This video of Toni Morrison demonstrates her own analysis of White Supremacy in the US and its viscious impact upon us all. How is it that Black women in Religious Leadership are often sidelined – even within their own communities? (See the LA Times article, “Black Women Trying to Reach Pulpits Face Resistance,” or “Tempered Radicals: Black Women’s Leadership in the Church and Community.” Note, you may require an account with Semantic Scholar for access.) How do patriarchal norms operate in concert with White Supremacy within our communities?
Have Black women and men not been on the frontline of social justice struggles together? Haven’t Black women created the “Black Lives Matter” civil rights movement – only for there to be little awareness of the Black women who are also injured and/or killed at the hands of State actors? (See “The Violent State: Black Women’s Invisible Struggle Against Police Violence,” by Michelle Jacobs).
Why are Black women in Religious Academia being told that there are “many qualified applicants” to jobs or research funding when the truth is, we are among those qualified applicants? If qualification alone was the standard, we would also be employed! Yet, Black women, increasingly, are not even invited in for an interview. In fact, it Black people who “whiten” their dossiers (CV’s, courses) are more likely to get interviewed.
For some, Morrison’s words are an introduction to White Supremacy. For others, this skillful analysis is a mere reminder of the work ahead of us. Listen to this video of Toni Morrison and let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Morrison’s observations are helpful as both a reminder about and rallying cry against systemic injustice. Join us on March 14th, 6-7:30 pm, BST to discuss the ways that, together, we will take our power back!
Introductory words by The Misogynoir to Mishpat Research Network
Toni Morrison Deconstructs White Supremacy in America
in Current Affairs, Literature | August 7th, 2019 4 Comments
Toni Morrison wrote against forgetting, against the institutionalization of denial necessary for maintaining racial hierarchies in the United States. But that denial is not sufficient, she also showed. Racism always falls back on brutality when confronted with change, no matter that the past will not return except to haunt us. This reality has driven a significant percentage of Americans (back) into the arms of white supremacist ideology, espoused equally by politicians and armed “loners” in networks on Facebook or YouTube or 8chan.
In a short essay for The New Yorker after the 2016 election, Morrison displayed little surprise at the turn of events. The language of white supremacy, she wrote, is a language of cowardice disguised as dominance. “These people are not so much angry as terrified, with the kind of terror that makes knees tremble.” A fear so great, it has brought back public lynching, with high-capacity semiautomatic weapons.