Real Solutions are Available — Many Reasons Why Patriarchal White Supremacy Must be Dismantled
I am tired of this country going in circles when answers to longstanding problems are so obvious to many of us. It should be clear that a major reason we cannot heal our social ills including systemic racism and sexism, is because patriarchal white supremacy is continuously recycled and presented as a solution to the same problems it creates. The formula of rinse and repeat for a status quo that keeps white men in charge of everything, has failed historically. It continues to result in bad decisions due to the exclusion of truly visionary, competent and compassionate blacks and other people of color and diverse women who should be in important leadership roles where they have real impact to bring about major societal changes that benefit most citizens rather than a wealthy few.
With a majority of white males at the helm of most public institutions that deprive the masses of adequate societal resources to manage their lives and communities well, the patterns are clear. Dehumanizing values and self-serving, status quo decisions keep producing the same negative outcomes by reinforcing a hierarchy that keeps those most invested in patriarchal white supremacy in complete control. As Terence McKenna (who happens to be white and male) is quoted in meme above: “We have the money, the power, the medical understanding, the scientific know-how, the love and the community to produce a kind of human paradise. But we are led by the least among us — the least intelligent, the least noble, the least visionary. We are led by the least among us and we do not fight back against the dehumanizing values that are handed down as control icons.”
I had a really good discussion with fellow social justice activist Mary Ann Canty Merrill the other day, regarding solutions that are readily available to solve or reduce almost every major societal problem from extreme income inequality to racial disparities in employment to shortages in culturally-competent healthcare providers. These solutions have been proposed mostly by people of color and diverse women, and involve the neglected area of human capital development. Appropriate allocations of resources would make the difference, including cutting the military budget significantly.
But the solutions are often blocked because those in power are mostly white men. Some are clueless and others feel threatened by the fact that diverse people know more in some areas than they do. Admitting this would result in having to acknowledge the credibility of others enough to truly share power, rather than having “power over” everyone else in most areas of human activity.
It is my view that the majority of white men in positions of authority lack skills in important areas related to emotional and ethical intelligences. These are necessary to help lead us to “the promised land” at this current time where America is stranded at a major crossroad. This does not suggest at all that white people in general — or white males in particular — are useless or lack technical and other competencies that support society in important areas. It’s just that most of them fail to recognize their very real limitations — which the rest of us diverse people can clearly see.
Most conscious people do not buy into the propaganda of “Rainmaker” mythology — we know too many white males who are more like the mediocre Donald Trump than the brilliant, late Howard Zinn. Truly, whites and males collectively have been socialized to repeat the same old decisions and policies designed to keep them at the top of the pedestal, whether they deserve to be there or not. Why do so many people still think they who cause most problems impacting diverse people can bring about real solutions when they benefit most from a rigged status quo designed to discount and marginalize diverse people?
As Mary Ann Canty Merrill wrote: “It’s been said that we cannot solve problems at the same level in which they were created. Consider this:
White males dominate every hierarchical structure of our society. By design, they’re disproportionately represented in leadership positions in virtually every sector. Even when they do not directly lead, they directly influence. These are men who have little (if any) insight into what it means to be a marginalized demographic. These are men who lack empathy in understanding the pain, suffering and hate that they create and perpetuate. These are men who make the money and the rules, leaving everyone else to sink or swim. These are men who pose the major problems in this country.
The reason we cannot heal our social ills is because white supremacy — in all of its privileged, fragile, incompetent, psychologically unstable messiness — is revered, continuously tapped, recycled and presented as a solution. Yet, in the words of civil rights activist, Audre Lorde, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” This is a NEW day, and we are in dire need of NEW tools.”
*The above was originally posted September 2, 2017 on Facebook by Fannie LeFlore.