To help Black Americans understand white folks in America, and to correctly channel their attempts at peaceful assimilation, their political frustrations, or their social anger to the right people, here is a comprehensive analysis of the three kinds of white people we deal with everyday. First, there are the passive compatriots; next are the prototypical Caucasians; and last you have the orthodox authoritarian.
Each of the types are in no way confined to any one social status, educational level, or income bracket; they are spread out in society from the top to the bottom thus a Black person will not benefit from directing their attention to one particular social group. Neither can either be known which is which right away, though some are easily identifiable. Nevertheless, the following descriptions can help to recognize them and how to deal with each type.
The Passive Compatriot
The passive compatriot will smile at you and hold a conversation with you on just about any subject. They are sincere and friendly and often have a warm and approachable personality. Race or ethnic background usually does not hinder them from associating with you and they will go to lunch with you, come to your home and eat, and will even invite you to theirs. They can be trusted with personal information, life goals and dreams and will offer help if they have the resources. They may confide in you for personal advice and will trust your opinion and at times follow your advice. You can trust them to watch your kids and return the favor to them when they are in need of child care. They understand the social and political circumstances facing Black America and many times will fight for your rights just as hard as you do. Many of them will even die for any cause if that cause threatens them as a person, a citizen or as a human being. However, because they are of the white persuasion does not mean they will at some point and under the right kind of pressure, take hold of their whiteness and abandon you as a Black person.
The Prototypical Caucasian
The prototypical Caucasian is similar to the passive compatriot in a few ways but this group are a bit more selective of who they relate to and how. You see them while out and about shopping or at your job, and they too, will smile at you and hold a conversation. But their conversations are limited to general things, such as the weather, the accident passed on the freeway that morning, or general non-confrontational social issues that affect us as a nation. They will present themselves as friendly and open to a Black person only during one of their good days and on certain topics, otherwise, they reserve their essential and personal conversations for whites only. Race does matter to them and they are consciously aware of what race are around them on a daily bases and how many. They typically prefer to socialize with their own and will not purposefully visit a Black person's house or neighborhood except on very special occasions or if the Black person is a friend of a friend. They have a family, (wife/husband), 2.5 children and a dog, and participate in suburbanite activities and political meetings. They vote either Republican or conservative Democrat and they believe in obtaining the American dream with hard work and honesty. They consider the plight of Black America and our struggles and will help, but only if it benefits them someway or if it does not allow for Black people to get too far ahead of them in life.
The Orthodox Authoritarian
The orthodox authoritarian does not like Black people. They will not smile at you and will avoid eye contact if at all possible. They will avoid holding a conversation with you and will go as far as to ignore you if you try to start one of the most menial of topic. If they say anything to you it is usually a subtle warning (for example, "could you please turn down your music."), with a dare if you don't; a prying into your life on a racial note; "what part of town do you live on?" or instructions on how to do something. They only talk to you if they have to. If they are in a position of authority, they will apply any law or policy that will criminalize you, get you fired, or drain your bank account. They will not hesitate to call the police or security on you for anything, such as your dog barking too much or you raising your voice at them. They do not believe Black people (or any people not white) should have the same rights as they or the same opportunities, and they will vote to dismantle those rights and opportunities when they get the chance. They are empty of love, even toward their own family because they believe compassion is a weakness. They are unaffected by the history of slavery, genocide against other nations of color, or any current oppression of any people not white. They are even willing to persecute other whites if they believe those whites are in cahoots with Blacks.
To easily identify any of the three kinds of white people, all you have to do is strike up a conversation with one and you will be able to categorize them right away. Once they are categorized, you can determine just how far to extend the hand of friendship or know how many steps backward to take. Looks can be deceiving, job positions, and where they live; for instance, an orthodox authoritarian can live in a trailer park while a passive compatriot can be a judge on the bench. This message is not meant to be stereotypical or racially biased (wait, yes it is). As a Black American, know who you are and who you are dealing with.© Mar. 2017
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