Jonathan Capehart speaks onstage during Family Equality's Night at the Pier at Pier 60 on May 16, 2022 in New York City.

POLITICS: As a black man, I have a very different definition of who the white supremacists are

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What exactly is “white supremacy”? People these days seem to have their own definition for this ever-present phrase, molding it into whatever suits their particular agenda. Since it appears to be fluid, I’d like to present another definition.

White supremacy is a belief system that holds black people as continuous victims in a white-majority society, deeming them incapable without the benevolence of white people or the government and constantly portraying them as impoverished, weak-willed, overly emotional, mentally fragile and without fortitude.

It fuels the idea that black people constantly need a helping hand because they will always be marginalized and incapable of doing for themselves otherwise.

This type of white supremacy is hard to recognize because it is masked by benevolent ideological saviorism. This saviorism pretends that rare, racially charged, heavily publicized incidents are commonplace to reinforce fear narratives that legitimize the need for black people’s saviors to exist.

It’s a belief system, so the complexion of those holding it doesn’t matter as long as they’re willing to put their beliefs into action. If we are to play by the rules of progressives who claim black people can be the “black faces of white supremacy” — which a Los Angeles Times columnist called radio host Larry Elder — then I’d like to add to the list.

Philando Castile was killed after allegedly pulling out a gun on a Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop in 2016.
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Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart’s piece last week, “Why Black people are afraid of ‘crazy’ White people,” insinuated blacks live in constant fear of being attacked by “crazy” white supremacists. His evidence was in part a Washington Post-Ipsos poll that asked a small sample size of 806 black adults about their perceived threat of “white supremacy” in America. Mind you, this poll was conducted seven days after the racially motivated Buffalo supermarket shooting — easily an emotional timeframe.

When considering the idea of black people protecting themselves with a gun, Capehart highlights the unfortunate 2016 death of Philando Castile. See, if Philando, a black man, can’t legally possess a gun without getting shot by the police, neither can I, right?

The column’s purpose is to present life for black Americans as riddled with fear as we are constantly scared to do mundane activities, incapable of legally protecting ourselves and even prepared to give up — Capehart suggests more black people are considering leaving America permanently.

Black people being fearful is a palatable message to present in the media, especially by other black people. I can’t help but notice, however, that the black people who constantly present “black fear” narratives and portray black people as weak are … among the economic elite.

They are the ivory-tower black elites who highlight their race for oppression points when it conveniently benefits them while living a life of luxury among all races.

They enjoy claiming they’re aligned with “marginalized” blacks because it gets them points from their “woke white supremacist” urbanite acquaintances. They’ll cry on command on live TV when an underclass black dies inauspiciously to receive a pat on the back for someone else’s misfortune. 

Jonathan Capehart speaks onstage during Family Equality's Night at the Pier at Pier 60 on May 16, 2022 in New York City.
Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart keeps fueling “white supremacy” by insisting black Americans are always the victims.
Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Family Equality

These black faces of white supremacy consistently repeat black-victim narratives because they believe we, the black middle class and poor (a k a the underclass), should be beggars for white people’s economic and governmental support. Actually, to them, there is no black middle class, just a temporary class that at any moment we can drop below with the poor because the system is rigged against us.

But if it’s rigged, how did the black elite achieve their wealth? The underclass blacks aren’t supposed to ask this question.

Jonathan Capehart is the black face of white supremacy. To be fair, he’s one of many black faces of white supremacy — one of many famous black media figures who whimper for white progressive sympathy while enjoying the lavish life of a 1 percenter.

As someone who’s been poor, homeless multiple times and lived check-to-check, I don’t appreciate it when the world’s most fortunate black people bastardize my existence and expect me to live in fear while being applauded for selling me out.

They are the bigots of low expectations, and we should always remind them of our present-day and historical fortitude.

Adam B. Coleman is the author of “Black Victim To Black Victor” and founder of Wrong Speak Publishing.



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