Institutional Racism

The Subtle Linguistics of Polite White Supremacy

by Yawo Brown //


There’s less use of physical control and less lethal assaults placed upon the bodies of unarmed white aggressors. In a nutshell, it’s important to look at what’s not being done when whites pose a threat.

What did the police not do to the white bikers who got into a brawl that killed nine people? What did the police not do to Dylan Roof or TJ Lane when they were arrested? Polite White Supremacy makes it seem safer to be a white serial killer rather than a black man or woman speaking their American rights to an officer of the law.

White aggressors who do the same actions (or far worse) as black aggressors don’t face the consequences blacks often face because white lives are actually valued more by law enforcement.

The value of white lives influences the perception of good neighborhoods vs bad neighborhoods. The oversimplified assumption is that good neighborhoods have very little crime, while bad neighborhoods have high crime. This seems like common sense. Unfortunately, it’s slightly inaccurate. The perception of neighborhoods as good or bad comes highly influenced from whether or not it is being over-policed. Good neighborhoods don’t have a large police presence so naturally one must conclude that bad neighborhoods have a high police presence. The problem with this comes from the documented fact that police departments across America are around disproportionately white males.0*u6HJeZTzQGMKpGqV

Frankly put, these white males are not going to over-police their own communities. They’re not going to snitch on each other and reveal who amongst them are of the ‘Ghost Skin variety. When they do police and potentially arrest their own people, their lives are actually considered. White lives actually matter to the police. To them, ‘white on white crime‘ seems ludicrous. Meanwhile, blacks seem like an easy target to fill a quota.

Confidentiality is silent complicity while pretending that black suffering happens because blacks somehow deserve it. Polite White Supremacy uses confidentiality to pretend this is all normal for it’s own existence to remain in power covertly.

The silence of confidentiality is the glue holding this whole charade in place because #PWS can’t exist out in the open as overt white supremacy, not because it’s wrong, but because it’s unfashionable to be an open white supremacist in today’s society.

Instead of openly celebrating a lynching, pretend you actually believe it was a suicide. Pretend you actually believe that whites work harder when blacks worked for free and literally built this country. These are the same people who don’t hire equally qualified Black Americans for positions then complain that Blacks are lazy and unemployed. Pretend that over-policing doesn’t target the poor and perpetuate the stereotype of bad neighborhoods. Pretend you didn’t just see a man choked to death and his heart attack happened randomly at the same moment he was being choked because ‘he was fat’. Pretend that unionization had nothing to do with whites fearing competition from the useful, tangible skills of blacks. Pretend like redlining didn’t exist and that whites just worked harder so they lived in ‘better’ areas.

Pretend that giving a bullet proof vest and Burger King to a person that just walked into a church and massacred nine Black Americans after he has been is not at act of terrorism. Pretend it was a coincidence we had to watch black officers to re-raise the Confederate Flag after a Black American woman bravely, but illegally removed it. Later, white officers took it down and treated it like it was some heavenly artifact during a religious ceremony. Let’s just pretend that didn’t happen.

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