• Tim Lee

Notions of the “R” Word in 2012 pt. 1

Updated: Oct 23, 2020

Working with youth and young adults for the past decade, I’ve noticed mistaken notions about racism that dominate the thinking of many people my generation and the majority of people in the generation after mine. Such faulty notions and misunderstandings cause people to accept the idea that racism was something that existed from slavery until the 1960s. And while Blacks have gained some ground in society, racism has gone nowhere.

Most young people think of racism as someone parading around the confederate flag or saying, “nigger” when referring to Black people. People who have more experiences may think of racism as whites discriminating against Blacks, falsely accusing Blacks, wrongly convicting them, or not giving them a fair chance, etc. However, these actions are expressions of something deeper. A white man doing something harmful to a Black man (whether it’s beating him, killing him, firing him, not hiring him, not voting for him, or not giving him a loan) is only the effect of a deeper cause. This causes is the notion and perpetuation of white superiority. Racism in America has always been the continued perpetuation and presentation of the idea/ claim of white superiority.

Whites who accept the idea of white superiority (whether consciously or unconsciously) assume a stance of privilege and authority that causes them to behave in ways similar to people with psychological complexes. Blacks who accept the idea of white superiority relinquish their autonomy. As a consequence they work against their own best interests and support white superiority.

The racist acts that we’ve seen in the past and those we see today are merely whites doing their best to defend their self-proclaimed position of dominance. But because there is no truth in white superiority, the action morphs into “holding Blacks back” which presents the illusion of keeping themselves up.

The truth is that other races must be used in presentations of white superiority, even if the other race (namely the Black race) is an unwritten/ unspoken parenthetical statement. Historically, the overt racist approach was to contrast the two races with unsubstantiated bigoted statements that any rational person could conclude recognize as false. Presently, however, these statements are masked in statistics. Either way, such juxtapositions exalt the white and demote the Black (or other race). In the coming days, I will provide two examples of how white superiority is presented historically and presently. Hopefully, this will give people in my generation and the generations after mine to consider as it relates to race relations and expressions of racism in 2012.

#racisminamerica #racism #whitesuperiority #racistacts #confederateflag