, these journalists of color all used their platforms to send a warning about the racist undertones of Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. All too often these writers were dismissed as alarmists, or as race-obsessed practitioners of “identity politics.” But as the events in Pittsburgh last weekend and those in Louisville last week have demonstrated, these writers were absolutely right.
This country needs more minority journalists in its newsrooms. And we fellow Americans need to do a better job of listening to them.
I’m not sure if The Week meant this as an apology or an acknowledgment, but during a discussion among a wide swath of journalists of color, the consensus was clear: It was whiteness defined.
It’s the same thing as Caitlyn Jenner ignoring Trump’s racism, sexism, Islamophobia and xenophobia to support him then withdrawing her support when it directly affected her. It’s like Taylor Swift saying nothing about her Alt-Right supporters using her as their mascot until she finished stuffing her pockets with their money and decided to speak out the day after concluding her wildly successful North American tour, getting much kudos.
White Supremacy is a cancer.
Politicians, the media and white America as a whole, all made the conscious decision to disregard the symptoms until they were impossible to ignore. Either white supremacy didn’t exist before last Monday or white people considered it a benign lump in their otherwise healthy society. As it spread, they were willing to pretend their country wasn’t suffering from an illness even though they saw black America coughing up blood.
Oh, what a privilege whiteness must be.
To be so immune from the danger of bombastic hate speech that you consider it a “freedom” or a “right.” To feel bullet-proof in Kroger, a Charleston, SC, church or a Pittsburgh synagogue. To chuckle as the most powerful man in the world fills his cabinet with people who would have you wiped from the face of the earth. To watch the leader of the free world dog-whistle to his lunatic fans that they should punch you in the face. To not be called a “rapist,” a “thug” an “animal” or an “enemy of the people.” To equivocate with righteous indignation and parse his words as if they were impotent blunders.
Maybe black people are clairvoyant. Perhaps we were ahead of our time when we pointed at disproportionate police killings, school inequality, criminal justice disparities, unemployment, unequal wages, voter suppression and the centuries of institutional racism that America ignores as if it were a roach sauntering across a kitchen floor when company came over. Of course this nation doesn’t have white supremacy. Our neighbors might, but not us. We’ve never even seen it before and we have no idea how it got here.
So go on, ye brave unravelers of reality. Feel free to keep pursuing happiness. Celebrate your liberty. And most importantly, enjoy life, because yours is not in danger. It is us.
It is always us.
Congratulations on your discovery.