A Case Study in Whiteness and White Supremacism at Work

Dr. Cynthia Alease Smith
5 min readNov 3, 2023

The title, “If The Average White Person Doesn’t Hate Black People, Why Does Racism Persist?” was from an essay I wrote on October 27th and a video lecture I provided on YouTube shortly after. The response from the individual who provided what prompted the essay was completely out of context, but I responded and was simultaneously inspired by it to write the essay around the part of the response that became the title.

Now, as was the case before, I am inspired by another response to an essay, prompting yet another essay.

Here, using his perceived notion of the inferiority of Blackness, the commenter is giving me advice on how I should be spending my time since I am obviously wasting it rather than curing our ills some other way than my form of education. In his view, Black people perpetrated our circumstances on ourselves through our own shortcomings that led to those differences in life outcomes between us through no fault of whiteness and white supremacism at the root, and ongoing Racism as the mechanism to perpetuate it, but our own inability to succeed, since Racism ended 60 years ago.

The sheer caucasity in which this commenter presents his response is an ideal case study in Whiteness at Work, hence the title of the essay. His comment was as follows:

Structural racism ended 60 years ago with the 1964 Civil Rights Act. You can fill volumes with macabre stories like the doctor’s leather shoes, but for what purpose? Your energy would be better spent helping the Black community with things like education, job outreach, saving and investment, stable family formation, and other things where shortcomings lead to differences in life outcomes between Blacks and whites.

I decided to use my actual response to this person as the essay since it encapsulates exactly what I wanted him to receive from it and what I want everyone to receive from it.

Your response is the essence of my inspiration for writing my essays and my video presentations on YouTube. Your response is the reason why ongoing education in the areas I tackle, especially white supremacy, is so vitally important today.

Now, put on your critical thinking cap and read carefully. Listen to my words in your head and hear them

--

--

Dr. Cynthia Alease Smith

Anti-Racism Essayist & Educator offering discussions about Race, Racism, White Supremacy and the language used, from perspectives not ordinarily considered.