A few weeks ago I wrote about respectability politics and why you won’t catch me subscribing to them. When I posted the link on my Facebook, I put this as the caption:
Afterward, I got a bunch of questions about why I link whiteness (read: white supremacy) with things like homophobia and patriarchy and etc. I got this question from a few different people, so I decided to address it.
Let’s start by defining white supremacy.
White supremacy is a racist ideology with the belief that whiteness is superior to all other races, and because it is superior, whiteness should be supreme in every way, shape, and form. White supremacy has one goal – to center, protect, and elevate whiteness in all spaces and places in society.
Despite what the history books have taught us, America was founded on white supremacist ideals and practices by European colonists. Practices like the rape, genocide, and enslavement of indigenous people, and enslavement of generations of Africans. Which, in turn, built the foundation of the white supremacist system in we live in today.
The system of white supremacy has many facets and is manifested in many ways. Some being very overt like the Ku Klux Klan or the murder of nine Black folks as they worship by a self-proclaimed white supremacist. And others are subtle. Like when an unarmed Black man is killed by the police, and the media shows the victim’s mugshot from a past offense and shows the officer’s professional headshot.
White supremacy is designed to protect and benefit one type of person. The straight, cisgendered, able-bodied, Christian, white man. If you fall outside of that specific breed of person, you are either institutionally or socially (most likely both) discriminated against in one way or another. Which is where our other phobias and isms come into play.
Homophobia, transphobia, colorism, patriarchy, misogyny, misogynoir, and etc. are all byproducts of white supremacy. They are practices and beliefs that are designed to keep marginalized people marginalized and one type of person in power.
That is not to say that if you are not a straight, cisgendered, able-bodied, Christian, white man that you can not benefit or uphold white supremacy. White woman and white gays do it all day long.
For example, just the other day, I read a story on Twitter about a married white woman that wanted to sleep with a Black man. The Black man refused because he had a girlfriend. The white woman threatened to tell her husband that the Black man raped her if he did not fulfill her wishes. Her entitlement to this Black man’s body in of itself is a direct result of white supremacy, but also, the white woman knew the police (and her husband) were more than likely to believe her word over his solely because she is a white woman. This is (unfortunately) a far too common example of white woman upholding white supremacy.
Jeffree Star, a queer singer-songwriter, has a history of making blatantly racist comments, particularly towards Black women. Even once outright calling a young Black girl a “nigger bitch” on camera. But regardless of his exceedingly shitty character, Star will continue to be booked and rack up the coins on the backs of Black women, because whiteness.
(Caitlyn Jenner is another glaring example of how queerness and white supremacy are not mutually exclusive, but for my own mental health, I won’t spend too much time on her duck headass.)
If you follow me on Twitter (@averylondon_) you probably frequently see me discussing how some Black folks (hoteps and such) frequently hold up the white supremacist standard when they exhibit and express homophobic and transphobic attitudes and behaviors. They are, unknowingly or not, giving fuel to a system that works against their own best interest.
So while, on the surface, it may seem like whiteness or white supremacy is solely about race and racism, it is indeed a much more intricate and complex system that is ever-growing and ever-developing and continues to find new ways to discriminate against all kinds of people that aren’t white or male or straight or cisgender.
Thank you for all the questions. It’s nice to know that people are engaging with my blog and care enough to ask questions.
If you have any questions about anything pertaining to this blog, or me as a person (within reason), shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.