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Reply to "Why White People Are Afraid"

Another take:

Originally posted by MBM:
Here's my theory:

  • People are not inherently good or bad. People are people. All people essentially respond to their environment in the best way they know how.

  • For the most recent epoch of history white people have been in power and control over the Earth. The wealthy of that race have propogated a system of blind capitalism which, naturally, seeks maximum profits as the ultimate goal - at the expense of any human or other societal factors and at all cost. Hence, people and nations routinely get raped and exploited in that effort.

  • The poor and working class live in a society that is dominated by consumption. The same advertising and marketing and cultural messages that are desinged to stimulate consumer consumption not only direct consumer behavior, but also impact our definition of culture and society. The poor and working classes see that some are living 'high on the hog'. They also very clearly know (and feel) that they are not living that way and know that they will never ever live that way - which creates extraordinary angst, resentment, and anger in them. They have to express that anger somewhere - so with the help of the wealthy and ruling elite showing them where to point the finger - they direct their animosity toward brown and black people. It's just like the phenomenon of a man getting yelled at at work who comes home and beats his wife. His wife has nothing to do with his problem, but she is a convenient target for his frustration. So - with black and brown people.

    Bottom line: white folks, like all people, act in ways to further their interests. The rich feel pressure to make more - hence they continue to exploit. The poor feel pressure just to feel like they're treading water - which positions them against blacks and browns. The middle class are busy striving to be rich - so they can then exploit too! Hence, from the perspective of an African American, whites largely interact with blacks in decidedly negative ways. Again, from the top, the wealthy exploit and use black people to further their economic interests. From the bottom, whites express their misdirected class frustrations toward blacks to prop up their deflated sense of self-esteem. Blacks and browns receive the brunt of it from both.

    Hence, it's not difficult to see why some black folks think that whites are evil.

  • White people are afraid because they know it is getting increasingly difficult to propogate the system of increasing capitalistic returns. The system is set up to always expect MORE - every quarter, every year. As it gets increasingly difficult to deliver that (as resources expire and as other groups gain greater power), it dramtically ups the tension and causes fear and anxiety that they will lose their very way of life.

    I think this is also compounded by a general 'Fear Of A Black Planet' syndrome as well.