This is partly in answer to Macon D’s post on Stuff White People Do: “fail to see how racism harms white people”. Here is my take:
Racism both helps and hurts white Americans. I cannot prove all of the following statements with studies, charts and figures, but this is the truth as best I know it:
How it helps:
- They are way richer than they would have been:
- They live on land taken from the American Indians.
- They benefit directly or indirectly from the free labour of black slaves and, later, from the cheap labour of blacks and other people of colour.
- They get paid more for a given level of education.
- Lower unemployment: they are less likely to fired and more likely to be hired – even with a prison record.
- They get to live in nicer, safer neighbourhoods with better schools.
- They live longer: even poor whites live longer than middle-class blacks.
- It helps to keep them from falling to the very bottom of society.
How it hurts:
- They become morally blind. Since they do not see the evil they do they are surprised by 9/11, race riots, failures in foreign policy, poverty at home, etc.
- They harden their hearts.
- They become partly deluded: they believe lies – about themselves, their history, their society. They do not take the truth seriously when it comes from a person of colour.
- They have a limited idea of what it means to be human. At root, racism is the idea that being “different” means there is something wrong with you. That means many whites hide or slowly kill their true selves in order to fit in, making them into plastic people.
- They become small-minded:
- Because they feel good about themselves by looking down on others.
- Because they narrow their minds by not taking other people and their cultures seriously.
- They are not true to themselves and their belief that all men are created equal – and so they live with guilt.
- Crime is higher than in other rich countries – and so they live with fear.
- By hurting people of colour they are hurting their own country. At the very least they are wasting a part of its human capital.
- Many whites vote against their class interests in part because of race.
That is what comes to me off the top of my head. I might be forgetting some big ones. Commenters can kindly point them out.
In short, whites are not true to themselves – to their morals, their beliefs, their heart, their soul. They are sell-outs to an idea that is beneath them.
If I still have any white readers left I know they will strongly disagree. Perhaps they will think I hate them, that I am trying to put them down. Wrong: I am trying to be honest.
Whites signed up for racism to create America and they continue to hold on to racism to hold on to its advantages. They made a deal with the devil and we know how that ends.
- Stuff White People Do: fail to see how racism harms white people
- Restructure!: How does racism hurt white people? – Restructure’s answer to the same post
- white people
- white privilege – more on how racism helps
- white guilt – a way racism hurts
- How to argue like a white racist – some of the twisted thinking required to be a white racist
- bell hooks on loving blackness – talks a bit about racism hurting whites
- how to end racism – stuff anyone can do