Friday, August 3, 2012

Mitt Romney, Palestinian culture and white supremacism: responses worth reading

The culture of “white supremacy”

Writing in Black Agenda Report, Glen Ford mocks Romney’s contentions that “Two cultures have clashed in Palestine, and one has been found to be 20 times as productive as the other.”

Turning the tables, Ford points out how the “culture” of white supremacy from which Romney’s ideology flows, has been used in the United States and Africa to justify the subjugation of people of color:

White South Africa regarded its wealth as prima facie evidence of cultural superiority. The fact that the land, minerals and labor on which that wealth was built belonged to Black people simply proved that Blacks lacked a “culture” adequate to manage those resources. Moreover, White Power was in the best interest of Black South Africans who, the apartheid regime was proud to proclaim, had a higher per capita income than Blacks elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. Thus, white cultural superiority could be beneficial to nearby Blacks, under controlled conditions that did not pollute the precious European cultural environment.


White U.S. southerners also insisted, during slavery and Jim Crow, that “their” Negroes were the best off in the world because of their exposure to white folks’ religion and way of life. Left to their own devices, however, Black folks’ innate cultural inferiority – depravity! – would do them in. Blacks’ freedom of movement and expression must be contained, for their own good.

White liberals also believed in the Culture Demon. In the 1950s and early 60s, it was considered politically correct to describe African Americans as “culturally deprived” – meaning, Blacks are disadvantaged by lack of exposure to white culture. Power has nothing to do with it.

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