Sunday, August 20, 2017

White America and White Supremacy

"White Americans have a tendency to whitewash and deliberately downplay the reality and gravity of their past and present sins. Slavery is regarded as a minor error within the great tapestry of brutality, despite its long-lasting, systemic and ever-present effects. White people are simultaneously fascinated by slavery-era history and deeply scared of admitting how much they still benefit from generational wealth and privilege from as far back as 400 years ago. Slavery allowed land-owning, slave-owning whites to accumulate massive amounts of wealth while racking up major savings on labor costs (some economists estimate the value of slave labor to be as much as $14 trillion). This money was passed down for generations, while the descendants of enslaved people are still suffering from the effects of slavery and Jim Crow laws. Going further back, white European settlers were given acres of land under the 1862 Homestead Act, after Native Americans were forcibly removed, and thousands died, following the 1830 Indian Removal Act. In 1790, “free white persons” were given naturalization while immigrants like Asian Americans and other non-white groups were denied citizenship and therefore barred from owning land and accumulating wealth. These barriers to citizenship didn’t change until 1952. White people in the U.S. benefitted from redlining, the G.I. Bill of Rights and, even today, white women benefit the most from affirmative action laws."
-Lara Wit, "White Liberals (Moi...) still don't understand White supremacy

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