THE WAGES OF WHITENESS

Over at Rachel’s Tavern, she put up a post on how her pregnancy is going. She asked her readers what they thought of a nurse writing down information concerning Rachel’s racial ethnicity. In her post (  http://www.rachelstavern.com/?p=888 )she wrote the following:

******”As I learned forward to correct or clarify some piece of information, I noticed that the form also asked for race and the medical assistant didn’t ask me for race. She filled in the box with the letters “OT.” This piqued my attention, so I watched the screen for the rest of the check in.  At some point, we repeated the demographic variables and again, she didn’t ask for race; she just filled in the box with “OT.”  I’m not 100% sure what “OT” means. The two possibilities I thought of were “other” or “off topic.” My guess would be “other.”*****”

 

Rachel asked her readers what they thought of what this nurse did, and why she did it. That was interesting for the nurse to put the abbreviation “OT” down, (as Rachel is an obvious white woman), which could possibly have been an abbreviation for “Other”.

But, it was a statement that a frequent reader left that caught my interest. Ron, left this comment, a part of what I will post here:

 “Italians and Jewish people are only recently received their honorary white status.”

 

My response to Ron:

At the beginning of the last century, (starting around approximately 1890 through 1940) Italians, Greeks, Armenians, etc., were considered “in-betweens”…neither white…nor black, upon arrival to America.

They were not at first considered “white” by native-born American whites. In fact, Italians were considered sub-human in the eyes of native-born whites. In order for Italians, Greeks, etc. to achieve “whiteness” they had to align themselves with whites against black citizens.

Even though there were some Italians in the American South who worked in solidarity in employing blacks, this type of racial coalition was hated by native Southern racist whites. Because Italians in Louisiana worked with black people in humane ways, racist whites felt that Italians were getting too close to blacks in solidarity. When in 1891 a white sheriff was murdered (supposedly by an Italian) in New Orleans, whites rose up against the Italian community and lynched 11 Italians who were accused of killing him.

Many Eastern/Southern Europeans who came to this country WERE NOT WHITE upon arrival. They had to work their way towards whiteness, many times at the expense of those same black citizens they worked with, as well as those same citizens whose black neighborhoods many of them (Italians, Greeks, etc.) lived in, or in close proximity to.

Over the next decades, there would soon be Italians, as well as Greeks, in lynch mobs and race riot mobs against black people.

Today many Italians, and other ethnic whites do not know of the bloody history many of those groups had against their fellow black citizens.

The wages of whiteness in the ethnic whites desires to achieve the property of whiteness caused them to choose between solidarity between blacks or side with the whites in order to maintain the possessiveness of whiteness. Race is a social construct. Race (“whiteness”) is made in America. It changes and moves back and forth between the accepted (whites), those working their way towards acceptance (ethnic whites and others), and those who will never be accepted (black Americans).

The pitting of non-blacks against blacks started centuries ago with Bacon’s Rebellion, when propertied whites drove a wedge between free blacks, enslaved blacks, Indians and poor whites.

Ever since then the wages of whiteness has exacted a terrifying assault upon blacks (victims of race hatred from those groups who wished to “become white” to escape the hatreds of the dominant white race) and what the many ethnic whites had to give up to accomplish their whiteness:

-Many Anglicized their names to accomplish acceptance in the eyes of native-born whites;
-Many had to cut ties with the black community or risk the wrath of racist attacks of whites;
-Many worked with racist leaders of unions which kept blacks out of those unions, in order for those ethnic whites to gain employment, and therefore, better wages;

Today, I do not look upon Italians as “whites”. Yes, their ancestors mixed with black North Africans, which is why Sicilians/Sardinians are dark-complected, as well as Greeks, and many other Mediterraneans. Also, some Italians carry the gene for Sickle Cell Anemia, just as some black Americans.

But, they became white at a terrible cost to them…..as well as to black people.

Because Italians, Jews, Greeks, and others “worked” their way towards whiteness, I cannot consider them as white.

