Thanks for this great article. Even though I am not black and have no idea how it must feel to be stuck in this position again, as a POC I have many of the same feelings. I feel forced into voting for Biden simply to avoid another 4 years of amorality.
This is collective white behavior, functioning in whatever way it takes as a group to maintain their unearned advantage. This allows individual white people, typically liberals, to feel fine about themselves through psychologically extricating themselves while still, at a collective level, behaving in a fashion which maintains their unearned benefits. At no point do they admit that, when they maintain their collective advantage, they continue to do so at the expense of a wide range of people of color, especially black peoples. To rephrase: somehow, individual white people manage to absolve themselves of responsibility so that they can keep other people’s stuff.
After watching this behavior election after election, in my ‘50’s I’ve finally admitted that what I read at the age of 15 — Derrick Bell’s Faces at the Bottom of the Well — is true: white people will only change when there is ‘interest convergence’: that is, only if they can benefit. Bell illustrated not only that morals had nothing to do with it then, it will be persistent: and he is right. We see no exhibition of anything but narcissistic defensive maneuvers and self-deception, election after election. Frankly, I had the same problem with Hilary Clinton: picking the lesser of two clueless evils defending their own right to continue to dominate.
White collective behavior indicates that only a shift in demographics which results in their minority status will allow authentic forward motion. This would allow the collective of black, brown, and indigenous people to finally assert ourselves in ways which allow us some benefit.
White people are collectively afraid of their own behavior. They use their majority status to continue to keep a heavy boot on everybody else’s neck, and then show fear that, if they are a minority, the same will happen to them. They assume that the entire POC population will behave just as they have, which is projected fear of their own collective behaviors, absent both moral consideration AND the courage to admit it.
They set this up by dint of their own behaviors!! This is not to say that POC’s will also lower themselves to this level and dominate simply for the sake of domination, but that white people don’t really have a right, collectively, to ask for anything better when their own behavior is the embodiment of what they are afraid of experiencing.
Here’s the tip I would recommend: if white people are collectively afraid that a POC majority will result in the same egregious behaviors towards them as they’ve been exhibiting for 500 years and counting, how about not oppressing others anymore?! How about not treating others the way they don’t want to be treated?
In other words, I would ask white people collectively: why is it OK to treat people like subhumans, and then turn around and expect them to treat you any differently??