Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

—Edgar Allen Poe



Say the words and thoughts of contrasting images come to mind.


Noun: White colour or pigment; Adjective: of the color of milk or fresh snow, due to the reflection of all visible rays of light; the opposite of black

-free from color; free from spot or blemish; marked by upright fairness; favourable; fortunate.


Noun: Black color or pigment; Adjective: of the very darkest color; colored like coal, due to the absence or complete absorption of light; the opposite of white
-dark, gloomy, somber, murky, dirty, soiled, thoroughly sinister or evil

As social constructs of a racist society, whiteness and blackness are the polar extremes of each other. As terms used to shore up and maintain white hegemony, white control, and white privilege, both terms feed on fear, hate, cruelty, greed, and defilement of people’s humanity.

Illustration By Felix Sockwell

Whiteness, as a social construct, is fluid and mutable. It exists because of the positive values assigned to it, even in the face of all the destruction that whiteness has caused in the lives of all Americans.

Blackness, as a social construct, is seen as immutable. It exists as a negative against which the so-called positive of whiteness measures and sets itself against.

Whiteness is considered the norm, the normal, while blackness is seen as the antithesis, the anti-neighbor, the anti-citizen, the aberration against the constructed value and beauty of whiteness.

Were it not for the institutionalized and socialized attitudes that constitute both whiteness and blackness, there would be no need for anti-racists, for conventions on the disparity of environmental and economic racism that plagues the Black community as a direct result of decades of neo-slavery effects of segregation.

Were it not for the worship of whiteness, the wages of whiteness, the possessiveness of whiteness, the habitus of whiteness, the race massacres, the racial ethnic cleansings of Blacks during the nadir of 1890-1940, the stranglehold that whiteness has on America would have ceased to exist. Were it not for the line drawn in the sand towards immigrants to “Join us, or die,” many ethnic Whites and non-Blacks  would not have gladly gone over to the dark side of whiteness, at the expense of their fellow Black citizens.

Were it not for the vilification of black people, blackness would not be the poster child for slums, ghettos, low and menial wages, sub-standard and unequal education, and an immense wealth gap as wide as the Grand Canyon.

Whiteness must be destroyed. But, in doing so, blackness must be destroyed as well.

For you cannot have blackness without whiteness, and you cannot have whiteness without blackness.

The possessiveness of whiteness formulated the ‘white race’ which was never a normal nor a natural entity, but is instead a social category constructed and maintained since the late 1600s.

This white race is a private club, which bestows upon those who lobby to be welcomed into it, privileges and certain immunities in return for obedience in upholding its main canon:  the disparagement of the humanity of America’s Black citizens. This obedience must be maintained at all costs. Those who adhere to these rules need not be vociferous advocates, publicly or privately, for white supremacy, but, it is expected that they will defer to and remain silent in the presence of racial hatred, while seeing the acts of racism committed by others.

The possessiveness of whiteness requires the need to maintain white racial solidarity at all times in the form of a mental straight jacket of conformity which imposes a strangling and suffocating vise on all Whites, especially when the subject of race is brought up, or any issue remotely touching on race. Membership in the White Club of Whiteness hinges on the assumption that those who look white  (no matter whatever their trepidations, reservations, fears, or attacks of having a conscious that there is something profoundly wrong with hating their fellow human beings)  will remain steadfastly loyal to the upholding and maintenance of whiteness—-even if it brings about their own physical, psychological, moral and spiritual demise.

Whiteness and Blackness.

They exists as the opposite sides of a coin, a Janus-faced monster that has torn this nation apart time after time, and nearly destroyed it.

And it is still destroying America.

You cannot deconstruct one without deconstructing the other.

As long as the Empathy Gap continues, whiteness and blackness will prevail. As long as there is no overall kindness, understanding and consideration towards the humanity of all Americans, figure on whiteness and blackness never going away.

As long as the silence and acquiescence to whiteness continues, the destruction it causes will not end. As long as immigrants, non-Blacks, and some Blacks, continue to be silent in the face of degradation and defilement of the humanity of Black people, through the bowing to, the giving in to whiteness, they will themselves also degrade and defile their own humanity for the mess of porridge known as whiteness.

As long as the status of Honorary White dangles in front of the non-Blacks who look to either side with Blacks on one side, and Whites on the other, with those non-Blacks joining ranks against Black citizens and deeming Blacks as social pariahs, no matter how decent the Black person may be, whiteness will continue.

As long as Whites refuse to give up their white privilege, whiteness will continue. As long as Whites refuse to let go of the bloodsucking incubus and succubus of whiteness, racism and whiteness will stay in this nation.

As long as racism reigns supreme in these United States, as long as the lies of race, the so-called purity of whiteness, the so-called debasement of blackness continues to grip this nation with its deadly vulture talons—this country will never see the end of whiteness and blackness.

The day when Whites cease to be white and the day that Blacks can finally cease to be black is the day when all Americans can simply just be Americans who happen to be White, Black, Asian, Native American, Arab, or Latino.

Towards the end of whiteness and blackness.

It will be many years in coming.

But, I ain’t holding my breath waiting for it to happen.

Maybe in 10,000 to 15,000 years.

But, not in my lifetime.



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  1. Sister, “Whiteness” is more than a word. “Whiteness” and “Blackness” are derived from Occidentalism, in short, the ways of White people. Doing an analysis of Occidentalism, we see that it’s been for thousands of years that “White” people have been afflicted with Xenophobia (See Cheikh Ante Diop’s “Northern Cradle” analysis). As you aptly point out, “honorary White status” is conferred to Whites and Asians by other Whites: this modern tactic has been seen in Ancient Greece; the so called origin of Occidentalism. Greece was internally at war: primary school teachers told us that Athens and Sparta were at odds; then the whole lot became ‘honorary Greeks’ and others were “barbarians.” This plays out in Occidental culture again and again. The Anglo-Saxons is a combination of Angles and Saxons, people at war with one another. The United Nations was is a combination of European people (governments–African leadership is 0% of the Security Council) after World War II.

    Your hopefulness toward a better tomorrow has to do with “Originalism,” a word I coined, see my blog: It’s your blessed, lovingness through Originalism which will lead us forward. But do not suspect that it’s only in words that Occidentals behave as they do. It’s their very fundamentals.



  3. Jim

    Wow. Outstanding and brilliant essay!

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