African Americans have been residents of what became the United States of America from its inception. The relationship started in struggle which has continued to this day, and the clash between white people and Black people has left significant scars on the African American psyche. Actually, this situation has permeated the racial fabric of people wherever the races interact. Along with imbibing, or better still, exchanging cultural elements, psychological mindsets have been adopted. Black people have assumed many characteristics of the white oppressor, and in some ways, have become great wielders of white supremacy.
Basically, African Americans have aspired, as much as possible, to adopt American culture. This in itself is not bad; there are very many admirable aspects of American culture that can be very beneficial to life and wellbeing. On the other hand, however, there are those elements that we can better do without. As long as we have been part of this culture, we are still in the era of “the first Black this, or the first Black that,” and basically what has occurred is the transfer of white culture to a Black format.
One of the manifestations of the negative aspects of white culture that has been appropriated by Blacks is that of male supremacy; i.e., rampant misogyny. Though Black people lament oppression meted out by whites on the Black race, a lot of Blacks celebrate male supremacy. They eschew notions of egalitarianism among men and women. Hip Hop culture, more specifically, gangsta’ rap, has been one of the main purveyors of this attitude. The result has been dysfunctional families.
In another area of note, Black people are quick to label Black people who do not demonstrate traditional “white middle class values” as ghetto! They laugh at people who have “Africanese” names like Drantacia, Dervonte, Lavasenia, and more. In other words, many Black people who aspire to be perceived as middle class look down on those who do not embrace the same values, which are arguably “white” values.
Other examples of white supremacist concepts in Black American culture can be seen in a love of light skin and so-called “good hair” and the hatred of “nappy” or “kinky” hair. (Good hair is hair that has a texture characteristic of white people.) Regarding skin color, today there are many Black people who are color conscious. Early in American history, certain Black people would not be asked to join certain fraternities and sororities unless their skin was of a lighter hue. This was also seen in certain societies in New Orleans where Blacks had to pass a “paper bag test” to be granted certain privileges among other Blacks. Actually, this is evident today, and some prominent African Americans have boasted that they would not date or marry anyone with dark skin.
Other examples of white supremacy in blackface can be seen in the denigration of Ebonics and the veneration of “talking white.” It is also evident in people who laugh at those who dress “culturally” in African garb, or near African garb, and in a derision of Christian worshippers who are less than sedate in their devotional habits. In other words, it seems that the more services mimic the quiet approach, the closer to being elite, i.e., white, the behavior is deemed to be. Essentially, Black people who adopt white cultural behaviors and attitudes are better accepted among a certain class of Black people who aspire to be like white people. These people look down on other Blacks and possess a white supremacist state of mind. And the ultimate appropriation of white supremacist principles is the love of the word “n*gger,” which is liberally thrown around by Black people in public and in private.
In summary, the self-hatred seen in Black-on-Black violence, the rejection of anything that is characteristic of Black culture, the lack of love for dark skinned Blacks, and a number of other indicators of self-hatred, are the best examples of white supremacy in blackface in American culture today. We must change this behavior; we must do better! A luta continua.