The White Mindset
American culture would push even the most forgiving and magnanimous man of this century to consider buying a gun for his protection and the protection of his family against white people with a vested interest in keeping the black community in its subjugated status. A black man with the patience of Dr. King, Gandhi, and Mother Teresa rolled into one, would have no choice but to succumb to the dark side of the Force dealing with the people’s denial that racism exist.
White American culture is mistakenly thought of as little more than people with white skin. But, it is much deeper than that. It is a mindset that is oriented to prejudge everything from a white person’s perspective or with a white person’s advantage in mind. One of the major characteristics of this type of thinking is a rather childish insistence not to acknowledge that people of various colors exist and that somehow segregation is no longer an issue. A white mindset will insist black people are treated more than fairly or are favored in the employment processes of the corporate American landscape even though blacks make up a tiny minority fraction of the employees in any office environment or factory floor. A white mindset will insist people of color are treated fairly by law enforcement and in courtrooms even though somehow the fifteen percent of the population that is black equates to thirty-four percent of the prison population. A white mindset would have you believe black people are irresponsible while white people who imitate the manufactured culture corporate America identified as being the black community are excused for their actions. The list goes on and on for the hypocrisy is astounding and knows no bounds.
Many black people suffer from being engrossed in a white mindset. It happens when we force our black children into schools controlled by a board of education with a white mindset that limits black history to a single month out of the year white history is taught year round, even during Black History month. Black people become pawns of the white mindset when there is a relentless focus on materialism and the accumulation of wealth which is so heavily concentrated in the white mindset community. In order to have a chance of becoming part of the wealth distribution system we kick our black perspectives to the curb and jump head first into the white mindset. Black people develop a white mindset by subjecting themselves to the relentless onslaught of television programs like Seinfeld, Friends, Dawson’s Creek, According to Jim, Everybody Loves Raymond, the Discovery Channel, A&E, the History Channel, Lifetime, Star Trek (pick whatever version you want), the Sci-Fi Channel, or anything else that comes on television that promotes and reinforces a world of white mindset dominance.
For nearly every black person who seeks a professional career in areas such as architecture, medicine, space exploration, financing, banking, engineering, education, astronomy, education, archeology, law enforcement, automobile design, hospitality, piloting, and etcetera, requires the immersion of one’s self into white culture. It is inevitable if we want to participate.
This is why there are so many people making the choice to become toms for the white community. It’s why we have Condoleezza Rice working so hard to become George Bush’s political concubine. It’s why Colin Powell wanted to be the Republican Party’s figurative doorman. It’s why Oprah Winfrey works so hard to win the mammy of the century award. It’s why Bill Cosby wants to play the role of the Pied Piper of Hamelin and lead all the good little black people away to the land of assimilation. It’s why Tiger Woods refuses to acknowledge seeing a black man when he looks in a mirror. It’s why my brothers and sisters continue to condone so many black people falling through cracks in the American system.
Why is there so much discrepancy between the treatment of black people and white people? People like to dismiss it as little more than happenstance. But how can it be just a product of chance when it happens in so many different categories and in so many different instances and in so many different locations and in so many different people? The same scenario happens over and over again with white people having the advantage. White people matter and black people don’t. It has been cunningly ingrained into our psyche and can be virtually impossible to acknowledge (even though it is so obvious) and even more impossible to resist. The white mindset quickly looks the other way or feigns total ignorance, confusion, and surprise when black people can no longer tolerate their blatant racial insensitivity and point it out for black and white people to see. But the black mindset will continue to bring attention back to this issue in all its colors, shades, shapes, and forms time and time again.
For all of its protestations of confusion and ignorance and exhaustion at hearing yet another example of black people calling white people racist, the white mindset must deal with the black mindset that stands ready to call attention to their scandalous behavior. When the white television anchor inappropriately calls attention to the blackness of an individual suffering from a catastrophe, the black mindset is there to ask why we have to go there. “So poor and so very black”. Why did we have to go there? Nobody ever comments about the whiteness of the victims of disaster. No one would ever say that the people in the trailer park were “so very poor and so very white” when the tornado touched down and knocked over their homes. But when the discrepancy was pointed out the black mindset is painted as the problem. Just let it go.
The people with the white mindset need to get over their insistence that all is well in America. Because while more and more white people enjoy the milk and honey, more and more black people have to tolerate getting by on bread and water. The black mindset will continue to bring attention back to this issue in all its colors, shades, shapes, and forms time and time again. The only thing we have to keep the white mindset at bay in its dealings with the black community is the black mindset that is sensitive to black people and their needs.