White Supremacy

By stating that “whiteness is a social or political construct of some sort…Whites exercise a power of defining who is white and who is not, and are jealous of that power…To be white is to be a member of an in-group, a kin group, which is self-defining…Members can bend the rules anytime, if that is necessary to assert the members’ sole and exclusive authority to decide who is a member; in fact, bending the rules is an ideal expression of that authority” (pp. 114-115). Frye puts into perspective how the aspect of being white has been understood and dictated in our society, of how the same has entered in to the subconscious mind and influenced the way people relate towards each other in this society and often without their knowledge. The society do not understand why they are acting the way they are acting in the first place. In short she asserts that ignorance has pervaded the society and that this explains the reason as to why the whites will be wired to act in a certain way towards the people of color. I will therefore argue that Frye is right in her assertion.

The one instance in which Frye asserts the level of ignorance in the white people is in the case of the black woman who was narrating a poem. In her narration, the woman mentions different African gods. One of the white women who was in attendance decides to ask her to explain what the different names meant and how they could be spelled. In the white woman asking so, in spite of the black woman’s insistence that there was an appendix whit the explanations which had been attached to the book, the white woman displayed a high level of ignorance. In the first sense, she couldn’t imagine that the black lady could have been wise enough to attach the appendix.

Apart from that, the fact that she insisted on being explained the meanings in spite of being told that there was an appendix clearly shows how her ignorance had blinded her to a level where she could even understand such a simple and basic explanation. In this case the white woman is visibly trying to deny the woman the chance to identify herself with the white akin group’s achievements like the production of good poetry. So in the white lady’s insistence that she is explained what the names were, she was actually in way throwing punches at the black woman literally. The woman stood to lose by not getting the meaning of the poem simply because she was too ignorant of the simple guidelines given by the woman of color on how she would use the book (Alcoff, 2006).

The other instance, concerned Daniel and James who were twins. They descended from the same parents but their skin color put them apart. Daniel, as the white twin was called, was the odd one out in this family which was expected to have been of only blacks. That is according to the explanations from the doctor and the society at large. The pressure to conform to the perception and guidelines of the society was so high on David that even at his formative years in nursery school, he had to draw a picture of himself being black in spite of the fact that he had a white skin color. This was a clear depiction of the ideas which had been pumped into his mind by the society around him. Frye’s assertion that members of the white a kin group can bend the rules any time to either accommodate an individual as being white or to disown the same individual was quite evident in this situation. In this case, the group chose to disown David from being referred to as a white all because his father was a man of color. The man of color according to the society cannot produce a white child. So, no matter how much white the skin of David was, he was just a black boy (Joanna, 2011).

The incidence took place in the high school which David and James had been admitted. Their lives had been going on as usual with David being regarded as an ordinary white boy and James an ordinary black boy. The situation was to change the day their fellow students learned that David had a black brother and that the twin brother was in the same school with them. This prompted the boys to act violently towards them by beating up David.  Daniel however, in spite of his white skin color received the brunt of the beatings and the bullying which was subjected to them. The boys from the school could not believe that Daniel was white, they insisted that there he was black. This was the main reason why they had to beat him upon and subject him to bullying. James was however spared even though he was black. This incidence clearly relates to Frye’s argument that the whites exercise power of deciding who is white or not and that they are jealous of that power. In this case, the whites were prevailing on David that his white skin could not make him white and they were angered at his perceived attempt to cheat the systems. This is in accordance to Frye’s other statement that the whites can choose to bend the rules, in this case the rule that the skin could determine ones whiteness or blackness had been done away with and in its place the inheritance factor came to play. The other fact they based on was that his father was black and hence in that sense David had to be black. It is also an issue of ignorance as the whites do not care to know how the white skin of David came to be. If they had cared they would not have beaten him up, so they just chose to be ignorant of everything and proceed with their conclusions.

The issue of the white being a creation of politics is also quite evident when viewed from the angle of the lack of basis and explanations for the activities taken by the whites. For instance, in the fighting of James and his brother by the other school boys. They were trying to prove a political point in that one could not be accepted into the white group due to the appearance of being white one had to earn it in another way and not that one which David had apparently adopted.

In the non-Cartesian sums, we get the philosophical knowledge of how history in this field of knowledge has worked to ensure that the blacks do not venture in to this field. According to the writer, the various philosophers never mentioned anything to do with the people of color. This fact has served to ensure that the black have found it wise to generally avoid this field rather than venture into it. According to the Frye’s explanation that the white reserve the power to decide on who to include in the akin class, so does the author explain how the previous philosophers chose deliberately to marginalize the blacks by not mentioning them at all in their works. The writer of the article found it hard acquiring information pertaining the African Americans due to the marginalization aspect which had been put in place which ensured that the Blacks never received any recognition. Hence the low number of books covering their issues in the field of philosophy. For instance she states “that a major contributory cause is the self-sustaining dynamic of the whiteness of philosophy and not the uncontroversial whiteness of skin of its practitioners”, this showing how the white ideas which have been used by the white in promoting this field of knowledge have worked against the blacks who may have wanted to venture into this field.   According to the author this was a deliberate move by the whites to ensure that the blacks do not fit into the same class as them by simply assuming them. This assertion fits exactly to Frye’s statement that the white preserve the right to decide who can join their group. (Charles, 2015).

I have argued that the whites have always reserved the right of deciding who can be accepted as a white and who cannot. Apart from that the rules which they follow in the determination of the whiteness of the person have also be reserved to the whites. This is clearly highlighted in the incidences from the Guardian newspaper concerning the two boy James and David. The incidences clearly support Frye’s arguments concerning the same issue in which she had stated that the whites reserve the right to determine who can be in the akin group and who cannot be.

 

 

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