• 'Whiteness' As A Social And Psychological Disorder.

    Abagond, as usual, had an enlightening blog post on Derrick Bell's "The Rules of Racial Standing." These are the unspoken rules used to neatly marginalize and minimize black Americans while preserving the elevated perch of morality and image from which white America wishes to sit. Reading the "rules," I get the feeling that some whites wish to continue seeing themselves as "the stewards of the wayward black society" or such other nonsense.

    "Rule" #2 is what grabbed my attention:

    What whites say about racism is to be taken way more seriously than what blacks say. Even when whites are merely repeating what blacks say. Because white opinion is assumed to be unaffected by racism. Because the white viewpoint is what everything else is being measured against. Therefore whites always come out seeming the most fair-minded and even-handed.

    My question was "Why? Why do whites consider themselves to be most impartial and authoritative figures when it came to what blacks think and say about racism, especially when their fellow whites perpetrated so much prejudicial bigotry and injustice?"

    I left the following comment at Abagond, as an attempt to figure out why white Americans bestow impartiality and authoritativeness upon themselves and other whites in regards to historical and current prejudice against black Americans.

    I truly believe "whiteness" to be a collectively-driven mental and social disease that's worthy of being included in the DSM-IV. It's a social phenomenom where people can indulge in their supposed inherent goodness by associating themselves with color traits that were historically used in European society to represent purity and cleanness. Since they're inherently good, it's extremely hard for them to accept how they are subconsciously capable of committing evil against others. When you have outward displays of evil, it's segmented so that such displays can't hurt the collectively shared illusion of white goodness.

    Of course, that leads these people to associate dark-skinned Americans, the "blacks," as you will, with as many negative traits as one could come up with. Because the color black equals evil, death, dirtyness, wrongness, etc., and they happen to be of a dark hue. Thanks to this overly simplified yet satisfying reasoning, dark-skinned Americans are seen as naturally bad, no matter what they do or how they live. Therefore, when they do good things, such events are treated as an exception rather than a rule, because they're naturally bad and whites are naturally good.

    Therefore, it's soothing to those indulging in "whiteness" to see "good blacks" calling their brethren bad or evil, because it reaffirms and reinforces the entire concept of whiteness. I doesn't matter if "good blacks" are calling other "blacks" bad for legitimate reasons or for the most far-fetched and silliest of them, as long as those blacks are being chastised by other blacks, "whiteness" is confirmed and reaffirmed.

    When dark-skinned Americans say things that discomfort "good whites" (by attempting to shatter the social illusion that "whiteness" represents), whites become highly defensive. Why? Because it's a direct attack on their beliefs of inherent goodness. The "Farrakhans" are, in effect, calling whites bad and evil, and whites are reacting by saying "no, I'm inherently good. I can't be evil. You're evil because that's just what you people are." It's interesting to see these whites taking personal an attack on their greater being. They just can't take being told they're responsible for certain evils by a people they see as inherently evil itself. Hence the genesis of the whole "black racism" thing. Or the constant refrain of "fix your own people's problems before focusing on ours."

    On the other hand, dark-skinned Americans are always considered bad, dirty and evil as a collective group that most whites cannot expend genuine thought in distinguishing into individual components. It's easy to attack the "black" group while praising individual "blacks," as though the group was inherently incapable of being good. News reports of "blacks" being their naturally evil selves are seen as unbiased (because they are true, as far as good whites are concerned), while interest stories and news reports that put "blacks" in a positive light are seen as inherently biased (because it runs counter to the ideals of "whiteness").

    Given America's tendency to see things in a hard GOOD/BAD dictonomy, on top of the centuries-long propaganda against dark-skinned Americans for the sole purpose of cementing their status as chattel, it's little wonder you have those 5 rules. Those rules work to reaffirm white "goodness" and condemn "blackness." It's a neverending loop of recordings telling whites they're naturally good and blameless for any ills or evils, done so to keep them from fully assuming collective responsibilities of their fellow brothers and sisters and those of their forefathers. They want to forget those nasty things. They want to be collectively pure, clean and blameless. Nothing is their fault, as others must have had something to do with it.

    The only way I can see to prevent these rules from unfolding is to not be in places where they can unfold in the first place. Personally speaking, that means disassociating oneself from whites and white society. Easier said than done.

    The whole idea of "whiteness" continues strong and unabated because it simply feels good. Other ethnic groups that are sufficiently "white" enough to fit in want to get in on this good feeling. Even the so-called "Uncle Toms" and "good ones" want to get in on the good feeling, if only to escape being associated with everything that is bad and evil.

    It must be nice to belong to a group of people who see themselves as blameless and inherently good, with the ability to shift blame onto "others" outside of the group who are, of course, naturally and inherently evil.

    Homosexuality was once in the DSM-IV. Perhaps "whiteness" should take its place.