I can sympathize with your general assertion of ‘an eye for an eye.’
I do hear when you call dissing white people self-defeating, but I want to point out to you the way in which it flagrantly exhibits exactly what POC are frustrated to hear:
- That POC bear the responsibility for the imprudent voting choices of white people;
- That white people as a group maintain this ignorance: our responses are primary rather than the reality, which is that they are reactionary to an already-established white supremacist system in which POC attempt to REGAIN any sense of actual humanity after the vagaries of white supremacy stole it from us for approximately 20 generations, and counting.
You frame this issue as the primary behavior of POC followed by the reactive behavior of white people, as a group, specifically in voting for Trump. I believe this is distorted, and that the stance should reflect: the primary behavior of white people in establishing white supremacy, and the behavior of POC as reactive to white supremacy, not the other way around.
Let me explain:
- Your assertion is that, if POC continue to ‘diss’ white people, Trump will win. This assumes that POC are responsible for Trump’s win or loss and simply reflects the behavior of most white people: let’s blame POC for the button we push at the voting booth, just like we blame them for most of society’s ills;
- The fact that ‘diss’ is used to regain some degree of homeostasis in a context which constantly disses us, every minute of our lives, just for having been born nonwhite.
Try to think of ‘dissing’ white people as a homeostatic mechanism: white men deliberately established a polity that would allow them to keep a heavy boot on the necks of all others, and this persists in a variety of institutions in which white men, regardless of ability, skill, or performance, have attained higher level positions. In the last decade or so, white women have eagerly participated, as evidenced by some improvement at F500 companies, but this really doesn’t indicate a ‘win’ for women, since only white ones are included generally speaking. This, regardless of how white women characterize it, is another win for white supremacy. POCs of all genders still hit a colorless ceiling over and over again.
Mr. Unger, this has been going on for decades despite our attempts, as POC, to underline that white supremacy, ie, collective white crowd behavior, determines the continuation of white supremacy through an active ignorance, and that white people need to acknowledge this before we can move forward. That ignorance dictates that white people as a group are reactive, as if they are responding to their own victimization. In fact, they are just maintaining their power, the original assault, and simultaneously refusing to see it so that they can be ‘victims.’
Of what?! A POC-Supremacist society?? The suggestion is absurd.
So, ‘dissing’ white people is a psychological response to the constant derogation that POC get just for existing, and which we’ve tolerated for centuries while witnessing the active ignorance of white people as a group.
I think you yourself point to ‘homeostasis’ when you warn POC that daring to ‘diss’ white people with a backhanded insult — a likely response to genocide, historical murder, AND continued advantage which damages all POC regularly even at this moment— will provoke a ‘balancing’ response from whites who will then vote for Trump. This is a form of scapegoating of the type we’ve witnessed for centuries.
In my opinion, you are missing the elephant in the room: we’re a WHITE supremacist society (not Chinese, not Asian, not African, not black, not Native American, not Pakistani etc etc etc).
Thus, homeostatic mechanisms or responses which pull us away from white power (including ‘dissing’ white men who STILL don’t get it, even after the ‘dissing’) are used at some level to balance POC’s out, to allow us to feel for a moment that we aren’t ALWAYS under the boots of white people. At some level, this does help address white supremacy because it gives us a voice, however tiny.
If this white supremacist society were to give us an actual equal opportunity — which it does only on tokenized terms and not in any real representative capacity— there would be no necessity to ‘diss’ because the power would be rebalanced appropriately. But it never is, so POC”s resort to the one thing we have: a tiny little insult, which white men perceive as somehow on a par with their actual behaviors as a group as a quick perusal will tell you are of a significantly greater criminal magnitude.
White people who vote for Trump are the holders of the primary provoking factor: white supremacy. Thus, any homeostatic mechanism that pulls us backwards — ie Trump — buttresses white supremacy. It is the original assault and not a reaction, as you imply. White supremacy is the original assault: POC are responding to this by defending our right to be equal in a context that claims it provides equality but, in actuality, doesn’t.
White people who continue to frame this PRIMARY assault, white supremacy, as reactive in any manner are participating in white supremacy through ignorance. The behavior of POC’s aims to counteract white supremacy; ie, we didn’t invent it, we’re just stuck dealing with it.
This is where the focus of all white people should be: why don’t we address our massive unearned advantage so that POC don’t feel they have to use other mechanisms to rebalance their grossly unequal and inferior status?
Can you see how your article completely ignores that white supremacy and the collective behavior of white people has provoked our current situation? And if you can, why is it that you burden POC”s with the responsibility for the poor choices white people make collectively, as a group, when the real responsibility belongs to white people?
In your haste to defend white people as a group, you’ve refused to see that the main culprit in all of this is the human negotiation of power, and white people who act like victims refuse to see this power. We are only a WHITE supremacist society; you cannot fill in this blank with ANY group of human beings from the other 6 continents and the myriad nations that have been dominated by Europeans. That’s what white supremacy is: everybody else is inferior to white people.
Whether or not this is deliberate, this ignorance — and the turfing of responsibility it constantly promotes so as to alleviate white people as a group from this responsibility— sustains white supremacy.
I believe that if white people continue to delude themselves as a collective group this way, it will only be a matter of demographic shifting before we have real changes.
Why? The original assault of the invention of ‘whiteness’ was extreme and nearly absent moral consideration. As a result, the homeostatic mechanism required to correct it might be just as extreme. Whether or not POC’s choose this eye for an eye mechanism should NOT be dictated by white people who have already, as a group, made the decision to do away with morality and dominate everybody else.
At this juncture, I would expect that white people as a group will start to aggressively promote the idea of forgiveness. Why? Same reason as always. It absolves them of responsibility, at least the ones that assume ‘forgiveness’ means absolution, and thus no real work need be done.
White people as a group can help ameliorate these responses by taking some responsibility instead of issuing warnings to the people on whom they have their heavy foot about how we can’t speak up OUT OF FEAR THAT WHITE PEOPLE WILL VOTE BADLY. The way in which white people vote is a responsibility they should be shouldering.