Racism is White Women’s Pathway to Power
As this election season winds down, as we see the demographics of the exit polls, we cannot help but notice, again, that white people vote for racism and white supremacy. It’s not a secret. It hasn’t been a secret for a while, yet to hear the media tell it, Black people are deciding these elections, despite us making up 12-15% of the population. The shit would be hilarious if it wasn’t so fucking anti-Black and only perpetuates damaging conversations among Black people. Conversations that need to stop cuz the problem is voter suppression and WHITE PEOPLE VOTING FOR RACISTS!!!
As of right now, we don’t know who the new governor of Georgia is. In fact, the voter suppression down here was so bad that I’ve seen reports of people being told their vote didn’t count because the information on their state issued driver’s license, that you have to supply to vote, didn’t exactly match what was in the computer system. The voter registration system that Brian Kemp, the republican candidate for governor has overseen until the day after the election when he finally resigned from the position. The position of managing the voting rights for the state of the office he’s running for.
They don’t even try to pretend its fair or legal because white people ain’t gonna do a whole lot about it.
But the conversation I keep seeing again and again is Black women entreating white women to align with us and that shit is mildly irritating. Ok, it’s extremely irritating because the level of self-awareness and self-sacrifice required for white women to do that is so astronomical that it may as well be impossible. The reason for why it will never happen is because white women want power and the only way they can maneuver into positions of power is as an acceptable white alternative to Black people and people of color.
America is hierarchical. It is structured to have an elite and an underclass, groups that are primarily divided based on race and gender. There are other qualifiers of course, like religion, able-bodiedness, sexuality, etc., but mainly, it’s race and gender. And white women are empowered through racism.
This is why white women are the largest beneficiaries of affirmative action – because if white men have to choose between Black people and white women, they’ll choose white people, even if she’s a woman. The 2016 election showed that they’d rather choose an ignorant, grossly unqualified, babbling sexual predator over a white woman, and frankly, the only people even remotely surprised by that were liberal white women because they forgot when it comes to power, there is only one group in this country who feels 100% entitled to it regardless of how inept they are and that’s white men. Every other identifier is railroaded into catering to patriarchal white supremacy and keeping the white men that benefit from it comfortable.
Hilary Clinton would have shaken that foundation too much because according to patriarchy, women should never see themselves as powerful as men. Even inept men. Even ignorant men. Even Black men. And just as we see Black men capitalize on their maleness to attain power over women, white women capitalize on their whiteness to attain power over Black people. You only need to see the work of Ida B. Wells and the ways it was undermined by white feminists like Susan B. Anthony who said, “I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work or demand the ballot for the Negro and not the woman,” to understand that people align with the oppressor in a bid for power. They don’t seek equity. They don’t seek justice. People seek power and will kill to obtain and maintain it.
When white people feel powerless, white men go on murder sprees and white women call the police to violently enforce their will on Black people. With the outing of the many white women across the country who have called the police for everything from barbecuing to not waving while driving by, we see that women use whiteness as a shield and a loaded gun, enabled by tears as they manipulate those around them. And it’s not going to stop.
White women erase Black women from conversations. They pretend our accomplishments are “exceptions.” They walk through a woman-hating world co-opting Black women-led movements and Black women-owned spaces at will, directly juxtaposing their whiteness with Blackness and using that whiteness to gain access to spaces previously denied to them. When challenged, they aggressively claim to be victims. Tarana Burke began the #MeToo movement years ago only to have Rose McGowan’s co-opt it and self-destruct when she couldn’t manage the actual work of the movement. Then there’s Rebel Wilson of the recent #BlockBlackWomen movement she launched a week ago when she couldn’t admit she fucked up about her actual place in plus-size romantic comedy genre. Throw in Alyssa Milano, another #MeToo co-opter, who decided that making demanding Black women appease her was a good look - TLDR: it wasn’t.
We live in a time where the Kardashians with their bought Black looks in the form of artificially plumped lips, and asses and appropriated hairstyles are considered to be the epitome of Black womanhood (I retched typing that). It’s a time where white women are doing modern blackface for Instagram likes. We are in a time where white women and Non-Black POCs who align with whiteness emulate their white suffragist ancestors by consistently silencing Black women for bringing up racism online and in person. A time where open white supremacy is not just elected but celebrated widely, spiking racist violence through the roof, yet we’re still being told to “see the other side” of people holding guns to our heads and lynching Black activists…
So, when I see Black women asking white women to step up, I find myself shaking my head. Look at the exit polls. In Georgia, white women overwhelmingly voted for white man Brian Kemp than Black woman Stacey Abrams. In Florida, white women voted for GOP candidate who said that he will sign anti-abortion legislation and voted against the Violence Against Women Act. That he’s racist doesn’t really need to be stated. – he is. But he also isn’t invested in women’s autonomy. He’s actively against it. And I still can’t believe the number of white women who supported Ted Cruz, a man who continues to erode women’s health rights.
But again, we know why this is. White people protect whiteness and white women have gotten too comfortable with having Black people and Non-Black POCs around as whipping posts and scapegoats for their bullshit. They are accustomed to redirecting white male violence on to Black people and have chosen to believe that if we aren’t here to oppress, they go back to being the most oppressed group. They encourage white men to direct their abuse towards us and stand silently as we are violently attacked, then cry as they protest their innocence. In the oppression Olympics, there are no winners, only the abused and the abusers. White women know their power to abuse lies in the whiteness that white men will violently protect. Their mistake is thinking their whiteness will protect them from patriarchy.
It won’t. But they gonna learn.