White House No Place for White Supremacy?
It was announced within the last day or so that President-Elect Donal Trump has named Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist and senior counselor.
The news media and blogosphere were all over the this story, often making the statement that the White House is no place for White Supremacists or White Supremacy.
Even the liberal group, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a statement against the announcement, with the following quote:
“Stephen Bannon, a man who led a media empire into becoming what a former Breitbart editor called a ‘a cesspool for white supremacist mememakers,’ simply has no business in the White House.”
Such a statement not only flies in the face of US history, it reflects a complete lack of understanding about the very nature of White Supremacy.
If one reads the important book by Clarence Lusane, Black History of the White House, it becomes clear that White Supremacy has always been an integral part of the US power structure, including the federal government.
The obvious examples were that several of the first US Presidents actually owned staves. More importantly, if we come to terms with the very definition of White Supremacy, then we can see how every US administration has perpetuated this system of oppression.
The Chicana activist/scholar, Elizabeth Martinez, defines White Supremacy as such:
Thus, every US administration has embraced White Supremacy based on the fact that they have been about the exploitation and oppression of other nations, particularly nations with a majority of people of color (think Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East).
One the domestic front, the same thing has been true, whether it has and continues to be the US treatment of Indigenous people/nations, the exploitation and oppression of African Americans right up until this moment and all other communities of color that continue to disproportionately live at higher levels of poverty and make up a disproportionately higher number of those within the Prison Industrial Complex.
Think about the reality of communities of color even under the Obama Administration. The economic status of communities of color has not improved, in fact, it has even become worse under the current administration. Think about the number of black people that have been murdered by cops in the last few years, in which the federal government has refused to do anything substantially to oppose it. Even the number of deportations has gone up under the current administration. This is all because the power structure benefits from such oppression. Remember, White Supremacy is System of Oppression that maintains and defends a system of wealth, power and privilege.
Now, this is not to say that having Stephen Bannon as a member of Trump’s administration is a good thing, but make no mistake about it, the White House has always embraced and perpetuated White Supremacy, a system of oppression that we must resist.