You Mad?: How Dr. Saida Grundy Busted Open the Myth of White Supremacy5/13/2015
by Leah C.K. Lewis The Myth of White Supremacy is the scourge of the earth. Period. I do not believe that world has ever seen an afflic...
by Leah C.K. Lewis
The Myth of White Supremacy is the scourge of the earth. Period. I do not believe that world has ever seen an affliction of this magnitude. People of European descent who are so inclined and people of color who are broken by the ever-present execution of this pernicious ideology perpetuate this diabolical myth.
Many of the purveyors of this sinister mindset are men who act out in ways detrimental to the human race because significant numbers of people are harmed socially, economically, physically, psychologically, and spiritually.
If we were to look solely at the implications of the Myth of White Supremacy in the United States, it is white men in the various seats of power that have murdered and pilfered countless millions often in the name of some form of self-declared and self-determined “manifest destiny.” From the presidency, to Congress, to Wall Street, to corporate board rooms, to military situation rooms, white men inclined toward mayhem for their own gain have laid waste to valuable human resources in one form or another.
Without question in the United States, the historical facts establish this: the dastardly enslavement of African peoples, patriarchy, the genocide of Native American Indians, never-ending warmongering, the manipulation of discriminatory laws, and the numerous anti-immigrant campaigns have been—and in some instances, continue to be—perpetuated largely by white men. Consequently, opportunities for people of color and women have consistently and persistently been decimated. These are not racist, but factual, claims.
This is but one of a myriad of ways of understanding and placing into context the tweets from Saida Grundy, Ph.D. As a result of her exercise of well-honed thought and free speech, some folks are all upset. Professor Grundy has been label as “racist” and “anti-white” for asserting factual summations of U.S. history in 140 characters or less. Such claims simply do not hold weight. Contending that white males are a “problem population” alone is not enough to forge a claim that Dr. Grundy meets what is perhaps the lowest threshold of ethnic bigotry—in this case, asserting the inferiority of white males or the superiority of any other group.
The young scholar (presumably a white male) who took umbrage with Professor Grundy’s tweets felt compelled, first, to compile a series of her tweets and then opted to justify the immorality and pathology of white males by pointing out that other populations are immoral and pathological too. For example, it was noted that Arabs, Muslims, and Barbary pirates also participated in the slave trade. (Let me add, so did Africans who deemed their captives “enemies.”) To justify brutality by calling a roll of those who also perpetuated slavery is perverse in itself, is it not?
A critical piece of data is lost in this outrage over Dr. Grundy’s remarks—especially her tweet about white males as a troubled population. Here it is: The world would be a much better place if white males would engage in a measure of self-introspection that could possibly lead them to the recognition of who they really are—flawed, not superior, human beings just like the rest of humanity.
To make or imply this recommendation does not make me or Dr. Grundy a racist or anti-white. It makes us clear-eyed, intelligent, and realistic.
As a population that has wielded so much power, the legacy of privileged white men is predicated on the destruction and delimiting of other peoples and women. History bears this out in grand fashion. This is a sad reality.
Fulfillment of this nation’s true greatness is not known due to the long-standing suppression of talents possessed by people of color and women. Until every human being is given place and space to operate in the full measure of our intelligence and abilities our communities and societies suffer. The United States included.
When I first read of the burgeoning controversy surrounding Saida Grundy on Facebook, my reply was: "Yeah, and what she said is true. So, what's the problem? Her detractors can't handle the truth! This we know.”
My people are often told, "Get over it." The “it” being our entire history and present day struggle to fend off the systems and other ramifications of the Myth of White Supremacy. It is very difficult to get over what one is currently living through.
So, for those offended by Professor Grundy’s justifiable take on history, how about taking up the oft bandied about recommendation. Lay down your fragility, face the truth, and “get over it.” Face the truth of your long-standing white male privilege and the legacy of degradation of peoples of color and women from which you have benefited. For good measure, I suggest you "get over it" by undertaking acts of contrition.
I can dream can I not?
Photo: University of Michigan
Leah C.K. Lewis, J.D., M.Div., D.Min., (ABD), is a minister, councilwoman, author, animation producer, and literary activist. She recently completed her dissertation on sex and sexuality in the African American Baptist Church and a manuscript on legal, religious, and political rhetoric pertinent to “race.” Follow her @HumanStriving and on SoundCloud.com/Reverend-Leah-CK-Lewis.