I just had a conversation with an individual that I am going to be reflecting upon over the course of the day. I was discussing the global system of white supremacy, which my friend denied exists. Instead, he claims that the world is built on a system of economic domination, of the wealthy over the poor. He attempted to use the example of China as a major world power to “prove” that there IS no global system of white supremacy. The video above, which talks about Chinese businessmen hiring white men to pose as investors or employees to enhance the image and status of their enterprises proves that, even in China, the rule of the day is still “MIGHT IS WHITE AND WHITE IS RIGHT”.
This individual and I have had this conversation before. Several months ago, when we discussed what we thought was the largest problem facing the world, I spoke of racism. He spoke of classism. I actually found it quite ironic, because here we are, a Black male business owner (ostensibly “middle class”), and a white woman living below the poverty level (which would be considered “lower class”), yet HE is the one touting classism as the dominant issue of the day while I am discussing the global system of white supremacy.
This to me attests to the power of the white supremacist system. It has been refined to the point that a “victim of racism” is defending the oppressors and spewing the party line, that is all about economic classes unrelated to race. I asked him how he could explain the fact that while the vast majority of the worlds population are non-white people, the highest concentration of wealth is in white hands.
Money may bring power to certain (White) people. But, under the white supremacist system, the poorest white folks are told that they are superior to any non white people, simply because of the color of their skin. Yes, poor white people exist. However, they still have and elevated status based upon their perceived race. A poor white man can dress up in a suit and tie and pass for a wealthier man, whereas a non white person cannot change the color of their skin. White people, regardless of economic status, are afforded certain privileges that non white people do not enjoy.
A poor white family living in a trailer park and eating canned beans for dinner every night is still afforded the luxury in this system of looking at even the wealthiest non white individual as somehow beneath them. Those at the top make sure it stays that way, because if poor white people and poor non white people formed a coalition and fought for justice side by side the whole system would come crashing down. Instead of a poor white man and a poor non white man seeing themselves as partners in the struggle for justice, the white supremacist system makes sure that every white man is invested in his own racial “superiority” despite his inferior socioeconomic status.
As long as a poor white man is taught that he is “better” than a non white man, he will help keep the global system of white supremacy going. He will be so invested in the idea of being one step above a non white person that he will not realize he is ten steps below everyone else. He will do whatever it takes to keep his tenuous hold on the status and privilege his skin color gives him. He will be the most dangerous enemy of justice in the world.