The Whitegeist

Eric A. Jordan

White people can’t see systemic racism, white privilege, or oppression, but they can see aliens, ghosts, the Loch Ness monster, Big Foot, and White Jesus in their morning coffee. Think about that. There are white people who would sooner believe Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy exist than believe in the reality of my skin color. They would rather acknowledge the fact that it’s legal for gays to walk down the aisle, but ignore the fact that it’s lethal for blacks to walk down the street. These cultural blind spots highlight an important tenet of race relations in the United States: black people are still suffering from the pathologies from centuries of being oppressed, and white people are still suffering from the pathologies from centuries of being oppressors. White people consistently costume as colonizers and cosplay as Christopher Columbus, crusading to “culture” cultured African people by making us “sheeple,” bees in the hive mind of the white “pigmentocracy” we live in – respectability policy, polity, idolatry, based on level of melanin in the skin. Because of this, white people do not want us to have anything, even when they claim they do; the system doesn’t allow you to. This is the whitegeist: the zeitgeist of white America.

They don’t want us to have: stable or safe communities, wealth or assets, any quality of life, a voice, representation, or any cultural impact, authority, or power. They don’t even want us to have our own culture. So, they colonize it, homogenize it, and monetize it as something new, something white and good, as they claim to be “integrated” and “down” while they gentrify the hood. They don’t want us to have a life, to draw breath in their white system. Black people get no country in a white kingdom. They stress us, oppress us, suppress us, depress us, and repress us. The only thing white people want us to have is an inferiority complex, and they let us know that everyday via micro- and macro-aggressions rooted in racism: “Can I touch your hair?” “You are so articulate!” “That’s so ghetto!” “I don’t believe in cultural appropriation; I think culture should be for everybody!” “I’m so tired of hearing about racism!” “Lil Wayne says the n-word, why can’t I?” “Affirmative action is racist.” “You are racist for talking about race.” “Africans sold Africans into slavery, so you shouldn’t blame white people for it.” “Race is just a social construct, so it isn’t real, and you’re just being too sensitive.” “What about black on black crime?” “If black people would just obey the law, they wouldn’t get murdered by cops!” Really? Please tell me more about black reality, white person, while you sip your pumpkin flavored drink and place your stunted thoughts and values in your Michael Kors purse, while black people are killed, their bodies piled in a hearse, laid in graves dignity first.

Black people need to wake up and realize that white people do not want us here; so much so that they are literally killing us and denying a racial motive. Jim Crow is not dead! Jim Crow is James Crow now; he is older, more professional, and at the head of the table of every major institution in this nation. We as black people love to listen to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but when are we going to listen to the words of Marcus Garvey? This ride we take with white people only stops when we get off of it. Until then, we will all keep riding this racist roller coaster on which whiteness is the peak and blackness is the valley. We need to get off the ride. They don’t want us on it anyway. Eric Jordan is a PhD student in sociology at the University of Louisville.