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To be considered “white” in American society is to meet certain criteria that the majority of Americans cannot even accomplish on their own- even a portion of the citizens who are Caucasian. To be white is to be part of an upper and influential class of Anglo-Saxons that dominate the public image of success. Through manipulation and subjugation of the “lower” classes and ethnicities, the successful “white” folk dominate popular theory and practice. By wielding such power, these “white” elites achieve their goals by the dissection of “lower” people and the assimilation of not the people into their own fold, but of the people’s livelihood, well-being, happiness, and aspirations.
This common preconception of the “white” man has been ingrained into the American public’s consciousness since the nation’s founding. The pronouncement of what it meant to be “white” in America was truly defined in the fallout of Reconstruction after the civil war. The leaders of the South, bitter at the defeat of their planned institutions, took their frustration out by trying to savage as much as the Antebellum South as they could. But this would only be accomplished if they could turn the tide against the image of a black man in politics; something only accomplished by having the majority in favor of. By appealing to the disenfranchised and humiliated Caucasian Southerners with an emphasis on progress by racial unity and pride in the face of defeat, the Southern leaders were able to persuade the people to pass laws that would impede the average “black” individual.
But the South is not fully to blame for this image of the mighty “white” man. In the North after reconstruction, industrial business’s started to boom in the aftermath of the civil war. And as many of the industry leaders were born from affluent Anglo-Saxon lineages, they grew up with an elitist view of themselves whose only competition were other Anglo-Saxon derived entrepreneurs. Once business started to expand westward, the machines running their factories needed more space and workers as well. Seeing many different groups of minorities and seeking to be the best in their elite circle, these magnates sought cheap but reliable labor to keep production costs down, but profits sailing up.
This in turn created the adverse effect of racism on a portion of the struggling, poorer Caucasian populace. Where the issue of racism was placed towards the “job-stealers”, it created a perverse admiration for the individuals who were responsible for their situation. These elites became a dream to the working poor, that through determination and work could one achieve success to obtain their material bliss; and the elite used such dreams in return to keep the direction of animosity towards other groups. Never could the majority work against the “white” elites, but were upheld as beacons for the duped and disillusioned masses.
If an animal is defined by what its diet is, perhaps the analogy could be applied to the average American and their consumer diet. Throughout mass media does the image of the “white” man reign supremefrom the dominance of the loveable “average joe” in the office in commercials to “white” archetype led superhero teams in films, does this image of the “white” continue to be flashed by these elite few. And it is still to continue to try to unite the lowly, misinformed majority to not question their place in life. To not question on who is to blame, but to accept a “pride” in the image of the “white” man; to emulate and follow their gospel to propel their own coffers and status amongst the divine elite.
As more people look into what differs between “white”, “black”, and “yellow”, they will increasingly find them to be nothing more than labels ingrained into their consciousness by an elite “white” class. And those who are disenfranchised that pride themselves on being “white”, were to discover the origin of their naming, they may soon cast of the yolk of ownership from the slaveholders that hold them.
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