We’re living in a golden age of awareness about white supremacy. You can’t turn on your TV without hearing the phrase applied to the news, whether it’s the explanation for Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia or Kyle Rittenhouse’s actions in Kenosha. But more often than not, white progressives’ newfound obsession with opposing white supremacy isn’t helping. It’s coming at Black people’s expense.
Reverend Jerry McAfee of New Salem Church in Minneapolis has described white supremacy as a situation where white people are defining your reality and then forcing you to live under that definition. And sadly, that’s what we’re seeing now over and over: White folks on the Left defining a reality for us that doesn’t comport with how we as Black people see things, then demanding we identify with it.
Take the Rittenhouse trial. Though Kyle Rittenhouse shot three white men, killing two of them, he has been described as a white supremacist on countless media outlets, with some even misreporting the facts and writing that he killed Black people. There is a mass effort underway to gaslight Blacks into believing Kyle was a threat to us and that he came to Kenosha to shoot us, when the facts tell a very different story, one of white on white crime.
Rittenhouse came to Kenosha as a result of Black Lives Matter riots. But many of us in the Black community see white people as major instigators in the riots. Not only do progressive politicians refuse to call out violent rioting on the assumption that somehow Black people support the burning of our neighborhoods, but footage frequently circulates on Black Twitter of white malefactors being schooled or begged to desist in violent acts by Black people. This happened just last week outside the Kenosha courthouse, when a Black elder found himself forced to play peacemaker to a non-Black person threatening to commit violence.
Speaking of those riots, it’s not just that white progressives demure from calling out and stopping the violence. The riots in Minneapolis in the wake of George Floyd’s killing represented “one of the worst cases of white supremacy that we’ve ever seen,” as Reverend McAfee put it in the docuseries “BLM Aftermath.” BLM Aftermath examines the current state of cities that were impacted by those riots. It tracks how the riots devastated the community but also created an opportunity for white people to buy up distressed assets and price Black people out. In other words, in a cruel, ironic twist, Wokeism is exacerbating gentrification.
In a less violent way, this same pattern appears in the hysteria among some white liberals about opponents of critical race theory in schools. One of the central mobilizing narratives in the Virginia governor’s race earlier this month, Democrats cast parents voting against a renewed focus on race in their children’s curriculum as “white supremacy,” and progressives have vowed to “aggressively” swing back against concerns about critical race theory in 2022. And yet, according to a recent Susquehanna/Federalist poll, 49 percent of Black voters said critical race theory should not be taught in schools.
Is Democrats’ plan to label half of Black voters white supremacists?
Here again is another example of white people promoting policy in the name of Black people without taking into consideration the actual views of the people they claim to support. It’s just the latest example of “We don’t get it.”
Why does this keep happening?
It has been well documented that in today’s America, white progressives are far more Left wing than African Americans. From support for educational equality and freedom of speech to opposition to defunding the police and mass immigration, we Black voters hold views on a number of issues that many white progressives would consider “problematic.” This disconnect between white progressives and Black people often leads to political outcomes that are in conflict with the desires of the very people that the woke are ostensively claiming to help.
This is something the media used to report on. In 2018, Politico ran an article titled “How 2018 became the Year of the Black Progressive.” The piece described a strategy by progressives to convince Black people to ignore their preferred policy positions and support far-Left candidates by running Black progressives instead of moderates. “Though white and black Democrats do not share the same politics, they are uniting behind black candidates in races where white moderates would typically win the nomination,” Politico reported. “Put another way: Skilled black candidates are winning Democratic nominations not despite being progressive, but precisely because they’re running to the left of their competition to have a shot at winning white liberals.”
In other words, progressives are using Black people to get elected—and then push policy that doesn’t comport with our preferences.
Promoting policies that Black people are against, engaging in riots in support of those positions and then buying up the neighborhoods that were destroyed as a result sounds a lot like the Reverend’s description of white supremacy.
It’s time for Democrats to start listening to the Black community and catering to us where we’re at—or they can expect to see a lot more losses like they did in Virginia.
Darvio Morrow is CEO of the FCB Radio Network and co-host of The Outlaws Radio Show.
The views in this article are the writer’s own.