What is white supremacy? Why use such a heavy word? Because it’s the right word to describe what we’re talking about. Here are two quotes that might be helpful:
“By ‘white supremacy’ I do not mean to allude only to the self-conscious racism of white supremacist hate groups. I refer instead to a political, economic and cultural system in which whites overwhelmingly control power and material resources, conscious and unconscious ideas of white superiority and entitlement are widespread, and relations of white dominance and non-white subordination are daily reenacted across a broad array of institutions and social settings.”
—David Gillborn, quoted in Vann R. Newkirt II, “The Language of White Supremacy: Narrow Definitions of the Term Actually Help Continue the Work of the Architects of the Post-Jim Crow Racial Hierarchy,” The Atlantic, October 6, 2017.
“When liberal whites fail to understand how they can and/or do embody white supremacist values and beliefs, even though they may not embrace racism as prejudice or domination (especially domination that involves coercive control), they cannot recognize the ways their actions support and affirm the very structure of racist domination and oppression that they profess to wish to see eradicated.”
—bell hooks, Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black (Boston, MA: South End Press, 1989), 113.