The racist, social construct of “whiteness” is mutable. Whiteness is fluid, an identity that changes at the whim of racist white supremacy. Which is why the Italians became white , the Armenians became white , the Jews became white , ……..the Irish became white.

That Anglo-WASP, white-dominated America made Eastern/Southern Europeans have to make a choice between black Americans and whiteness is another unforgivable sin this country will continue to have to bear just as it will continue to have to bear America’s original sins of Native American genocide, chattel inhuman slavery, mass barbaric gang-rapes of black women and girls during slavery (well as during segregation) as well as all of the many atrocities America has forced on ALL of her citizens.

In the case of Italians, I do not consider them white because that is what white-dominated America declared them after she felt they had sufficiently proved themselves white in her eyes. I simply consider them Italian (if from the country) or Italian-American, if American born. On the other hand, I do not consider them black either just because they have African blood from their male Roman ancestors mixing with Ethiopian, Somalian, Moroccan and other North/East African women in the past.
 WHITENESS.

Just because white-dominated America says it is so, does not make it so.

Just because whites say that Asians are the Model Minority does not make it so.

Just because whites say that Africans and Afro-Carribeans, Brazilians, etc.,  are more harder workers than blacks does not make it so.

White people do not have the last word on anyone’s humanity.

White supremacy has lorded its atrocities over every race/ethnic group that has lived in this country, and that is how white-dominated America has perverted this country with the viciousness of whiteness and all the cruelties it has wrought.

Just as black Americans are a hybrid race (due to rapes of white and Native American slavers), with African blood, so too are Italians and many other Mediterraneans a hybrid group of people.

Race-mixing between Romans occurred due to the Conquest of the Roman Empire, and the conquering of Italy, Spain and other parts of Southern Europe by black-skinned Arabs.

Just as the Southern Europeans changed in skin color, phenotype and even hair texture, so too did the Arabs also change as well, with just as many of them becoming light in skin color as the Italians became dark in skin color.

Just as Italians, Irish, etc., became white in the eyes of white-dominated America, so too can other non-blacks who are pitted against black people, also become white, in the future.

It has been done before (Italians, Greeks, Polish, Jews, and others pitted against blacks), just as it is being done now with Asians, Latinos, Arabs, pitted against blacks as paragons of models of virtues. As models of hard work ethics, thrift, law-abiding and patriotic–values that are found in all racial/ethnic groups–yes, gasp!–values found in black citizens just like any other human beings in this country.

This hatred of blackness is as old as America, and will not relent as long as America refuses to own up to her racist past of racial abominations against her black citizens, abominations that carry a heavy price for all of us.

For the former immigrant groups of Jews, Irish, Italians, Greeks and others, whiteness has come at a high cost.

The solidarity that could have occurred between blacks and ethnic whites was destroyed by the heavy hand of white supremacy, and the fear of ethnic whites of too closely aligning themselves with their fellow black citizens.

I oftentimes find myself wondering if today’s ethnic whites question themselves as to was it worth it for the ethnic whites to become white, even at the cost of thousands of lives of many black people who were destroyed in this process.

Was it worth it?

Was it worth it to turn your backs on a race of people who never did your groups any harm?

Was it worth it to obtain by any means necessary–your ethnic enclaves, your economic outpacing of black people due to institutionalized economic/social/residential/legal/educational racism?

Was it worth it to obtain the homes many of you live in today, homes of your parents and grandparents, homes obtained much due to redlining, racist practices of federal applications of FHA housing loans that favored ethnic whites over blacks? Racist applications of bank loans that gave a lift up to ethnic whites, but not to blacks?

Was it worth it to participate in bloody race mob riots against your fellow black citizens…race riots that occurred across America.

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The Irish in the Chicago Race Riot of 1919, a vicious massacre that grew out of escalating tensions on the Southside, where Irish descendants and black Americans competed for jobs at the stockyards, and where both were crowded into substandard housing.

