We need more pessimistic people to darken white supremacy’s hope

hope is in the way and holding it up

Nov 3, 2018 · 4 min read

Most people rightly consider white supremacy a system of oppression to maintain wealth, power, and privilege that people can stew, stir, and stoke with fear and hate.

But white supremacy is also surprisingly hopeful; it needs hope to survive.

This moment, white supremacy needs hope in a wall, guns without borders, white birth rates rising, a brown travel ban, unrestrained law enforcement, a Mean Court, and the whitest immigration policies that end birthright citizenship.

Just mentioning certain buzzwords pushes a rushing flood of high-flying hope into the veins of white supremacy.

Donald Trump is a great, white dope of hope. He pumps white supremacy with eye-popping fixes for its itches.

To amp up his people for his hope, Trump first manufactures and distributes fear. Then Trump touts his hope as the sole antidote to the fear he fosters. That’s how Trump manipulates the market for minds.

But even with his fear-mongering, for his followers, Trump is still a dealer in [white] hope.

This fear and hope are inseparable.

Look at what the Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote:

“Widely different [as fear and hope] are, the two of them march in unison like a prisoner and the escort he is handcuffed to.

Fear keeps pace with hope … both belong to a mind in suspense, to a mind in a state of anxiety through looking into the future.

Both are mainly due to projecting our thoughts far ahead of us instead of adapting ourselves to the present.”

Isn’t that quote an MRI of the mind many people have today?

White supremacy’s hope keeps it raging and fearful.

Within white-supremacist groups, they warn and worry about “white genocide,” but they’re also hopeful white people will finally “wake up.” I now realize there’s a war for different types of wokeness.

And Seneca the Stoic philosopher has more words for hope and fear:

‘Cease to hope … and you will cease to fear.’

If fear is a root of prejudice, then an unrelenting hope of, or for, something else is also a root of prejudice. According to Seneca, fears go away when people stop hoping.

Irrational fears animate the ideology of white supremacy, and its supporters falsely hope they can, and should, control outcomes.

But white supremacy doesn’t limit its hope to extremists; its hope is pervasive.

In her book, How to Be Less Stupid about Race, Dr. Crystal Fleming writes that one need of white supremacy is hopeful people.

And she says this is a hope that “doesn’t threaten the racial status quo.”

That’s why the most insidious supporters of white supremacy are low-key and rosy.

White supremacy can look on the bright sides that make other people feel a dark blue. It sees an upside that keeps people down, and its upbeat nature pounds people to the ground.

This white supremacy can accept everything at face value so long as the color value of the face is white or light.

White supremacy needs America to see itself as colorblind with no need to discuss race and racism. Under this hope, America says Confederate flags and statues are touchy subjects but — no one should touch them.

With politics, white supremacy must have America believe its elections are free and fair. This white supremacy marks a former Black president as the finish line for the relay race of racism because now “white people are victims.”

Even as a nation of prisons, a sanguine white supremacy clings to a criminal justice system it believes is blind. This white supremacy can condemn what it considers an anomaly, but it can’t condemn its system or its society.

White supremacy hangs on to hopes; some hopes are nostalgic, but all of them are nefarious.

When I inspect the cruddy hands of white supremacy, I see blood and calluses.

Its grip on the worst optimism has formed those calluses.

White supremacy is codependent on hope and ending its hope is vital.

To challenge white supremacy, people should use the piercing spikes of pessimism and reality to deflate its bloated hopes.

Our issues aren’t just about hate; our issues are also about ignorant hopes.

Even evil leaders give hope to some people. But the resisters of such regimes must say “nope” to the hopes of dopes.

The naysayers, the skeptics, and the cynics, those are among the best resisters.

Resisters must know and see the dark.

In a white-supremacist society, optimism is an amenity of the complicit, and pessimism is a necessity for fighting.

To shut down the system of white supremacy, more people — especially white people — need to see the dark instead of the oppressive light. That oppressive light, like privilege, is blinding.

But once we recognize we’re in the dark, just like the human eye, our eyes will adjust.

That’s why, in this case, people who see the darkness are a must.

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Sam McKenzie Jr.

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I combat racism and whiteness with verbicide and literary devices. https://www.patreon.com/SamMcKenzieJr | http://ko-fi.com/sammc

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