It’s easy for us, the white children of the Colorblind Generation, to continue to focus on individual prejudice while denying systemic oppression. It’s how we were raised. It’s how we were taught. Surely, we are innocent. Surely, we don’t benefit from white supremacy. Surely, we don’t perpetuate it.
And yet, white supremacy is alive and thriving in America today. It exists as a system, perhaps even more than as a skin color. It rewards not only those who work to support the system, but also those who do nothing to impede it. Those who sit silently in the face of oppression. Those who step up and affirm the system that oppresses them. Those who don’t even think to question the stories we’re told about whiteness, blackness, and our place in the world.
White supremacy creates an environment where generation after generation are uninformed about the violence it takes to maintain their safety, then rewards them for never questioning what they’re told.
White supremacy created the environment that allowed me to reach the age of 21 without ever questioning it. For decades, I did nothing to try to stop it.
I benefit from white supremacy.
And if you’re a white American — so do you.