“If the grand jury investigating the white-on-black violence during the 1919 race riot  in Chicago is to be believed, Irish American gangs played a central role in attempting to extend the bloodshed. Members of Ragen’s Colts, one of the leading gangs, disguised themselves in blackface in order to set fire to Polish and Lithuanian neighborhoods in the Back of the Yards area. Their hope was to draw the immigrant population into bloody reprisals against African Americans. Two years later, Ragen’s Colts again mounted the barricades, hanging in effigy a Ku Klux Klansman in the opening salvo of a successful campaign to isolate and drive from Chicago an organization known for violence against southern African Americans, but now focused on Roman Catholics and Jews as threats to American culture and society. In that incarnation, the Colts battled the forces of intolerance. Thus Ragen’s Colts symbolized the bizarre extremes of racial intolerance and terror in early-twentieth-century Chicago.

“The two faces of Ragen’s Colts will almost inevitably strike contemporary readers as contradictory: at one moment deceptive, vile, and exclusionary and at the next campaigning against icons of hatred. However, such contradictions go to the heart of Chicago’s history as well. In the city’s past and present, two images contend. One emphasizes the astonishing cultural variety and vibrant cultural exchanges nourished in an atmosphere of tolerance. The other stresses how quickly and ruthlessly racial lines have been or can be drawn in the city sometimes called the nation’s “most segregated,” one that helped to teach Martin Luther King about a racism he had not encountered in the South.

 “To move beyond explaining away such contradictions as simply “paradoxes” requires coming to grips with the chilling extent to which processes of racial exclusion were part and parcel of building increasingly inclusive unities among European immigrants as white Americans. During the 1919 race riot, the blackface arson came in response to the lack of interest among Eastern European immigrants in brutalizing blacks. Some Poles argued that the riot was a conflict between blacks and whites, with Poles abstaining because they belonged to neither group. Indeed the Poles and Lithuanians might well have hated each other more than either group hated African Americans. Thus the racially disguised terror committed by the Irish American gang members was not only an act of racism. It was, perversely, also an act of inclusion, reaching out to newer Roman Catholic immigrants who did not have a secure place in U.S. systems of racial privilege and who did not sufficiently identify and act as whites. In that sense the arson served as a fit prelude to militant, but not interracial, protest against the Klan’s attempts to restrict the white race to Protestant Anglo-Saxondom.” (4)

Chicago-race-riot.jpg
A white gang looking for black citizens during the Chicago race riots of 1919.

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The Irish in the East St.Louis Race Riot of July 1, 1917, a rioting slaughter which killed hundreds of black residents of East St. Louis, many of whom were women and children.

“The Italians in the 1890 Spring Valley Race Riots (or the “Spring Valley Massacre” as it is known of among some black citizens). This historical account of how Italians brutally slaughtered defenseless black citizens occurred on August 4, 1895, when a mob of more than 800 Italian American miners marched from Spring Valley to the settlement of black American miners 2 miles west of town, led by an Italian American marching band as a sort of disguise. “The residents, therefore, remained in their homes and did not react to the oncoming mob,” writes historian, Felix Armfield, who then quotes the account in the New York Times:

“Italians fell upon them like a lot of Apache Indians. Men were dragged from their homes, clubbed, trampled upon, and made targets for the shotguns, rifles, and small arms that the mob had brought with them. The women were insulted, slapped, and two of them, while begging for mercy, were shot down and fatally injured. No one was safe from the mob. Men, women, and children, infants, the elderly, and even invalids were attacked.”

“The rioting continued, and on the second day the Italian miners announced, “The Black Men Must Go.” Writing in 1945, historians Arna Bontemps and Jack Conroy summarized,  “Nobody knows exactly how many Negroes died before the tumult subsided, but as the years went by colored folks, at least, referred to the incident as the ‘Spring Valley Massacre’. ” (3) (c)

Even in the creation of sundown towns, ethnic whites eventually allowed themselves to be pitted against their fellow black citizens.

