White Supremacy: Alive and Well in Hollywood

What do white supremacy, the media, and religious bigotry have in common? 


Now, to be fair, I doubt there is a single example of a technologically advanced, highly successful civilization that didn’t collectively think they were the superior people. That they had every aspect of life figured out to the last stitchboxed up, taped up and ready for export. As a recent example, about 40 years ago, some now-forgotten scientist announced that all knowledge worth knowing was already known and there was nothing left to discover, and this was taught as fact in schools at the time.

A snobbish man
(Image by Charles LeBlanch on Flickr)

From the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Mongols to the kingdoms of Europe and the multinational pharmaceutical empires of today, the less “advanced” peoples these empires have touched became bent to their ways, either by force or necessity.

But conquest by peoples and cultures is an evolving process which never has, nor will (I suspect) end. Considering themselves superior, members of the conquering culture become shocked and offended when anyone doesn’t want to be, act, look, speak and live just like them.

During the conquest of America by Europeans from the 15th through the 19th centuries, this attitude of superiority was a natural result of Europe’s overwhelming success defeating, displacing and often enslaving the native people. The idea of white supremacy was one of those “convenient” conclusions jumped to by European conquerors. “Convenient” because any fool could be special by simply being white, and whether racially based or not, the attitude of cultural superiority became part of the fabric of American thought, and is alive and well into the present day in the American media.

Since out-and-out force is now frowned upon, the modern method of converting us primitives to “correct thinking” is carried out through school indoctrination… and through constant advertising bombardment… and media slander or ridicule.

As an example, after the final defeat of the American Plains and Western Native American tribes, the practice of their religion was outlawed and punished with food deprivation and/or imprisonment by the U.S. government. Bureaucrats and missionaries were sent in to convert and subdue the remaining native peoples, ripping children away from families and packing them off to Soviet-style re-education camps in order to “take the Indian out of the Indian.” Today’s cultural descendants of those white supremacists—members of the cult of self-worship, technology and materialism—are also engaged in a holy war against every “other” religion with the intent of converting and subduing all heathens who violate their orthodoxy. The only religions which escape are small sects considered harmless and quaint, and which feed the same self-satisfied conceit of these modern cultural supremacists in the media.

Native Americans on horses
Native Americans of the Columbian Plateau in 1908.

Since out-and-out force is now frowned upon, the modern method of converting us primitives to “correct thinking” is carried out through school indoctrination (via the state religion called “psychology”) and through constant advertising bombardment (why pray, meditate or improve yourself when you can just take a drug to feel better?) and media slander or ridicule. The intent is the same regardless of the medium: to punish and marginalize anyone who would diverge.

The fact that people of virtually any religion live happier, healthier lives, escapes the notice of our modern “saviors” in the media, as much as the fact that the Plains tribes died off like flies from misery, disease, alcoholism and suicide under the “superior” white system eluded the saviors of “the Indian” a century ago.

A man in blackface
A man in blackface, which was employed until the 1960s.
(Photo by Confetta on Flickr)

You’ll find modern versions of these supremacists in the audiences of the likes of Jerry Springer, Tosh.0, South Park, Samantha Bee, Bill Maher, SNL and nearly every Comedy Central show. In these spectacles of self-congratulation, all who dare to vary from upper and middle-class popular orthodoxy are used as objects of ridicule and sources of entertainment, much as African and Native Americans were spoofed in the Hollywood of old for the entertainment of the “right” audiences—white audiences.

I once had a friend who was a traditional Apsáalooke (Crow) “Indian.” He was my history professor in college. He’d fought in nearly every major battle of WWII. Through the Greek Civil war, Korea and Vietnam, he had earned both silver and bronze stars and was one of the first Green Berets. He’d been all over the world as an American soldier and had the highest National Security clearances. He had lived modern history, on the ground, up close and personal. He knew something about war and conquest: the self-righteousness of victors and their treatment of the vanquished.

While sitting and chatting with him over lunch or between classes, it was always sad and embarrassing to watch him have to flash an indulgent smile at some student walking by who thought it was funny to do a Hollywood-version war-whoop (hand flapping over mouth) or spoof some Hollywood-version “Indian” prayer shouting “Hey-ya,” “Hey-ya.” You see, like me, my friend had never solved the riddle of how to point out to an ignorant, narrow-minded, mentally defective bigot that he was one. Especially when that bigot, along with the pop-culture media and Hollywood that support him, have convinced themselves they are educated. Even genius.

Rodger Clark
Contractor, history buff, compulsive learner, currently in recovery from authoritarian education.