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The Miseducation of White People

Everything we know about racism in America leads us back to white people and how they constantly miseducate themselves.

The root cause of racial imbalance in America has always been the inability of the ruling class to take responsibility for their own economic and social shortcomings and failings. That ruling class has been disproportionately made up of white people. Rather than focusing on the problem at hand, it has time after time, chosen instead to fall back on scapegoating certain groups or classes of people to hide its lack of policy and planning rhetoric and dreams of perfected greatness.

Revolutionary America was never ready for the reins of popular rule. It was a revolution set in motion by farmers and merchants who wanted little more than control of their lives. They wanted to adjust the system, not upend it. They wanted freedom from the rule they were under so that they could rule instead. The hierarchical ideology of colonialists, a people who cut their cultural teeth on feudalism; left the citizens ill-prepared to revamp the only system they had truly known. A culture mired in a caste based system. Revolutionary America seized on the word democracy while setting up another hierarchical, elitist ruling class. Upon its inception, America immediately excluded certain citizens from participating, nullifying any claims of being a true democracy.

But this nullification is never truly and fully addressed. Crowing long and loud about being a democracy, a lie peddled far and wide by a propaganda campaign known as the American school system. America has ignored its faults and has instead chosen a cherry-picked and revisionist history. This arrangement has always been to the benefit of the ruling class, the victors write history as the saying goes.

With any hint of societal breakdown or failure, this country always sought to lay blame at the feet of the most vulnerable of its citizens –the poor, which is disproportionately made up of people of color. Once given someone to blame, the populace seizes upon the idea and voraciously attacks those who have little to no means to fight back. We see this begin with the slander and slaughter of the Native Americans and continues now to the slander of Muslims and Mexicans. Going along this path, many people have been labeled as the scapegoat; Irish, Spanish, Mexican, Japanese, hell even hippies but African-Americans were placed in the role of scapegoat and have been locked in the position for centuries due to the ease with which skin color allows us to be singled out.

With an enduring false history of laziness, savagery, and lack of intelligence being placed on African-Americans, white America has duped itself into a crippling ideology that it can not talk its way out of. So normalized has this belief in Black insufficiency become that problem solving of any import always starts with the premise of how to “fix” Black people or help Black people “do better” rather than correcting the erroneous belief system held and maintained by white people. Because the problem with racism doesn’t begin with the race that is being targeted but begins with the accepted misconceptions of those races that are reinforced by an exclusionary education system that fosters these beliefs generation after generation.

The recent election finds us at the peak of one of these points in history with the election of Donald J. Trump as President. We watched him employ this division with a precision that mesmerized and stunned those who saw, possibly for the first time, themselves or people they loved, being used as the scapegoat for why the American Dream remains elusive for so many. Some of us furiously watching history repeat itself yet again.

Until White America can face the true and debilitating horror of its own actions, racism will flourish. Until White America learns to innovate its way out of economic and social problems, racism will continue. Until White America learns a method of problem-solving that doesn’t require protests and riots to initiate action, racism will thrive. Until white America unlearns its propaganda driven history, learns to accept failure, and learns the value of admitting it has a problem and thinking its way through it without laying blame on the vulnerable; racism, bigotry, and xenophobia will remain our constant reminders.

None of the above can be accomplished until white people learn their true history. We must insist on a comprehensive history in our schools. We must include the accomplishments given to this country by all its citizens. We must remove the ignorance of gaps that allow students to move forward, especially during their most formative years, believing that the successes of this country have rested solely on the accomplishments of White America.

If we want to remove the scourge of racism in our country it is imperative that we fully and comprehensively educate the white child to properly prepare them for the diverse world of which they are a part.

Written by Pamela Getz

Writer and Activist. Follow Pamela on Twitter @goddesspamela.

Pamela Getz is Editor of International Affairs for Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.


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  1. Agree this would be wonderful, but it’s never going to happen as long as local communities control what it taught in their schools, and that’s the law in America. It shouldn’t be, but it is.

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The Miseducation of White People