Why do many White Americans hate, demonize, fear and look down on blacks? I am no scientist or scholar, but here is I how I currently think about it. This post is very much a work in progress.
There are plenty of things that keep white racist thinking in place:
- Racist messages in jokes, history books, the news and on television, etc,
- Material self-interest,
- Fear of becoming an outcast among whites
and so on. But this is not the heart of the matter.
Not even material self-interest. After all, plenty of poor whites are racist. About all they have to show for it is this: “At least I’m not black.” And that gives it away: it is about white self-image.
My current understanding of the white self-image:
- Narcissism – having no true sense of self-worth they put up a false front to persuade the world, and most of all themselves, that they do have worth. They mainly do this through money, but also by putting down others to make themselves look better. Deep down they know the whole thing is a lie, which makes them all the more desperate to uphold the front.
- Dichotomous thinking – either/or thinking. Their films often have characters who are either all good or all evil. When you ask them about it they say that of course they know the world is not that simple, that it is just a storytelling device. Yet much of their thinking is very either/or, black-or-white. The One Drop Rule is a good example. So is their idea that they are Basically Good, getting upset when you point out anything that does not fit that overblown self-image. Like that maybe they are racist. Worst of all, it means they cannot accept people who are too different: if you are not the same as us then there must be something wrong with you. Either/or.
- Moral blindness - this is huge. Every single black person in the eyes of white people is the sign of a terrible crime from their ugly past, a reminder that their life is a fraud, that they are pretty much nothing more than armed robbers. But #1 and #2 make it hard for them to simply own up to their past and make it right. Instead they deny, shift blame, lie, twist facts and make black people into these creatures that they look down on, laugh at and yet, oddly, fear. It is a failed attempt to be at peace with themselves. This is why whites need to give reparations more than blacks need to receive it.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with black people other than the bad patch of history they are going through, its side effects and the ordinary human failings. It is white people who have a deep crack in their souls.
I know that sounds extreme - partly because we have “white is right” pounded into our heads night and day – but their history shows that there is something seriously wrong with them.