Let me break this down for you, since your brain has automatically short-circuited to 'how can I maintain white advantage in my society?' I really can't tell what race and/or ethnicity you are, but I know plenty of people of color that are also racist, often towards black peoples..

1. Our societal contract, which declares that only white people are truly human, was established c. 400 years ago during a period of UNPRECEDENTED WORLDWIDE BRUTALITY AND VIOLENCE AT THE HANDS OF EUROPEANS. Never prior to this era has any 'race,' culture, or ethnicity literally declared the entire rest of the human race subhuman. Patriarchy = 50% subordination, not 90%.

European governments did.

As a result of this worldwide shirking of basic morality that allowed one small group of people (10%) to extrinsically privilege themselves due to a lie, 'race,' and thus subordinate the other 90%, a full 90% of the human race remains subordinated in some fashion or another, typically through economic disasters resulting from European thievery x500 years. Black peoples are 'framed,' by the rules of this appalling contract, as most inferior. Therefore, they automatically get most inferior treatment in order for white people to collectively maintain this superiority, one which requires absolutely no ACTUAL achievement or contribution to the human race.

It simply requires that white people float along in a current which profoundly privileges them, worldwide, at the expense of all the rest of us and in particular Black peoples. Worldwide.

Because all of us want to believe that we are good, successful--even better, ie, the winners--white people are often quick to agree with the established contract: it works in their favor, so there is no effort needed to simply decide one is superior: our society constantly tells white people they are better, and the corollary: the rest of us are inferior. White people, the beneficiaries, are inclined NOT to notice this because most people want to believe that what they have has been earned. With white people, however, there is a big monkey wrench: the fact that white supremacy indicates merit is often not involved with white people.

White people often call 'earn' what many of us POC's see as 'free,' 'plop in your lap when brown/black actually earned it,' etc. At the very least, POC's often perceive white people as floating along in a current that leads to achievement while that same current which gives white people such ease is pushing against us, and in particular Black people. The tie-breaker is reality: in professions where objective data is required, white people perform at lower levels than a long list of other POC's from the other 5-6 continents. White people are still paying under the table to get their underperforming kids into Ivy League schools while practically-decapitated Asians STILL perform at higher levels. And this is only one of many examples of the way white people let the system work for them instead of calling it out and allowing the real achiever to achieve.

This is also called, in the legal world, 'unjust enrichment.' Unfortunately, it has yet to be used to legally move stolen money and land from white people to the people to whom it actually belongs.

I cannot speak for Marley, but here's what I hear when I read her article, which is logical and clear to me:

1. White people are racist because, like all humans, they defer to giving themselves the benefit of the doubt; thus, they refuse to acknowledge their advantage.

2. White people are the only group that are, in the collective, getting more than they are earning. In competitive environments (ie, zero-sum in which the resource is less than the people who desire it), that means they are getting things that belong to POC's through privilege;

AND:

3. Yes. White people can choose not to automatically accept all of this. First, though, they have to admit that what they call 'merit' is distorted by reality: privilege and merit are opposite each other.

Defer to 'privilege' if you are white. All of us assume our own intrinsic success when we achieve; in the case of white people, this muddles reality, because in fact privilege contaminates all aspects of society. Thus, a realistic assessment should lead to 'how do I know I achieved when I get so much just by being white?' This thought process is the anti-racist work whites should be doing.

By the same token, POC's are damaged by white privilege because now we must work harder. For Black peoples WORLDWIDE, this is magnified.

It won't be easy to replace 'earn' with 'privilege.' I've perceived Marley's essay this way, and it makes absolute sense to me and follows a logical progression which I understand.

What is your investment in not seeing this?!

The mind always goes in the direction of privileging oneself. In the case of white people, this contradicts reality. This is the race work white people can do: however it might make you deteriorate in that white mind, defer to privilege, and not automatically assume merit where it is highly likely that there is more merit elsewhere.

As long as white people don't do this, POC's are swimming against a difficult, and in the case of Black peoples dangerous, current. White people should admit that the current works for them and simultaneously works against us. Presumably, this will lead to a reaccumulation of moral standards and the appropriate behaviors.

Written by

She/Her: Distort lies until they amplify truth. CryBaby: As loud as necessary.

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