Devaluing Race: A Contemporary Obsession

Free of the blackface worn in a shameful embodiment of the late Nina Simone, Zoe Saldana made headlines last week for articulating a popular mantra of the contemporary world—

“sexism is more aggressive than racism.”

It appears the world is immersed in a competition of struggle. Other minority factions have seemingly grown angry with “race” oppression and seek to recruit intersectional bodies for other minority causes.

Black women are aggressively targeted and encouraged to join the feminist movement, a movement that began after black men gained the right to vote, but white women did not. Similarly, following the election of Barack Obama, white women subconsciously looked to history to predict the outcome of the 2016 election. When this did not prove victorious for the white woman, the feminist movement gained momentum, recruiting anyone with female genitalia to join its movement with the false promise of an all-encompassing freedom. This recruitment is a conflict of interest to the black woman as the revived feminist movement is not in response to the election of Donald Trump, but to America electing a black man to lead the country and not a white woman.

Thus, to women like Zoe Saldana who are on a journey to whiteness, race is less oppressive than sexism because this were not the case, than Hilary Clinton not Donald Trump would be president.

Miss Adiche articulates a similar premise in her essay “We Should All Be Feminists.” I teach this text for style in my expository writing course and cringe through the whole reading. Yes, Ms. Ngozi Adiche is a talented writer, but in her essay all I can hear is a black woman preoccupied with feminism as a means to escape the complexities of blackness. The essay falsely paints feminism as universal, an assertion that overlooks how race/gender intersectionality affects a black female’s navigation on western soil. Black female intersectionality allows all those outside its demographic to reserve a space above the black female body, making the black female strive towards greatness twice as complicated as a white woman. Furthermore, Adiche’s book devalues race, as a means to distract black woman from their place in the strive towards racial freedom.

What is perhaps most telling about the recruitment of blacks from other minority factions is that curing sexism, LGBT issues, or immigration still allows for racism to exist. But racism is a gateway for all other form of injustice. Thus, if other functions joined forces with the racially disenfranchised, we, as a people,  could take major strides in fully dissolving all injustices, but this deflection is precisely the point.

A key component of oppression is to deter the oppressed and this is exactly what the contemporary world is doing with the resurrected initiative to exploit black intersectionality.

But to the conscious mind, whether residing at any intersection, race is a central American evil that acts as a gateway to all the other minority conflicts of the world.

This reasoning, while bizarre, possess a logic contingent with the western world. A logic that coerces the casual thinker to oversimplify the most complex dynamics. Barack Obama won because despite his black exterior, he upheld the principles of white supremacy. His physical blackness, despite lacking the black experience, was enough for most within the black collective to overlook the black bodies slain to no consequence, our gentrified neighborhoods and continued disenfranchisement to be able to say “My president is black. ” Although if we define blackness a deeper than a skin color than Barack Obama is simply melanated. President Obama elevates the black collective in appearance only, which is why unlike actual black leaders like Fred Hampton, Malcolm X, Dr. King, George Jackson and Medgar Evers, he lived.

As a cyclically disenfranchised individual with a fractured consciousness, Barack Obama’s behavior is predictable. If Obama was on the plantation, his master could free him because he knows that Obama would find a way to enslave himself and bring masses of the black collective along with him.

The oppressed body is a symbol of what America is about—controlling the marginalized to fuel majority privilege. The controlled body will appear free to those unable to fully conceptualize the depth of white supremacist wrath. It is not the black male body is more free than the white female body. In fact, it is the exact opposite. It is the “fractured consciousness and shattered identity” that Dr. Wade Noble references, that allows blacks to occupy so called high positions, because “high” positions do not indicate freedom, but the level of control.

Collaboratively, the black collective and white female population are programmed to view whiteness as superior, notably white men. This is an internalized view of both factions, with few exceptions. However, in order for a white woman to occupy the oval office, she would have to seek to consummate her journey to white masculinity by appeasing white supremacy, not using it to her benefit.

In order to maintain its stagnancy, white supremacy must be reinforced not challenged, hence the recent Comey firing. The white woman who wishes to occupy the height of white supremacy poses a threat to a system built on exclusion and exploitation. For the system of white supremacy allows the white woman to enjoy the perks of whiteness as long as she does not forget that she is a woman. Moreover, Hilary Clinton lost because she behaved as if she were a white man and former President Obama won because he aimed to please the white man.

Therefore, it is not that sexism is more aggressive than racism,. Rather, the white female simply bears a closer proximity to white male supremacy. The white female not only mirrors the white man’s complexion but his lack of consciousness, making her predisposition to racial psychopathy a potential risk to usurp the white male from a stolen throne.

Thus, suggesting that sexism is more aggressive that racism operates on the general inability to conceptualize the true detriment of black mental enslavement.  This devaluation of race as Dr. Bobby Wright called the extracting of blacks from blackness to fight other lesser battles, is in direct accordance with white supremacy. Convinced that “race” is not a big deal, the needs of the black collective remain neglected and the collective remains destined to cyclical disenfranchisement and oppression from not only white male supremacists, but other minority factions.