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Racism: A White Problem Plaguing Black People

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December 12, 2015

Desmond Scaife, Jr

Argumentative Essay

Racism: a “White” Problem Plaguing “Black” People

From the town landfill location to which type of chewing gum you could buy (in

1945), Racism has been an integral part of modern society. It has shaped the social atmosphere, as we know it while remarkably improving the lives and advances of Europeans and Whiteness yet remarkably delineating those non-Whites. Frantz Fanon in his novel Black Skin, White Masks demonstrates (inadvertently possibly) how cognitive dissonance and privilege prove Racism to be a White problem negatively impacting the lives of people of color. Specifically in this essay, we will focus on the relations of Racism and the victims of African Descent.

        White supremacist attitudes embrace the notion that any ideology or practice differing from theirs indicates a deficit and therefore requires a stamp of “white approval” before it’s deemed substantial, creating mass chaos amongst the contenders of assimilation. Many Africans from the Antilles moved to Paris in an attempt to “better themselves” all the while subconsciously and consciously denying their very roots and believing those which revel in their ancestors ways are primal and inferior. The irony is that many colonized Africans misunderstand the loopholes of Racism, because regardless of one’s standardized linguistics or any other form of making accommodations to your roots for acceptance, you cannot cash in your face; the culprit of undeserved injustice. Fanon uses the example of the young man from Martinique moving to Paris and returning home some years later. Upon his arrival he proceeds to insult his father by asking him “what does that apparatus do?” His father throws it at his feet and he picks up the tool and miraculously his memory comes back to him. His father’s actions became a reality check for he young man causing him to re evaluate his feelings, attitudes, and actions towards the man and everything that made him up that had raised him. The young man had been away for so long that he had began to embrace the Eurocentric aesthetics that made him believe he had to neglect those African beliefs natural to him in order to be a complete human being; however once back into his culture he relinquished the mask because all the while he knew that is all it was.

        The issue of war is a long-standing problem for many who believe in social equality and humanity. It is much more of a convoluted web of iniquities when you involve Imperialism, Colonialism, and the Middle Passage’s negative impact on person’s of color; having their people and their nations dispersed amongst European powers, and then being required to fight their own kind for the advancement of their oppressors. Serving in wars for countries that have denigrated your people is like thanking “Massa” for his lickings. Africans have long acted as human bulletproof vests during European power trips. Fanon’s entire motive for leaving his job as an infirmary nurse was due to the internal conflict of aiding the oppressors in more oppressing.  This prolonged torture has created what is known as internal racism which clouds many Africans view of the damage being done by racism. The divide of those mostly out from under the haze of White Supremacy and those completely under it, is an intentional ploy created to insure that the gears are still running even if Master isn’t there.  

        Africans under the regime of bigotry have been set up to reach for unattainable goals of White standards and the battle scars are ever present and ever pressing. If we take Freud’s death drive and apply it to a young African American child born in 1912 (around the time of many of Freud’s works) the outcome proves to be quite compelling. None of Freud’s work included African American patients meaning none of his findings took into account the mental illness of racism, internal hate, and the harnessing of the death drive. Rene Menil in chapter six describes that,



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