I think most white people are exhibiting ‘white ignorance’ when they make these claims, and I don’t think it belongs in the category of ‘ignorance’ because there is a very deliberate attempt not to see the reality. The reality is that people who are mixed are still subject to the psychological basis of hypodescence, or the one-drop rule.
That is, when white people claim that mixed people (for example, Colin Kaepernick) are just as white as they are black, they essentially use the ‘racism and slavery are a thing of the past’ defense, which most black people and a number of other people of color know is a color-blind defense.
The reality for mixed people is that they are automatically ‘demoted’ to the least white thing about them, which reflects the ongoing psychological reality of hypodescense and by extension reflects the ongoing reality of white supremacy. All of us are considered ‘lesser than’ if we are other than white, and reflecting the ongoing reality of active white supremacy, all black people must be cast, in the context of white supremacy, as inferior.
As per usual, the psychological ‘setting’ for white people, whether or not it is consciously deliberate, is to assume that the mixed person is ‘contaminated’ with the least white thing about them. This eliminates any need to consider them as equals, and keeps the ‘real’ white group’s’ population numbers adequately low to support the higher amount of assets that they, as a group, stole and continue to share among themselves.
I’m personally disinterested in whether or not it is deliberate. It is real, and white people have a responsibility to ‘see’ it: to understand that mixed people — and particularly black people (I am a NBPOC who is both racially and ethnically mixed) — are treated by a white supremacist society as ‘lesser than’ automatically.
The ‘you’re half and half’ defense only works in a society in which there is not the power aspect applied to one of those aspects. Clearly, in our very white supremacist society which has maintained this unearned advantage for white people for centuries, this is not the case: ‘white’ has HUGE social advantage and power over black, and the refusal to acknowledge this is another way to keep power that should never have been in the hands of 10% of the human race, never mind for 500 years. It’s another color-blind defense.
This ridiculous defense of white ignorance, which Tommy Curry calls ‘cherubic’ BS, really needs to go away. I’m past my limits. At the age of almost 60, I’ve heard the same ridiculous defense for 40+ years — 2+ generations! — and it is time to give this form of white supremacy a rest and admit that ‘ignorance’ is a placecard for keeping other people’s things, chiefly that of black and (American) indigenous peoples. Who really believes that most white people are truly ignorant about their massive advantage? Guilt is a sign of moral perception, and they should be listening to their guilt instead of shunning it.
I believe if white people looked at this realistically, the implications would be too monstrous for them to coordinate with their exalted status and underlying belief in their superiority. They would have to START with African-Americans and Native/Indigenous Americans when discussing the return of stolen items/resources/$$, and then proceed around the world to fix messes that they have created in literally every other country on planet Earth. It is hard for them to do this because the implications of their ‘success’ have no basis in either success or morality. Imagine believing, deep down inside and after centuries of its aggressive promotion, that you are superior to literally 90% of the human race, and then being forced to admit that it is all stolen, and none of it has anything to do with moral behavior and certainly not with humanity.
The fact of the matter is that what white people believe about themselves is significantly different from what the facts tell us they actually are, as a group. So, when the rubber hits the road, the insight will be jarring: we are not only not superior, but our behavior indicates a deep-seated desire to maintain amorality. This is a drastic difference that most of them don’t seem to be able to handle.
And no, I don’t mean to say ‘Not all white people.’
This ‘cherubic’ defense has expired. We should be asking for more.