*Kipling prophetically foresaw the end of white supremacy. He called it the white man’s burden. He grasped the weight of believing in white mythology which led to the formal organization of the doctrine of white supremacy.
Kipling knew that eventually, the tawdry system would collapse in and over itself. What Kipling called the white man’s burden is nothing less than the cost of colonialism, post-colonialism and our current digital hybrid of these former systems of oppression.
In our time and as recent as today January 7, 2021, we know the white man’s burden as: White privilege, White fear and White rage.
White privilege has failed, white fear has emerged, and white rage has shown itself. Why? First, there are white terrorists who are afraid of black revenge. Fear of black revenge is what they have predetermined as justification for 402 years of slavery, servitude, Jim and Jane Crow, mass incarceration and other dehumanizing efforts. They see this as divine retribution. White rage has shown itself because America and the world have judged the character and moral behavior as an anachronism of the past. Their American Psyche has not evolved; it has not matured.
The terrorists are unwilling to adjust to the expected and emergent visibility of the moral arc of the universe indeed bends toward justice. White rage has shown itself because the terrorists are fearful that – courage has been redefined as humility to accept the moral cost of bondage not only of others – but clearly of themselves. The terrorist’s lack of courage to admit that they are morally corrupt – morally and spiritually bankrupt. What follows lies at the taproot of their rage.
White people are afraid of black advancement. In fourteen days, the most diverse presidential cabinet in American history will help govern this nation. The first black – and first woman – and the first black woman will be sworn into the office of Vice President. The first Jewish American and African American have claimed victory in the land of John Lewis, Joseph Lowery, C.T. Vivian and yes Martin Luther King, Jr. And a black woman in Georgia – Stacey Abrams stepped into a vacated leadership space and organized the winning senatorial campaign. But more than that, she personifies the cause of white rage. She is the epitome of black advancement. Carol Anderson defines it best:
The trigger for white rage, inevitably, is black advancement. It is not the mere presence of black people that is the problem; rather, it is blackness with ambition, with drive, with purpose, with aspirations, and with demands for full and equal citizenship. It is blackness that refuses to accept subjugation, to give up. A formidable array of policy assaults and legal contortions has consistently punished black resilience, black resolve.
It is black resolve that will not fail, black resilience has emerged and black courage has shown itself. We no longer will accept subjugation but we will support democracy in its ideal and purity – something that is ethical and above even the imperfect founders of this republic. This is the day that white supremacy ended while the current president made another feckless, incoherent and unbelievable speech– this mad man personifies Kipling’s fourth stanza:
Take up the White Man’s burden – No tawdry rule of kings, But toil of serf and sweeper – The tale of common things. The ports ye shall not enter, The roads ye shall not tread, Go make them with your living, And mark them with your dead!
And mark them with your dead if you regrettably will – but it symbolizes the day that white supremacy ended.
By Joseph Evans, Ph.D., Dean, Morehouse School of Religion.
Dr. Evans is the author of “The art of Eloquence: The sacred rhetoric of Gardner C. Taylor”
Dr. Evans is the author of “Reconciliation And Reparation Preaching Economic Justice.
Dr. Evans contributes ecumenical and social perspectives to ReelUrbanNews.com.
*This story first appeared on ReelUrbanNews.com