Another reason people can’t admit white supremacy is a crisis
Hey, I’m not a historian, I’m not a sociologist, or anything close. I’m just a guy who wanders and kicks around a few thoughts.
Lately, I’ve been talking to myself about the compartmentalization of white supremacy.
That’s the only way I can explain the glaring hypocrisies that hit me.
I’m slapped in the head by hypocrisies like:
How did our “founding fathers” talk and write about equality and freedom while owning slaves?
And why didn’t the “founding fathers” who were opposed to slavery do more?
Why didn’t Patrick Henry think people who looked like me wanted liberty too?
How did white people stand with smiles under the bodies hanging from trees?
How did those people bow their heads, read their Bibles, say the Lord’s prayer, and go to church?
How did the nation allow Black soldiers to fight with no reason to win?
How ridiculous was it to heap praise and shun certain Black actors, musicians, and athletes?
And, what does all that look like today?
These are questions we must wrestle with beyond saying, “that was just the times.”
“That was just the times” leaves those of us on the ropes hanging and it lets others off their hooks.
My parents told me, “they weren’t talking about us when they wrote those nice words on paper.”
That was all understood at the time, but today it’s not always so clear.
Today, I still struggle when I hear political rhetoric. I always wonder if they are talking to me. I try to listen carefully to hear if my name is called.
But what I hear is unclear because people compartmentalize white supremacy.
By white supremacy, I’m talking about the systems and sentiments that uphold whiteness to reign and be superior.
I often wonder, why the founding fathers didn’t do more with their words?
Instead, the leaders compartmentalized white supremacy, and the lines on paper were lies for those living in color.
And so, white supremacy continues to travel through time in compartments.
It rides along in comfort even as it contradicts our best ideals.
The white supremacy compartment makes it harder to dismantle white supremacy, and easier for it to survive.
A society sprung up, pretending to be democratic while compartmentalizing white supremacy.
And what the nation does, the people do. And what the people do, the nation does.
Everyday people still compartmentalize white supremacy. People coexist with the contradictions between the ideal of equality and our lived experiences.
People who deny the existence of race, deny white power, and deny white privilege may have white supremacy in a compartment.
Given the current state of our society, all claims of “colorblindness” compartmentalize white supremacy.
And, people who do and say nothing about it also compartmentalize white supremacy.
A compartment of white supremacy is not the possession of white people alone. Even people of color can be possessed by white supremacy.
When a brown-skinned person stares at themselves in a mirror and says they are attractive — but then says no one of their hue is attractive too — something is wrong. That’s a white supremacy compartment in brown skin.
White supremacy is a shape-shifter that wants to deform us all. Over time, it burrows and hides deep in mental compartments. It blocks some people from seeing the chain-links from white supremacy to social issues.
Maybe if the founding fathers had dealt with their compartmentalization, it’d be easier for the nation to confess and repent.
You might know compartmentalization is a defense mechanism against cognitive dissonance.
People who compartmentalize may also rationalize and deny their behaviors and conflicting ideas.
That rationalization blocks the guilt while goodness grieves. And of course, compartmentalization numbs empathy for others.
This compartmentalization is an example of a fractured mind. It’s the opposite of a united state.
There’s no way to build a union when “compromise” is the same as compartmentalize.
A compartmentalized mind will separate and segregate aspects of its being and believing. That could be why the system of segregation flowed from compartmentalized minds.
When someone classifies others as only all good or all bad that’s a symptom of several disorders. And, that’s what the United States did.
The whole system of white supremacy is disordering and reacts like borderline personality disorder with dichotomous thinking.
And, the ways white supremacy is compartmentalized adds up:
I’d say the confederate flags, statues, and names in our country are white supremacy compartmentalized.
I’d say what we do to Native people and our anti-immigration stance are white supremacy compartmentalized.
Every stat with a gap for people of color is white supremacy compartmentalized.
Every murder by the police of an unarmed Black person, or those with rightful possession, is white supremacy compartmentalized.
And so, it’s no surprise that the Trump administration is white supremacy compartmentalized.
Many Trump voters compartmentalized by voting for Donald Trump.
Many members of Congress compartmentalize as they “govern” under Trump.
White supremacy that’s compartmentalized is still complacent, complicit, and dangerous.
And the longer white supremacy is compartmentalized the more desensitized people become.
The work that’s needed is integration, they call it an integrated mind.
An integrated mind will resolve the dissonance. And, in this case, we want white supremacy to fail and fall. That’s a reason to fight segregation and integrate our lives. People still compartmentalize while connected, but it becomes harder.
The white supremacy compartment is self-locking, and it may not open by itself.
It resists and resents being exposed. We can break it open when we call it out and call out the goodness.
Fortunately, our founding fathers did leave just enough goodness in our laws.
They left just enough promise on paper to create dissonance and expose the compartmentalization.
In our history, that’s how several laws were overturned and new ones were passed. There was just enough equality espoused to force people to face and hear their hypocrisy.
This is what John F. Kennedy was saying in his speech about “The Moral Crisis,” of our nation.
We still have many moral crises in this country. And yes, lip service leaves us lacking, but many leaders today won’t even open their mouths on the subjects.
People who think we’re done are stuck in the white supremacy compartment. And, we need a wrecking crew for laws and minds.
At every level, exposing the compartmentalization of white supremacy is vital to its decay and demise.
And then, we must call on the goodness in us to integrate.
Could it be deep down most of us have just enough goodness to breakthrough?
That’s what we believe for democracies, right?
So, that’s what we must believe for us as individuals.
I believe there’s just enough goodness inside us too, how about you?
I’m sure we can all agree a breakthrough is long past due.
Writer’s note: I write about white supremacy here, but I have other issues in mind too. It would also be compartmentalization to focus only on white supremacy. It’s a must that we connect all the dots to all the social issues and deal with our dissonance. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”