Overt Versus Covert White Supremacy

A friend posted this to Facebook, and I thought it might provide lively discussion.

I’m not a fan of putting “not challenging racist jokes” on par with “it’s just a joke!” I’ve heard jokes about people that look like me that I don’t challenge simply on “racial discussion fatigue” grounds.


Is there an actual link or anything?


Yeah. I was posting from my phone, I hit submit too early by accident, and then lost signal for ten minutes.


There are big problems to start with when debating “white supremacy”. Mainly that neither word is very well defined! The definition of white as a racial construct shifts so much over time as to be practically meaningless without making an effort to define its scope. And I find it odd that so few people question what precisely “supremacy” is supposed to involve or mean. It is both subjective and absolute. “Pepsi is THE BEST!” Um, sure, OK. And naturally, if something had an objectively clear advantage, nobody would really need to argue or make agenda of it.

This graph adds the problem of “covert” to the mix. Covert supremacy in any case sounds like a contradiction in terms. As well as my axiom that anything which people take pains to keep secret is based upon bullshit, false posturing which they don’t want people to know is false until it is “too late”, when they finally consummate their natural predestined advantages.

The whole paradigm of “POC” I think is gravely mistaken. It functions as precisely the same kind of gloss as referring to “ethnic people”. Doing so is reactionary. It posits a norm first, which is not examined, and then creates a category of “other” which are supposedly distinct from it. So long as a group of people are viewed as The Other and not The Norm, they are going to have an uphill battle. Instead it is I think better (as in more accurate) to remind people that each of us has an ethnicity and, if necessary, a color.

Some scenarios such as “post-racialness” and “cultural appropriation” I think might be, for better or worse, inevitable. But they can be approached with drastically differing attitudes. What I think is the obstacle here which many are critical of is using these to dismiss problems rather than solve them. Categories change over time, and populations migrate, split, and merge resulting in identities which are always in flux. Neither race nor culture will ever be “nailed down”, so forcing them to appear distinct might be naive. But that is no excuse for a lack of communication or lack of willingness to address social problems.

As a bi-racial person myself, I often find myself in scenarios which edge upon post race (I am none of these categories) and appropriation (what culture is really ME, anyway?), and I think those trends will become only more pronounced over time.


It always puzzles me when this is presented as an obstacle.

Hot and cold are poorly defined relative terms, yet we make do. Fuzzy logic is still logic. White people as a category still exists. Supremacy is strived for in military contexts without precise definition.

The day arguing semantics bears useful fruit, is the day you’ll be able to tell me what I mean by “useful.”


A good illustration of just how much more work needs to be done. Some of it is getting close to being unacceptable it seems but still not near enough of it.


I’d move the school -> prison pipeline above the line, cuz that’s some f’d up shizzle right there.

And LEO gunning down POC, that too.

Are those really socially acceptable? Or are they just a tool employed by our corporate overloards.

Since we can’t seem to convict anyone, I think society seems to be pretty accepting on the whole.


Yea but, thems the courts tho. I don’t know about you, but ive never been to court and felt like I was part of society, nor with members whom I would consider to be part of any semblance of society.

Unless you count high society. I don’t.

Sure, they are useful in some contexts. So - which one is better? If hot/cold and better/worse are real categories or dichotomies, then how would asking such a question be anything but meaningful? Sure - I can know what the categories are supposed to refer to, but still find the question of whether hot or cold are better to be generally meaningless.

Semantics is useful precisely because people can clarify what they mean by their broad generalizations before getting into details. If that’s too much effort, then I suppose people will need to strive for solutions with people who already frame the issue similarly to themselves. That’s a pretty sorry lookout when the discussion itself is about xenophobia.

Whether or not anything is acceptable all depends upon who you ask.

Agree - but I honestly think if we actually asked the average joe & Jane vs the courts / upper class, we’d get different answers. I’m also a firm believer that the Trump audience is a minority. But I guess I’ll find out in November.

Granted, I also truly believe that this guy is an average joe:

So, might be a little jaded.


what is meant with English-only initiatives?

They’re sometimes ballot initiatives, but sometimes adminstrative or executive actions where English is declared the official language to the exclusion of others from things like ballots. But they can show up non or semi-governmental institutions as well as official government ones. Mainly designed to exclude Spanish speakers.


An “English-only initiative” was pushed in my area by a local politician who, ironically, had delivered a city council speech in Japanese to a group of Japanese business leaders.

His protestations that his speech was somehow different from what would be covered under his policy that all city business be conducted in English was very telling.


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