MARCH 6, 2019 BY ANDY GILL
Is White Supremacy Hiding Behind the Guise of “Diversity”?
I mean probably but also, here’s why it shouldn’t really matter…
How many people in 2019 drive past a church sign that says “All are welcome!” and think, “That’s definitely true!”
Not too many.
Feels like, at this point, the sign [below] would attract more people…
Yet, most of these signs are becoming fewer and farther apart in count. This probably has to do with the numerous churches (8,000 to 10,000, here in the US) having to close their doors annually… or, are these churches closing their doors at record-breaking rates because of their inability to adapt, culturally?
But, as churches are slowly beginning to catch on to the fact that if they don’t want to change they then need to trick us into believing they’ve changed.
Enter, “blackfaced liberalism.”
It’s the allusion of not being racist, bigoted or white supremic through methods such as tokenization, gaslighting, or various other forms of lying. Similar to “blackface” blackface liberalism is nothing but a theatrical performance that is, all in all, offensive on multiple levels.
First, let me acknowledge that this does in fact matter before jumping into why it maybe shouldn’t… it’s essentially a lie of inclusion. It’s a means of maintaining one’s status while actually changing very little. Hypocrisy, maybe?
Like, people buying up properties within poor areas pretending as if giving away a few affordable houses to struggling families changes the fact that their gentrifying these neighborhoods. It doesn’t.
But, Here’s Why this Shouldn’t Matter…
The other day a friend texted this to me:
“Like what if the gospel isn’t for everyone…like, how could some middle class straight white person possibly understand and orient themselves in a way that isn’t reducing or exotifying a POC who yearns for some sort of way out from the colonization placed on them but is told by the oppressor not only what to believe but how to believe it [sic]”
And, my exact response to her was this:
“my shift in perspective (in all you said last night) has been that we don’t need white middle-class people to orient themselves in a way that’s not reductionistic to our humanity because they simply don’t have the power to reduce me as a person [sic].”
That’s why diversity is seen more as a tool instead of a privilege to most “white folk.”
For example, all I ever learned from “critical race theory 101” was why I should be deeply offended by everything simply because I wasn’t “white.” It taught me where I landed on the socially constructed hierarchy of race. It felt like a failed attempt at “putting me in my proper place.”
(Speaking to POC: think about it, did these “theories” make you flourish and feel “empowered” or did they just make you depressed, introducing you to what it’s like to be triggered?).
So, it’s not that it shouldn’t matter so much as it’s that we shouldn’t give it more attention than it deserves; therefore, inadvertently adding fuel to their fire.
But, for me, it comes down to these two questions: It’s the question of whether not POC become codependent upon the approval, resources, and support of other “White People”(?). While it’s also having to do with whether or not the form of the industrial complex is perpetuating this unhealthy form of dependency.
They actually have a name for this…
“The White Savior Industrial Complex”…
“The White Savior Industrial Complex is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege.” – Teju Cole
And, look, we’re all a little bit codependent (yes, non-POC too).
For many of us whose knee-jerk reaction is to reject this notion that we’re all somewhat “codependent,” think about marketing and how our world thrives off of this; for instance, a good example would be the makeup industry… I found this random comment on Tumblr a while back that I think best explains what I’m talking about here:
“if someone takes power away from you (something you naturally had) to give it back to you piece by piece and only if you do certain things your body YOU ARE NOT BEING EMPOWER YOU ARE BEING TRAINED… cause ppl still don’t get it and get defensive over their right to use makeup… which literally no one including OP is trying to take away from them: What proves that makeup doesn’t empower you – no matter who you are – is the simple fact that you could be feeling just as confident without it but you don’t because the people that are selling it to you are spending your money to make sure you don’t, not because we as humans naturally prefer painted faces! i’m not claiming that everyone feels ugly without it, i’m not saying everyone feels like they have to put on makeup… listen, no one said that… but clearly if you say makeup makes you experience empowerment, there’s a lack of it you feel with your bare and natural body. and that is not normal. that is not how its supposed to be and that is what’s infringing your rights in the first place, what’s taking power away from you and that’s also why makeup can only give back a bit of confidence that was stolen from you in the first place! [sic]”
So, while one might purchase a product to feel powerful, successful, beautiful, or confident… we must remember this isn’t a power we’re experiencing through purchasing it’s a temporary feeling we’re obtaining through marketing.
It’s the cliche quote that says, “YOUR VALUE DOES NOT DECREASE BASED UPON SOMEONE’S INABILITY TO SEE YOUR WORTH.”
Because, as most of us should already know, race isn’t a real thing.
I’m not saying it doesn’t matter… as it obviously does (aforementioned above).
What I’m saying is that it’s mostly just a means of acknowledging groups of people based off of otherwise arbitrary factors. And, similar to nationalities that are created and made up by men who draw lines on maps they are all just imaginary…
It’s mind-numbingly cyclical when one becomes dependent upon the intangibly complex (i.e. a sect of people defined solely by their skin color).
It gets even harder to comprehend when we recognize the fact that no one can strip power away from you and, similarly no one can give you more power than you already had, once before.
“Power” it’s something you naturally have through merely existing.
Now, what some could do is gaslight you into thinking or believing you don’t have power. Again, these are complex issues in which industries are spending billions to confuse us on.
Is diversity an allusion simply used as a means of hiding their bigotry…? My answer is that I’ve personally found more energy in lighting candles than cursing the darkness that engulfs so many of us.