“Blame whitey” is a phrase or idea that often comes up when arguing about race in America. It is almost always a white person who says it, either straight out or in so many words. The idea is that blacks sit back and do nothing but blame white people for all their troubles, expecting a hand-out.
It is just two words, but do not let that fool you.
Here is some of what those two words do:
- By using the word “blame” it turns the tables in an argument, it points the finger back at blacks, taking the attention off of what whites do and puts it on what blacks do – or not do. It forces blacks to play defence.
- The word “blame” also says that whatever the misdeeds of whites may be, they are not the root cause of the troubles that blacks have. Just like when someone blames others for his own mess to avoid owning up to the fault.
- “Whitey” is supposed to be a racist word that blacks use for whites, their counterpart to “nigger”. The strange thing is, it is almost always a white person who says “whitey”, either directly or through lines written for television. Despite getting that wrong, “whitey” in this phrase is supposed to mean that blacks are just as racist as whites. Whites think that is a telling point, but because of the asymmetry of American racism, it is not.
- It pictures blacks as sitting back and doing nothing to better themselves, which is itself a stereotype about blacks. So “blame whitey” accuses blacks of racism while viewing them in a racist manner.
- “Blame whitey” is a case of projecting, projecting onto blacks what whites do. Like when someone tells you your faults but it sounds for all the world like they are talking about themselves. “Blame whitey” is like that.
White people blame blacks all the time for the fallout of white racism.
Like when was the last time you saw something on television that showed how racist most whites are? Almost never. White racism is always presented, at worst, as a case of a few bad apples, even though television itself is racist. Yet blacks are frequently presented as being screwed up. Like it has absolutely nothing to do with the racism American society is built on. As if people want to be out of work and want to be poor and want to get in trouble with the police. Television is constantly shifting the blame from whites onto blacks. It blames blackie, but “blame whitey” covers over all that.
So in just two words “blame whitey” does three things that whites often do in an argument about race in America:
- Say that blacks are racist too.
- Say that blacks are mostly to blame for their troubles.
- Present stereotypes about blacks as fact and insight.
Or, more generally, it is a case of blame shifting that accuses blacks of shifting the blame!