Updated: Dec 10, 2019
From slavery to everyday mass shootings, millions of lives have been and continue to be lost to this aggressive disease - yet those who benefit from it the most do very little to eradicate this issue. We need to be honest with ourselves. Western governments have done very little to address the dangers that come alongside with white supremacy, but they've built their foundation on white supremacy, so the chances of them actively doing anything to dismantle it is slim to none.
What is White Supremacy?
Some people JUST think that white supremacy is just white people believing that they are better than everyone else, but it's way heavier than that. To keep things short and simple, white supremacy is one of the most dangerous beliefs, political ideologies, and systems in the entire world and it affects every single one of us, one way or another. It's more than just one's perspective on their positioning in society. Its roots began back in the 17th century where scientists during the Age of Enlightenment pushed the ideology that white people were superior to everyone else, especially black people, based on genetics and this racist bias infiltrated its way into both western and international politics from then on.
People act like white supremacy is a belief of the past followed solely by the KKK in the 1960s, but it still is a powerful system that ensures the marginalization and oppression of people that aren't white and can't ever benefit from it. The major issue with white supremacy being the foundation for many institutions controlled by white people is that these single institutions become systems that affect our everyday lives. From the way people of colour interact with the law to people of colour's ability to obtain job opportunities to live in areas free of environmental racism and gentrification to live in nations free of terror and surveillance backed by Western powers, or pursue higher education in predominantly white institutions. Unfortunately - the culture of white supremacy is especially strengthened and spread rapidly through the media, western science, and the education systems throughout the world, so it's a disease that almost feels near impossible to rid the world of because of how far its reach is.
Recent examples of White Supremacy
According to New Zealand mosque attacks and the scourge of white supremacy, “An abbreviated list of recent acts of white supremacist terrorism includes Robert Gregory Bowers' killing of 12 Jewish worshippers at a Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2018; Alexandre Bissonnette's massacre of six Muslims in the Quebec City mosque in 2017; Dylann Roof's murdering of nine black Christian parishioners in a Charleston, South Carolina church in 2015; and Anders Behring Breivik's slaughter of 77 people in Norway in 2011” (Elmasry, 2019).
The most recent white supremacist attack was in New Zealand on March 15th where approximately 50 Muslim people were killed in mosque shootings.
Acts of white supremacy are not always violent though. Some recent examples of non-violent acts of white supremacy are supporters of white supremacy manipulating elections (like the Trump election), writing racist legislation that negatively impacts people of colour, the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote based on the growing anti-immigration values, people of colour having an incredibly difficult job getting loans, buying houses, or finding jobs compared to white people, and even alt-right memes become more popularized and gaining political traction online under the guise of being ‘edgy’.
I'll leave this here.
So, what can we do?
Despite how exhausting it may be to have to fight against a system that we did not create, someone has to do it. So, here are some ways that we can fight against white supremacy on a national to local level:
1. Encourage Members of Parliament to take action white supremacy and ask them to dismantle and/or rewrite legislation that is inherently racist. If there are members of your government that you know uphold white supremacist ideologies and promote racism, demand the removal of these political figures through raising awareness on social media, contacting your representatives, and signing petitions.
2. CALL OUT YOUR RACIST FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS!!!! Racism festers and permeates at an individual level. Rather than ignoring your friends and family members when they say something disgusting, call them out, educate them, and make them feel uncomfortable for believing those things. Don’t play deaf. Expose them. Have discussions with the people that you know about these topics rather than brushing them under the rug because you don't want to stir the pot.
3. Encourage the people you know to NOT vote for politicians that have been exposed for being racist OR haven’t outright condemned white supremacy. We don’t need politicians who can’t say with their chest that they are against racism because they are afraid to step on anyone’s toes.
4. Recognize YOUR privilege and try to acknowledge ways in which you may benefit from social and economic advantages. From then on, try to use that power to help those who are suffering under the hands of white supremacy. From things like defending people in public when they are being verbally attacked with racial slurs TO standing front in center in defense of and on behalf of people of colour from workplace harassment to police interactions to protests. Learn to listen to others to figure out how you can use your privilege to help them.
5. Educate yourself. Take the active effort to do your own research rather than relying on others to teach you. It’s your responsibility to learn about white supremacy and your country’s history with it, so learn about it so that you can become more politically and socially aware.
In conclusion, white supremacy is one of the deadliest plagues in the world and the only way to get rid of that disease is to nip it in the bud and kill it. The after effects of white supremacy are too dangerous and deadly for us to keep ignoring it. The more we pretend that white supremacy is not that big of an issue, the more dreams are stifled, the more people are left disenfranchised, and the more people are killed.
Elmasry, M. (2019, March 15). New Zealand mosque attacks and the scourge of