White supremacy has updated itself for the 21st century but the history of anti-intellectualism (being anti-mathematics, anti-science, ignoring statistics that debunk white supremacist stereotypes) is something that has remained relatively consistent. The strangest form that this anti-intellectualism manifests itself is in the form of the argument, “How come the anti-racists are the real racists?” It’s a popular argument, I hear it and read it all the time. If a scholar or writer just merely mentions the word “race” or “racism,” usually, advocates of color-blind white supremacy will try to shut down the debate by calling them “the real racist.”
First of all, as I pointed out, and continue to do so, racism operates as a system, a set of practices. Whether the Paula Deens and Louis Farakkhans of this world are privately racist, I do not give a kkkrap. Racism is prejudice (the devotion to racist, appalling stereotypes like blacks as natural violent criminals because of their skin color) PLUS power (the ability to apply discrimination, to impact the lives of those not in power). Bringing up racism is not racist #sorrynotsorry Fox News. It’s an idiotic, anti-intellectual line of argument where conservative and liberal whites want to throw around their authority to dismiss and ignore the experiences of people of color. Appeals to color-blindness are just that: attempts to silence people of color who have legitimate concerns about the distribution of justice in society.
An example of white supremacist anti-intellectualism is the conservative tea-bagging reaction to the work of Derrick Bell. Not only did they work to misquote Bell, and to mount personal attacks on him, they also made some of the dumbest comments about Critical Race Theory, a topic talking heads from the right wing media pretty much don’t understand. For some white supremacists, critical race theory is nothing more than complaining POC scholars who have nothing but “anti-white resentment.” It’s gonna get quite confusing for these idjits when they start reading critical race theory by white persons or whiteness studies. Adding this “criticism” plus the larger taboo of dialoguing with Marxism as a big no-no, white supremacists show their true colors because they do not want their racist assumptions to be confronted. So what does white supremacy do when racist theories and whitewashed histories get dismantled? REVERSE RACISTS! ANTIRACISTS ARE THE REAL RACISTS! It’s both pathetic but somehow effective way to convince the Idiocracy of the rightness of white supremacy. It’s so sad this method continues to work.
Like the racist myth of black criminality, the white supremacist argument that “the antiracists are the real racists” is an argument built upon racist myths (the angry minority, the “objective” white subject) that is meant to silence any criticism of white supremacy. No, the real racists are the defenders of racist institutions and practices. The real racists are those who continue to whitewash history and cultural media in the name of the “free market.” The real racists are the ones who are the most likely to ignore statistics and facts in the name of the their ideology and “patriotism.” And this is part of the reason why anti-racism movements and theories will continue to be unpopular in the US of A.