In multi-ethnic towns, black citizens increasingly served as the main function of America’s primary out-group, anti-neighbor…anti-citizen:

“Black citizens very presence—or, even better, their mandated absence—by definition grouped all European ethnics as white. White ethnic groups more and more distanced themselves from black Americans during the Nadir, and even some multi-ethnic towns went sundown. The history of Granite City, Illinois, across the Mississippi from St. Louis, illustrates this sordid process. Between 1900 and 1910, hundreds of new immigrants, mostly from Macedonia and Bulgaria, poured into Granite City:

“Poorly paid, they lived in pathetic squalor, ignorant of American institutions, according to a book published in 1971, Granite City’s 75th birthday. Nevertheless, Granite City at least tolerated and sometimes welcomed these white ethnic group members. They were non-black, which was more important than being  non-American. Precisely at this time, Granite City expelled its black Americans. The white ethnics had started at the bottom, in competition with black people, but driving the black people from Granite City erased that memory over the decades.

“Moreover, when WASP, Irish, Polish, Greek, Italian, and now Macedonian and Bulgarian Americans joined to expel or keep out black Americans around 1903, the whites were now united. No longer could Poles be used against Germans, or Italians against Poles. And no longer could black Americans even live in the community.

“By 1971, Macedonian American and Bulgarian American children were fully accepted, while black Americans whose ancestors had been in this country for seven generations, were still totally excluded.” (1) (c)

Even this website on Granite City, Illinois shows the callous disregard for the blacks who were driven out and erased from the collective memory of Granite City’s true history:

“During the years the plant thrived, it drew many immigrants from Central Europe to Granite City. They brought a strong work ethic and an eagerness to do well in this new country. The plant also attracted other heavy industrial firms to the city. Granite City Steel was one of them and remains one of the city’s leading industrial firms.

Today, Granite City is a bustling community with a diverse roster of business and industry. A solid citizenry preserves the city’s Central European heritage along with many of the homes and buildings constructed as the city grew. A cluster of flags from 17 Central European nations surrounds the flag of the United States in a downtown park, symbols of the city’s recognition of its origins.”

SOURCE

Today Granite City is called an “All-American City”, which translates into a city for whites. As of the 2000 Census, only 1.99% of black Americans live in Granite City. 

SOURCE

Even the unemployment rate for black women is excessively high, compared to other groups in Granite City:

Unemployment rate for Black females: 18.9%

SOURCE

The ethnic whites were now fully white, able to live and move about the country as full citizens and human beings, while their fellow black citizens were herded into vicious slums and deplorable housing conditions in the North, and bantustan homeland neighborhoods in the South.

White ethnic solidarity often led to predominantly white unions, as well as white sundown towns.

Ethnic whites also became more anti-black towards black citizens as much as native-born whites.

“Irish Americans especially were the most virulent in their racist hatred towards back Americans. This mainly stemmed from economic competition between blacks and Irish, especially in jobs. Irish drove blacks from occupation after occupation in eastern cities. Occupations such as union jobs that heavily shut out blacks:  railroad employment, construction, and in some places from meat-packing, lumber, as well as mining. Then in the words of Noel Ignatiev, author of How The Irish Became White:

“To avoid the taint of blackness it was necessary that no Negro be allowed to work in occupation where Irish were to be found. Still better was to erase the memory that Afro-Americans had ever done those jobs.”

“Finally, white ethnics became regular Americans, while black citizens were not allowed to do so. (And still are not allowed to do so.) Even when Irish, Polish, Italian or Greek American newcomers” entered as strike breakers during union strikes, in competition with older groups of white Americans (Anglo/WASP), eventually the American part of their identity became more important than the foreign part.” (2) (c)

Eventually the Irish, Italian, Greek and others became white often at the bloody, violent expense of their fellow black citizens.

