The Myth of “a System of White Supremacy”

Disproving the Big Lie.

Last week, Johnny Eric Williams, a professor of sociology at Trinity College, gained national notoriety.    

Williams, who is black, posted some racially incendiary remarks on his Facebook wall.  They were conjoined with the hashtag, “LetThemFuckingDie.”   

The hashtag Williams borrowed from an article published at The Medium and written in response to the recent mass shooting of Republican congressmen in Alexandria, Virginia.  The essay’s author, “Son of Baldwin,” expressed regret that a black police officer risked her life to save the lives of “white bigots” and urged other blacks who are in positions to do the same to refrain from indulging the impulse.

Instead, they should: “Let.Them.Fucking.Die.” 

The backlash against Williams and his employer was massive and sudden.  Two Connecticut congressmen, Trinity College alumni, issued a statement imploring Trinity to terminate Williams immediately. Supposedly, the now infamous professor went into hiding because of death threats that he received. 

Williams and his supporters among Trinity faculty and students insist that he meant to call for the death of, not white people, but “a system of _white supremacy._” 

I wrote a full analysis of this situation here.  For now, I’d like to focus on this idea of “a system of white supremacy.”

“White supremacy” and like terms have ominous connotations associated with them; everyone knows that they are really, really bad. However, when push comes to shove, they prove awfully difficult to define.  In fact, few people, least of all those who constantly invoke these terms, even bother to try to define them

The truth is, when it comes to charges of “white supremacy,” “racism,” and so forth, the Johnny Williams of the world would prefer to avoid doing the hard work of defining, or trying to define, their terms of choice. This is because it is infinitely easier for them to continually move the proverbial goalpost so as to satisfy their political needs of the moment. 

The great 18th century philosopher David Hume made this point: “It is easy for a false hypothesis to maintain some appearance of truth, while it keeps wholly in generals” and “makes use of undefined terms [.]”  Hume also said that “ideas, especially abstract ones, are naturally faint and obscure: the mind has but a slender hold of them: they are apt to be confounded with other resembling ideas; and when we have often employed any term, though without a distinct meaning, we are apt to imagine it has a determinate idea annexed to it.”

“Systems of white supremacy,” “institutional racism,” and “white privilege” are abstractions.  They are valued and tirelessly trotted out precisely because they are abstractions.  The truth is that concrete individual white “racists,” i.e. those who harass, intimidate, and attack blacks, simply aren’t in large enough supply to sustain the narrative of perpetual White-on-Black-Oppression that is the lifeblood of the Racism-Industrial-Complex (RIC). 

Indeed, flesh and blood white “racists” or “supremacists” are all too rare. The proof of this is not only in the data—which shows that, overwhelmingly, blacks tend to be perpetrators of interracial attacks while whites are just as overwhelmingly the victims—but in three other facts. 

That RIC sales agents long ago shifted their focus from individual and overt “racism” to “covert,” “subconscious,” and/or “institutional racism”; regularly trade in hoaxes; and continually make “honorary whites” of those people of color who have had altercations with black criminal suspects (who these same RIC merchants then elevate into national martyrs) definitively establish the scarcity of real-life “white supremacists.”

These considerations also prove that RIC agents know that there is a scarcity of “white supremacists.”

Thus, it is this reality and this knowledge of the reality that gives rise to the need on the part of those who depend on keeping the Big Lie alive to retreat from the real world and take refuge behind abstractions like “systems of white supremacy.”

It is a strange system of “white supremacy” that, for over 50 years, has restricted immigration to America from European, i.e. white, countries while encouraging immigration from non-white ones.

It is a strange system of “white supremacy” that, annually, attracts millions of non-white peoples to leave their homelands, risking life and limb, to come and live under it.

It is a strange system of “white supremacy” to which African blacks fled, voluntarily, in greater numbers over a mere 15 year period (1990-2005) than were brought to America as slaves.

It is a strange system of “white supremacy” that makes it possible for its black citizens to live at a standard of living not only higher than that at which blacks live anywhere else in the world, especially in Africa, but a standard of living higher than that at which whites live in other parts of the world.

It is a strange system of “white supremacy” that has expended trillions of dollars since the 1960s on countless social programs aimed at combatting “white supremacy” or “racism” and uplifting blacks.

It is a strange system of “white supremacy” that spawns numerous race-based preferential treatment policies (“affirmative action,” “diversity,” etc.) meant to privilege blacks over their white counterparts.

It is a strange system of “white supremacy” whose architects allow for the election and re-election to office of the Presidency of, not just a black man, but a black man with an Arabic-sounding name.

It is a strange system of “white supremacy” that allows for blacks to occupy such powerful and nation-shaping positions as those of Supreme Court Justice, Attorney General, National Security Adviser, Secretary of State, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

It is a strange system of “white supremacy” that allows blacks (and other nonwhites) to become multimillionaires and celebrities as athletes, entertainers, media personalities, politicians, and in business.

It is a strange system of “white supremacy” under which Nigerians in America have a higher annual household income than do whites.

It is a strange system of “white supremacy” under which Asians, i.e. nonwhites, earn more than every other ethnic group. Asians in “white supremacist” America also have lower rates of criminality, illegitimacy, drug use, unemployment, and suicide than every other group—including whites.

What a strange system of “white supremacy” this is!

I could continue in this same repetitive vein.  The case, I believe, has been made amply:

There is no system of white supremacy.

However, Johnny Williams and his ilk must insist that there is, for they are race pimps, forever sucking at the nipple of the Racism-Industrial-Complex.