A woman holds a picture of Alfred Olango as she listens to speeches during a rally and march on Saturday to protest the fatal police shooting of the Ugandan immigrant in El Cajon, Calif. (Mike Blake/Reuters)
Mention white supremacy in America the next time the conversation turns to the U.S. presidential election, and watch what happens.
Heads avert, a few eyes roll, and the conversation resumes, unruffled, after a few polite smiles.
The phrase is regarded as extreme — a gross exaggeration of problems America has, after all, tried to solve.
Why, the president of the United States himself is black, and he never uses terms like white supremacy.
Which is interesting in itself, because it goes to show the extent to which the American polity is gamed for white ascendancy.
Even a black leader cannot mention systemic discrimination against black Americans without nodding sympathetically to the grievances of white Americans, many of whom believe they are the victims in a politically correct world that values “diversity” over (their) merit.
The very word diversity is seen by millions of Americans as code for quotas and reverse discrimination. White conservatives talk wistfully about “colourblindness,” something they seem persuaded actually exists.
So it takes guts to unblinkingly use the phrase white supremacy, the way the new generation of black activists, and prominent black academics, are routinely doing.