Across the history of America, white ethnic hatred of black Americans has been caught not only in newspaper articles and historical periodicals, but, also via video and photography. The virulent hatred of their fellow black citizens shown by Irish, Italian and others knew no bounds in cities and towns across the North, cities such as Chicago, Illinois as well as New York City, New York, Philadelphia, PA, and Boston, MA:

 

The Soiling of Old Glory

Although Jews are still subjected to anti-Semitism, they nonetheless have been permitted to move from the category of non-white to white – a change having nothing to do with any change in the shade of skin. In fact, Jews owe their postwar upward mobility very much to the creation of the  GI Bill(officially titled Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, P.L. 78-346, 58 Stat.. 284m) , which was only instituted in order to head off the angry,  unemployed ex-soldiers from WWI and WWII.

 The same has been true for Italians, the Irish, and other ethnic groups.

Was it worth it, Jewish Americans, Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, Greek-, Lithuanian-, Polish-, and all other ethnic Americans?

Was it worth all the blood and destruction of your fellow black Americans for your ethnic groups to become white?

Was…it…worth…it?

*****************************************

REFERENCES:

 

1.    Granite City Public Library, 75TH Year Celebration of the City of Granite City, Illinois (Granite City: n.p., 1971); “Whiteness of a Different Color” by, Matthew  Jacobson, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998).

2.    “How the Irish Became White“, by Noel Ignatiev, New York Routledge, 1995.

3.    “Anyplace But Here“, by Arna Bontemps and Jack Conroy, New York: Hill & Wang, 1966:

 

a.

b.
c.
Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism by James W. Loewen (Paperback – Oct 3, 2006)
3.8 out of 5 stars (23)
 
 
 
 
d.
e.
4.7 out of 5 stars   (6)
g.
5.0 out of 5 stars   (1)
h.
Product Details
Possessive Investment In Whiteness
 – Paperback (June 30, 1998) by George Lipsitz
3.7 out of 5 stars   (11)

4.    “Racism, Ethnicity, and White Identity”,  David Roediger:  http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/1033.html

5.     “Chicago Race Riots”, Steven Essig: http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/1032.html

6.      “Irish”,  Ellen Skerrett:  http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/652.html

7.      “Restrictive Covenants”, Arnold R. Hirsch:  http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/1067.html

8.       “Redlining”, D. Bradford Hunt:  http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/1050.html

9.       DATABASE OF 415 RACIAL RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS FROM KING COUNTY RECORDER’S OFFICE 

10.     ALLEN: “ON ROEDIGGER’S  ‘WAGES OF WHITENESS “

11.      RACE TALK: “A REFLECTION ON THE WAGES OF WHITENESS: VIOLENCE AND THE POLITICS OF PRIVILEGE IN THE UAH SHOOTINGS”

12.     STUDS TERKEL: CONVERSATIONS WITH AMERICA: RECORDINGS FROM RACE

13.     “‘No Irish Need Apply’: A Myth of Victimization.”

16 Comments

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16 responses to “THE WAGES OF WHITENESS

  1. Adam

    Hi Ann,

    Good and thoughtful post.

    As I consider your post and my own life as a Dad raising three children, I realize that I would do well by telling my children both the best and the worst about the Irish and Irish-Americans (my background.) Yes, our history is bound up deeply with that of our fellow citizens of African ancestry.

    I was in a book store last night with my wife and I walked over to one of the promotional tables for St. Patrick’s Day to look at the many books on history, folklore, and non fiction. Being of Irish-descent, I have always been interested in the culture and history of the Irish people both abroad and in the U.S. The table next to it was the Black History table with many authors from 19th and 20th centuries up to the present. Of course, I have had a deep interest in our nation’s black history as long as I can remember. I paused to consider how horrible my ancestors have been to black citizens. In the face of historical abuses by the British, our compassion and empathy seemed to vanish as we flooded into places like Boston, New York, and Chicago. Our once deeply held Roman Catholic faith became a shell that we wore.

    For me, Ann, it does bring me pain (as it should) when I consider the treatment that my people dished out to their black counterparts. I remember how I felt when I learned that Daniel O’Connell, the 19th century statesman from Ireland, came to the U.S. and warned people of Irish-descent that turning their backs on their black counterparts was a denial of their Christian faith.

