Hello. This post is about my awakening to white supremacy. No I did not read books or listen to others. I went with my intuition. I was able to put sociological terms to it at a later time. This is about coming awake without the aid of such tools on my own. I first became aware of white supremacy at a very young age, three to be exact. My mother had taken me ‘trick or treating’. We came to this house and a white woman opened the door. Upon clapping eyes on me, she exclaimed to her husband; “Come here and look at the cute little nigger dear”! My mother became angry and took me home immediately. When I got home, I ran to my father laughing and informed him my mother had gotten mad at some lady because she called me an ‘eagle’! For the most part I have been laughing at these fools ever since.
Onwards and upwards of downwards however you wish to look at it, I further experienced white racism in school and with neighbours. At the time there were very few blacks in Toronto, or at least in the area I lived. Because black people were few and far between, I became easy prey for the blatant racism meted out by whites. This would include being bombarded with such names as nigger, spook, coon, jungle bunny, spear chucker and porch monkey, on a constant basis. I was constantly told that my hair looked like a brillo pad etc., etc. Some even went as far as to touch my hair whilst telling me this. It is a good thing I became an artist with my fist and feet! It also helped that I had other people who could educate me as to the mechanisms of white supremacy albeit in a crude and basic way (sometimes that is the best way!). I was not fed the ‘kumbaya’ can’t we all get along bullshit, rather, white folks weren’t and aren’t right, and they despise black people. Deconstructing white supremacy would come later with more education mostly sought out by myself. To date, I think most whites prefer to keep black folk in the dark, especially the ones who prefer to remain there, not me!
At a young age, for some reason, I was attracted to Ancient Egypt. When my parents took me to the museum or I went with my class, I inexplicably identified with them! These reliefs, paintings and other depictions, called to me as the subjects looked like me! Later I realised the depths of white supremacy when the ancient Egyptians were written as ‘white’ or referred to as such. Something told me, an inkling one could say, that this was sheer and utter crap. I started to notice that white supremacy permeated every aspect of society, this realization coupled with the racist name calling, still, however, it was a ‘feeling’. Being a kid one couldn’t expect me to put terms to it, all I knew was that they were mostly if not all racist. In the future I would be bombarded with the colour-blind bullshit but I ignored it. When I chose to comment on it in my child’s mind, it was to disdain it. You see, the whites always came out on top. I also realized that they need black folks to look down on in order to feel ‘superior’ and good about themselves. That is the gist of their racism in a nutshell; ‘cant ‘let go of our ‘supremacy’ along with the power and privileges that go with it,’ can we now?, seems to be their canard.
‘There is nothing new under the sun’ as the old axiom goes! Many blacks I came across were not immune to the white wash and I have met many! As a child I noticed another trend among some blacks and that was the ‘go along to get along’ mentality. If you can’t beat them join them as it were! These same kids would let themselves be subjected to degradations such as ‘nigger’ jokes and laugh along with the white kids until they themselves were called nigger (or nigger wakeup calls as the Yanks refer to it). These same incipient kerchief heads would laugh at and torment other racialized people and fellow blacks. Suffice it to say, they didn’t get very far. Hopefully they woke up and snapped out of it! Perversely, I am glad I got mine when I was three as I didn’t have to waste time being totally ignorant, knowing something was ‘up’ but not what. It progressed from there. Rather than internalize it, I decided to educate myself as I sure as hell didn’t get any black history education in school. I am glad I did. I was also educated about my family history. I can trace my lineage back a few hundred years. I started to study black history from a young age as I was, am, a voracious reader. A word of advice, if you are not taught your family and black history, seek it out. Learning about yourself and your people goes a long way in arming yourself against the racist onslaught whether overt or covert. Once you get hip to the time of day it is, you see the absurdity in these people and hopefully are able to laugh at much of their shenanigans for the most part, in the least you can just shake your head. The blacks who are unaware, even at a visceral level will be in for a rough ride. ‘Woe is me’ has never been my clarion call! Did I ever have moments of doubt? Sure, but upon reflection I gave my head a shake and got over it. I learned that in order to navigate your way through a white supremacist society you must empathetically know yourself. Foremost, I have to thank my elders, especially my grandmother for beginning my education. As long as whites cling to the mantle of ‘whiteness’, there will be no surcease in the foreseeable future. I am beginning to think racism is inherent in their nature. Who am I kidding? I know it is no matter how well meaning, nice, or kind and caring they may appear. Racism surfaces eventually believe me. One coping mechanism is to laugh at them. Seek out other blacks of like mind. Go with your intuition if it hasn’t been squelched yet. If you can, try to ‘wake’ others up’. To those who are not, wake up!
Part II, Introduction to Code upcoming.
White Supremacy in a nutshell, at least of the more benign kind! Kenny sed tho.