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Sunday, November 13, 2011

White Privilege in relation to the Pathology of White Supremacy

by: Glenn Robinson

Most people are familiar with white privilege, but how does it relate to the doctrine of white supremacy?

Steven Riley from Mixed Race Studies let me know about this Dr. Yaba Blay article titled Skin Bleaching and Global White Supremacy: By Way of Introduction


Below I have quoted from her section on "white supremacy" where she gets straight to the point about the odd false dichotomy culture that the U.S.has been morphed into - and apparently other countries have some of the same false dichotomy issues woven into their culture as well.

Humans like to oversimplify to make the world easier to understand; however, humans themselves should not be oversimplified and we are not as simple as black and white / good and bad.


"White supremacy has been constructed by Whites for the benefit of Whites."
-Yaba Blay



"From the egomaniacal standpoint of White supremacy, given the self-assigned superiority of Whiteness, White people have the moral right to exact brute force whenever White interests are threatened, while those classified as “non-White” have no equivalent moral right to defend themselves against White aggression, especially when such aggression is enacted in the name of “democracy” (L. Ross, 1995)."

"White supremacy is routinely interpreted as a code word for White people. However, White supremacy is more than a collection of White people. As a system, many people participate in, and as an ideology, many people think, feel, behave, and operate according to it, and in many ways defend and uphold it -- White and 'non-White' alike. The institution of colorism exemplifies how “non-Whites” serve to uphold White supremacy." -Yaba Blay


"In his discussions of the psychology of the oppressed/colonized, Fanon  (1963; 1967) used the term “Manichean” to describe the world of the oppressed/colonized. Of or relating to Manichaeism, “a doctrine based on the ideas of the Persian philosopher Manes, which saw the world as polarized between forces of absolute good and evil, symbolized in the oppositions of light and darkness, black and white” (Dyer, 1997, p. 225), a Manichean view is one that not only divides the world into dualities, but sees those dualities as irreconcilable oppositions:"

"Its logic is a categorical  either/or, in which one of the terms is considered superfluous and unacceptable. Yet in reality, this duality of opposites in the Manichean outlook are interdependent. Each is defined in terms of its opposite and each derives its identity in opposition to the other. Yet in such a perspective, it is necessary to keep the line of demarcation quite clear or else the Manichean [world] collapses." (Bulhan, 1985, p. 140) 

"In this way, the Manicheans conceived of darkness, or black, and things associated with it as evil, while light, or white, symbolized those things that were good." -Yaba Blay

Read the entire article here.

Tim Wise - The Pathology of White Privilege