    Though I am taking my children to the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago in mid-March, I find it fitting to visit the DuSable Museum of African-American History and Culture as well.

    Ethnic pride is fine, but I believe it should be balanced with sobriety of thought and judgment. One must accept the worst and the best of his/her ethnic history and culture. There are many splendid things that have rolled out of Ireland and there are things I honestly wish would have never happened.

    I feel some encouragement when I read how Irish Catholic leaders in the U.S. helped in the struggle for Civil Rights. (Though their role could have been much larger.) Yet, their subordinates who wore the badges in the large cities were not sympathetic.

    In response to your question(s), “Was it worth it?”
    To begin with, I stop to consider the very high rates of depression and suicide in white men in the U.S. I stop to consider the compulsion white men have to tie their identities in with their careers and to chase that dangling carrot. I stop to consider how isolated white men are from one another – how our conversations with each other over lunch do not rise above sports, our businesses, jokes, cars, and maybe politics. And how it takes a near- death experience to reorient one’s thinking about what is important in life – your relationships, your role and investment in your community, faith in God, etc.

    On a more personal level, when I stop to consider how wonderfully I have been treated by black men and women in my adult life, I feel a deep sense of loss that so few relationships have developed between myself and my black cohorts.

    All The Best,

    Adam

  2. Ann

    Adam:

    “On a more personal level, when I stop to consider how wonderfully I have been treated by black men and women in my adult life, I feel a deep sense of loss that so few relationships have developed between myself and my black cohorts. ”

    And why is that?

    What stopped you, when you became an adult, from creating and maintaining close, personal, long-standing, long-term commitment relationships with your fellow black citizens?

    What stopped you from inviting them over to your home? And lets not just stop at black men as if they and they alone represent the black race.

    What about your might-have-been relationships with black women? Did they ever figure into your mind as potential friends?

    Have you ever had black “friends” (and I use the word friends with great reservation, because what many people call friends, are not real friend relationships; not even aquaintance relationships) spend the night in your home? Invited over for dinner? Do you have black neighbors? Are most of or all of your neighbors the accepted non-blacks that so many white people run after? Are most or all of your neighbors in your close circle (socializing buddies, etc.) non-black?

    Going to work with black co-workers will not do it for America.

    Not as long as black citizens remain pariahs in all of America’s eyes, still suffering from residential segregation; the majority of America which stands back and continues to watch how white-run America still shittyly disregards and denigrates her black citizens.

    “On a more personal level, when I stop to consider how wonderfully I have been treated by black men and women in my adult life….”

    I wonder how many black citizens can be able to state what you write. How many black citizens can say, “I have had many white men and women treat me ‘wonderfully’. I guarantee you that there are very few black people who can say that.

    Thank you for stopping by, Adam.

  3. Adam

    Ann,

    I always appreciate your pointed questions. ; )

    My social landscape is changing now. The relationships are few, but they are there. Mainly two couples – both are black/white couples. I think these relationships have developed easily due the ease and openess they feel around us as we are a mixed couple too. Many meals have been shared and our children play together, and meaningful conversations exchanged.

    Further, the church we attend is also very mixed – Chinese, Korean, Hispanic, Congelese and Ghanan, as well as black and white folks native to the U.S.

    There is very large number of non-whites that we do things with regularly, but our friendships with our black peers still remain few.

    As far as my neighborhood, it is predominantly white, yet sprinkled with Black, Asian, Hispanic, and Asian-Indian families.

    When I consider my life in broader strokes, I am seeing how much richer my own life could have been and the fact that I missed opportunities to invest in others had I made more of an effort to build relationships with my black peers.

    Black folks did not enter (seriously) into the equation of my social life until probably the last eight to nine years or so. Why? My temptation is to say the busyness of life – college, marriage, job, three children, etc. But if I dig deeper, Ann, I have to confess that I, like anyone else, “will make the time for things I consider important”. I failed to build upon opportunties presented to me and I failed to create them as well.

