The Browning of America — if it Happens, Doesn’t Matter (I.e. More Kimyes won’t resolve racism)

I was watching a clip of an interview with Charles Barkley, another black man and the unfortunate soul that is Richard Spencer (alt right guy) about his usual topic of wanting a whites only society and wanting to maintain the status quo, being against diversity I.e. “make America great again”. As pathetic as Spencer is I in no way felt proud of Barkley and his co-host’s tepid response. “We want what you want,” said Barkley, and the saddest of all came from his co-host “your grandchildren are going to be brown”. Sure we all want the same things in general — decent job, good family ties, etc. but when someone is spewing rhetoric that endangers your existence it doesn’t really seem like the time to plead for your humanity.

But worse yet is the threat that plays in to the mentality of Spencer and the alternative right — which is that if they don’t stop us soon the whole country will be brown. Firstly, it’s a fear that — if true, would take quite some time manifest. Despite white fears and the bizarre notion that Trump played in to in his election — that white people are on near extinction, they still make up 75% of the country, that is a significant majority. And the dream that Spencer has of a white America is already true and has always been true, there are plenty of towns where only white people reside, most of the people who have any power over the common citizen — are white, there has only been one black president, black people make up more of the jail population than they did the slave population in the 1800s, black population control gets a boost from abortion — 35.6% of all abortions in the U.S. are performed on black women, the continued destruction of our bodies by police and by the lack of authoritative help in crime infested areas. So really, things are going just as Spencer would like.

But nevertheless more people are getting in to interracial relationships — especially black men and white women, and more people are producing “brown interracial babies” — except that they’re not. I recall a scene from one of my favorite classic movies where a little white girl — or so she appeared, held the most horrific look on her face when her black mother came to pick her up from school and there was another scene where her white boyfriend beat her up after finding out she was black. See, there have been brown people since the time of slavery when slave masters raped their slave women and enslaved their own offspring. There were sometimes privileges to being the child of a slave master — you might get to work in the house instead of the fields, you might even get an education, you and your mother might even be put to live on the outskirts of town were your father would take care of you and his wife would pretend to know nothing about it. In New Orleans generations of “brown people” tried to keep themselves brown by only marrying other brown people, until they became a people within a people.

Scene from movie classic ‘Imitation of life’

But as interesting as these intricacies are, it didn’t impact the larger system of white supremacy. Someone can be “discovered” as being black despite looking white because whiteness is a purity test, it does not except contamination. So people can make as many brown people as they want, and they will — like they always have, gain a bit of privilege that black people don’t have. But they will not be white and they won’t change the condition of black people. In fact they are black themselves if white people choose to see them that way. Black people who looked like white people had to “pass” precisely because white people considered one drop of black to make you black.

White supremacy is a system invented to serve white people. They have the power, they make the rules — don’t you know that the Greeks whom we model our participatory democracy upon was a nation of mostly slaves? If those in power don’t want to let you in to the system they don’t have, and there’s no reason to believe, “Brown people” will make any difference in that reality.