White Rage

White rage at Obama’s lead in the polls is palpable.  Daily it is expressed in racist taunts by average citizenry. The basis of this anger is a fear of loss of privilege.  Obama is threatening not because of the policies he espouses, but because of the blackness of his body.  Some have used the irrational fear of socialism to justify their angst but  at best Obama is a centrist and anyone with even a cursory understanding of Marxism would be hard pressed to describe the man as a communist.

What I find interesting about the rage is that it is not viewed as socially threatening.  Whiteness is entitled to anger at the smallest slight; whereas blackness is expected to accept its second class location and or marginalization without complaint.  White people love the long suffering negro but are not prepared to play that role themselves.

A black person that is willing to subvert their personal will to uphold white hegemony is praised and held up as a role model for all people of colour to follow; whereas one that expresses dissatisfaction is deemed a threat to social order.   Barack is a threat because he refuses to play Uncle Tom to McCain’s Simon Legree.

Many of his supporters will not walk around displaying their hatred behind white sheets, but that does not mean that it is not still a covert display.  When they refer to him as Barack Huessin Obama and suggest that he is an ‘other’, what must be taken into consideration is what the binary opposite represents.  American means God fearing and white.  The resounding wails about the downfall of the American empire are really about fear of the devaluation of whiteness. 

Whiteness feels entitled not only to power but safety, thus when it is inferred that Obama is a terrorist it is an attempt to benefit off of the social construction of black males as violent.  Though the connections are tenuous at best, no real evidence needs to be offered because the belief is supported by the social construction of the black male body. 

In a world where so many feel powerless and unstable whiteness as valuable is one of the few remaining constants.  Whiteness is something intangible that can be embraced as you are losing your job, your home, or declaring bankruptcy.  While the world around you is descending into chaos as long as whiteness remains valuable there still exists a possibility to express a form of power. Racism is the tenacious expression of power where no real power to effect macro change exists.  It is the lie of difference that is sold by the ruling elite to create division in situations that call for unity.


H/T Urban Swirl

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