Dear White Writers, “White Supremacy” is Not a Label and You Don’t Have a Clue How White You Are When You Make Black Writers Feel Blacker Than They Already Do

Ezinne Ukoha
5 min readNov 28, 2016

A recent article written by Kevin Drum for Mother Jones surfaced in my Sunday morning feed and my weary observation forced me to counteract despite by my best intentions.

I’ve been here before and no matter how many pieces I have strewn from experience and experimental surrender, there remains the reality of why Black America and White America can’t ever merge in harmony.

White people don’t comprehend the mechanisms of racism.

They hear about it and they watch the bombastic videos that feature leading ladies playing roles that they will never sign up for and the leading men don’t threaten because the staged landscape of America won’t permit such travesty.

Drum is now somewhat of a household name because he is White and boldly explorative. It is very hard to come up with a formula that distinguishes you from the rat pack of White writers who purposely find innovative ways to convince Black people that they are on our side — without reservations or outlandish theories that threaten to regulate them to the wasteland of indigenes.

Drum’s failure labeled as Let’s Be Careful With the White Supremacy Label woefully fails the section of White America that believes that they are exempt from all the reasons why a racist asshole was recently elected to the office of the presidency.

It’s a gratifyingly short testimony that aims to evaluate the irrelevance of the term “white supremacy” as it pertains to modern day applications. It deplorably aims to examine how and why the term “white supremacy” is misused and over-wrought in an effort to give racism a legitimate stance in a society that is suffocating in the tendons of everything that that civil rights activists died for not so long ago.

This is the author’s take on why the use of “white supremacy” doesn’t quite fulfill his innate tendencies towards empathy and the instinctual grasp of what it takes to be burdened with the superiority of another race at the expense of your life and the lives of those who you love:

For what it’s worth, this is a terrible fad. With the exception of actual neo-Nazis and a few others, there isn’t anyone in America who’s trying to promote the idea that whites are inherently superior to blacks or Latinos. Conversely, there are loads of Americans who display signs of overt racism — or unconscious bias or racial insensitivity or resentment over loss of status — in varying degrees.

It is beyond painful to have to point out the obvious to a White writer who is tackling a subject that is so above his pay grade. I can only wonder how editors of reputable publications sell their souls for the glory of clicks while bastards like me fall for their approved offerings in ways that translate into responses that only help to make their nonsensical deliveries even more relevant.

But, I can’t help myself. I lived through the excess of the eighties and survived the period when Y2K was considered a serious threat — even though it really signaled the avalanche of heightened technology that surpassed whatever we dreamed under the stars of the Millennium.

How dare a White man tell people of color what to feel about White supremacy and the darkness that comes with the realization that we are being undermined by people that inherently believe that they are better than anybody that doesn’t quite fit into the slot of appeal.

Drum’s point of view is offensive but definitely not isolated.

It’s also fucking dangerous and reckless of this writer and his ill-guided editors to publish a piece that sets us back even further and gives President-elect Donald Trump all the ammunition he needs to fill his Christmas tree with ornaments that refuse justice and embrace the temperament of anything that makes people of color feel righteously inferior.

We also can’t forgive Drum for this:

This isn’t just pedantic. It matters. It’s bad enough that liberals toss around charges of racism with more abandon than we should, but it’s far worse if we start calling every sign of racial animus — big or small, accidental or deliberate — white supremacy.

The author’s take on the whole racial stimulus is the tendency to exaggerate the gravity of the audacity of White people who spend time belittling the pursuits of Black people with the hopes that they succeed in reducing us to irrelevant crops that sprout for the benefit of being vanquished.

Make no mistake, Mother Jones did a great disservice by publishing such fodder but we can’t deny that these actions help to keep the beliefs of social misfits alive and well. We don’t subscribe to the United aspect of America. We knew that Hillary would lose and without a doubt we revel in that fact. We are Black and proud and we write from the underground tunnels that don’t invite us to CNN panels or the debates that MSNBC wages with gusto.

We are silently moving the movement that White people can’t stand being alienated from — so they come up with ways to stay connected to a narrative that they can’t possibly fathom.

Here’s the thing — there is virtually no difference between the logic of “White supremacy” and the fundamentals of racism. In order to be racist — you have to be surrendered to the logic that the very people you deplore are somehow beneath your station. There is no way that you can feel “supreme” without owning some measure of superiority.

It is amazing that this very sensible explanation has to be explained to someone of the “superior” race but I guess there is a limit to how much God doled out to you “lucky ones.”

Dear White writers, please refrain from tackling subjects that are above your pay grade — especially when it forces you to reveal the crack in the foundation of your right to produce reflective pieces that are supposed to make you look smarter than you really are.

I get the need to fill the quota of a refreshing prospective — but there will never be a better way to express the devastating plight of racism and you will never be White enough to overthrow the testimonies of Black writers who clearly know what the fuck they are writing about.

You are too White and too privileged to try so stop now and listen.

And spare us the embarrassing reverie of how tragic it is to be White and victimized as “supremacists.”

It beats being Black and marked for an early grave — and if you happen to change hues give us a ring and we will help you edit that supremely evocative essay that captures the experience you thought you knew.