illustration by @YawoBrown

The Subtle Linguistics of
Polite White Supremacy

by Yawo Brown // TheMagicalNegro.net

What is Polite White Supremacy?

Polite White Supremacy is the notion that whites should remain the ruling class while denying that they are the ruling class, politely. Affectionately, it’s called #PWS for short. It has been referred to as the Casual American Caste System, Delicate Apartheid, Gentle Oppression, or what I like to call it after a few drinks: Chad Crow, the super chill grandson of Jim Crow.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
RACISM AND PREJUDICE

Racism and prejudice are NOT interchangeable. Racism is the systemic oppression of one group of people who can be categorized within certain phenotypical traits over multiple generations that has been, at one point, sanctioned by a country, the majority and/or ruling class. Racism is committed only by the ruling class and agents of the ruling class because they have the power that comes with racism. Racism, in America, is absolutely the attack dog of the white ruling class. However, sometimes it’s also a slow poison in that it causes its victims to die of exhaustion or grief. Again, racism is a kind of prejudice that comes with power. Racism is the systematic and intentional oppression of group of people from the ruling class and its agents. In America, the ruling class is white people…of all classes.

OVERT RACISM TO COVERT RACISM:
THE EARLY STAGES OF POLITE WHITE SUPREMACY

Today’s covert version of white supremacy is a lot more subtle than having black overseers beat their fellow slaves. Nor is this power the same as buying or selling your slaves children for a good price, using black children as alligator bait, cutting open pregnant black women, castrating black men, generational rape and molestation of black women and men, and lynchings of those who were accused of making whites nervous. This is something more subtle than that. The ruling class has begun to employ a particularly clever passive tactic to remain in power while denying this power. They pretended this was the natural way for society to function and influenced perception by using double standards in language as a starting point.

THE 3 KEY INGREDIENTS OF
POLITE WHITE SUPREMACY

In detail, Polite White Supremacy relies on three key components to ensure its success: comfort, control, and confidentiality.

INGREDIENT 1 — COMFORT

The comfort level of whites relied on redlining to keep blacks out of white neighborhoods. To maintain comfort, home loan officers covertly switched from overt segregation to the more subtle practice of redlining, one early example of Polite White Supremacy.

A HOLC 1936 security map of Philadelphia showing redlining of lower income 
neighborhoods.[1]Households and businesses in the red zones could
not get mortgages or business loans.
Source - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redlining

INGREDIENT 2 — CONTROL

Control the terminology and you can control the perception. Eventually this perception helps onlookers judge whether an area is good or bad. Polite White Supremacy adapted many forms of control to maintain its subtlety. #PWS controls the narrative and perception by controlling language itself. The subtle linguistics of Polite White Supremacy influence perception through usage of disingenuous and misleading terminology with subtle double standards. These double standards continue to permeate stereotypes within news, film, education and music.

INGREDIENT 3 — CONFIDENTIALITY

Confidentiality is silent complicity while pretending that black suffering happens because blacks somehow deserve it. Polite White Supremacy uses confidentiality to pretend this is all normal for it’s own existence to remain in power covertly.

http://TheMagicalNegro.net - Practical Methods for Identifying & Dismantling Polite White Supremacy - #PWS -

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