    Things are changing, though. I do need to take MORE INITIATIVE to let people know, “You are welcome in my house anytime….Let’s get our families together and cook out…Let’s hire a sitter for the kids and take our wives out…etc”….I have been much more intentional since last fall.

    I’ll drop by again and try to add meaningfully to your posts.

    All the best yo you….and thank you.

    -Adam

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  10. I appreciate this thoughtful article. I question if owning up to the full scope of America’s past racism will actually reduce hatred today. What do you mean by this, what does it take to own up and what does the consequent non-hatred look like?

    To my imagination, a state of non-hatred is one in which a person’s race has no effect on how they are treated or categorized. But I don’t see how this is achievable through simply owning up, in any variation of that phrase’s meaning. In the past, my white predecessors may have viewed blacks as inherently uncivilized and lawless; therefore a people to be feared and thus oppressed, controlled, and kept from gaining power. The same fear the Egyptians adopted towards the Hebrews, since the thriving Hebrews worshiped a different God and maintained separate laws and values. And the same feeling the Romans held of Christians. Fear begot oppression and the perceived need of oppression by a few fearful made them sew bigger seeds of fear to justify themselves to the majority, like Nero’s blaming Christians in Rome and black-face antagonists in Chicago. Yet God Himself saves the oppressed, despite everyone who wants their own group to have the credit (white republicans, white democrats, blacks on their own, muslims, civil rights lawyers, universities.)

    Today, as white-skinned, I am still tempted to fear black-skinned people. Not because I think they are an uncivilized or lawless race but because I assume they know the same US history I know, full of every kind of injustice from light-skinned people against dark-skinned, and will view my skin through that prejudiced lens. It’s a hopeless feeling that no matter what I do personally I will never be trusted by a black person, the first sign of “whiteness” will confirm their suspicions that I’m a either a closet supremacist or just another inherently evil white person. And yet even non-prejudice is interpreted as prejudice, because if I treated a black person like another white person it would be insensitive to black heritage and the suffering of an oppressed people.

    For every presumably black-skinned voice I hear preaching unity and understanding there are more finding new ways to discredit the minority of recorded white anti-racists and thereby claim that equal coexistence isn’t possible because white people, as a hateful race, won’t allow it. Lyndon Johnson in Selma being the latest example.

    I fear the fact of my skin being light will be deemed sufficient evidence that I owe something to a person with dark skin, fears not lessened by the growing acceptance of the phrase “white-privilege,” as if the black president of Zimbabwe is somehow inherently less privileged because of skin color than the children of white farmers he exiled.

    It’s just another chapter in human history, all of it being filled with injustice, greed, fear, selfishness. Our purpose as God’s creatures is to fear Him alone and trust in Him only, not in our race, group, the purity of our genetics, or any other worthless thing that has so often been proved worthless throughout history (yet somehow we still cling to these).

    I see hope in the US (despite its massive prison population, out of control government, and colluding immoral corporations) because some of us still love Jesus. No one is trustworthy because of their race but I can walk into any church, black or white, where God is preached and find brothers and sisters.

  11. Alexander

    Thank you for this post. Learning about America’s dirty secret against African Americans was quite revealing to me.
    Keep up the great work. Your blog is a much needed source of truth.

  12. Maxwell

    Excellent post. Even now, blacks are still living in segregation due to low wages, inadequate education, and lack of city and state resources to their neighborhoods. Years of discrimination against them have left this legacy of “the wages of whiteness” against them. Your words are powerful. Thank you.

    As a white man, I 100% agree with your essay. Much of what whites have gotten through the decades was with the help of state and federal government laws and policies against blacks.

  13. Jennifer

    White people will never acknowledge the history of destruction against black people. But as long as the truth continues to be revealed, they will no longer be able to hide behind the lies of their hypocrisy.

  14. rachel

    Thank you for this post.

  15. Pingback: THE CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA SHOOTINGS AND DYLANN STORM ROOF | BEAUTIFUL, ALSO, ARE THE SOULS OF MY BLACK SISTERS

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