“If The Average White Person Doesn’t Hate Black People, Why Does Racism Persist?”

A comment presented from one of my articles became the title of this essay and prompted me to write it.

Dr. Cynthia Alease Smith

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The title is a question I received, like so many of the questions I am asked by cognitively dissonant people identifying as white, who more than likely consider themselves average as well. I am struck by the question at once, principally because this particular commenter actually expects me to know the answer to a question that opens with an inconsistency of reality I am expected to assume and then draw my answer from as though the paradox of Racism exists in a vacuum and without any defined rationale. This to me is exceedingly arrogant and makes me angry, very angry. The mass delusion between the lines is like a paradoxical math question without a rational answer:

if the average of x ≠ 0, then why is x = 0?

Of the many reasons to be incensed over the subject of white supremacism’s relationship with wanton hatred of Black people and whether or not the case is true for many average white people today, I am furious about the consistent desire over the generations to manipulate history by outright changing it or softening it to the extent of creating a fantasy about the Enslavement using terms like Antebellum, literally meaning “before the war,” and rendering the period fanciful due to its romanticized view of plantation owners as “noble landowners”[1] and their women as beautiful, dutiful, and longsuffering, analogous to Scarlet Ohara from Gone With the Wind.

My anger extends to the periods Whiteness ideology reminisces as the Reconstruction of 1865 through 1877, the Progressive Era of the early 1900s, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1940s through the 1970s. These periods were all dangerous and deadly for Black people at the hands of white people. Average white people of the day were raping, burning, looting, driving out Black families, and murdering them. However, since the history of Black America is still being written and the jury is still out on the nature of atrocities that may befall us in the future, I remain a very angry Black woman because I cannot escape the knowledge of…

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Dr. Cynthia Alease Smith

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