The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Rebuttal: ‘Racial Contract’ is non-existent, unfair theory

Bek Yake
Does the ‘Racial Contract’ exist?

On   Sept. 15,     The  Reflector published an article by staff writer Pranaav Jadhav about a theoretical racial contract between white people and minority groups that is imbedded into our culture and structured so white people can easily prosper and minorities will fail. His article states, “The beneficiaries of the racial contract deny the existence of any contract and it only stems from being on the advantageous side of the agreement.” 

Jadhav cites the “economic divide” between white and black people and the white-ruled entertainment industry as evidence of a white supremist political system. Also, to tie his argument together, he concludes “the sooner we accept the existence of the contract and refuse to be signatories of it, the further we progress toward a society where race will be reduced to the most irrelevant characteristic a person possesses.” 


I completely disagree.


Jadhav is  incorrect. This social structure of white supremacy exists only in the minds of those willing to buy into it. According to National Public Radio, most Americans believe crime is a growing problem in the United States despite the fact that crime rates have been in a strong, steady decline for the past 25 years. The America we live in today is not one ripe with white supremacy, but is one in which we find ourselves to be our greatest adversaries as we fail to understand one another. 

Most Americans are white, have been white and will likely continue to be white. Media often portrays racism as a prominent problem, despite or contrary to evidence that suggests the black community experiences a cultural segregation imposed partially by whites and partially by themselves, in an attempt to celebrate their history, achievements and contributions separately.


Why rely on numbers?


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, under 75 percent of the U.S. population is white. This is no more the basis of an argument for Blacks experiencing the consequence of white supremacy in the U.S. than if I were to move  to Mexico and experience “Mexican supremacy.” Simple population differences should not be interpreted as a source of racism in and of itself. The large population difference between white people and minorities is a dominant factor that is almost always overlooked when one interprets statistical data as being racist. Statistics and numbers alone do  not explain context or underlying causes behind racial differences, divisions or trends. 

Jadhav and others interpret these statistics concerning political, economic and social differences between white people and minorities as unfair and unequal opportunities for minorities to succeed. By doing this, they are ignoring the fact that if 100 students apply for a scholarship that will be awarded to 50 students, and 75 percent of them are white, the statistical representations of awarded scholarships will appear as an indicator of racial profiling despite the simple statistical odds.


Let’s talk politics.


In regards to politics, it is preposterous to think white supremacy reigns in government because most politicians are white.

A publication from the University of Connecticut’s Roper Center shows in 2008, 74 percent of citizens who voted were white, while only 13 percent were black. President Barack Obama won the election by receiving 53 percent of the total votes. 

If our political system was still one of white supremacy, why did so many white people vote for a black president? Does the fact that 2 million more black Americans voted in 2008 than in 2004 leave interpretation to the idea that race played a much larger role in who became the next leader of the free-world to the black community than it ever did to the white community? Could it be white Americans are truly concerned with character and political ideology of the politicians they vote for rather than skin color?


Economic differences?


As far as economic differences go, I will point to William Julius Wilson’s “The  Declining Significance of Race” where he asserts that the opportunities given to members of the black community are becoming more dependent on ‘social class’ as race becomes a negligible factor.

In an interview with PBS, Wilson said, “…Because of historic racism, there is a disproportionate number of black people in the low-scale, poorly educated category, and they are falling further behind,” Wilson said. “Vocationally trained and educated black people  are benefiting from changes in the economy in the same way trained and educated white people are benefiting. For example, look at black income today. If you divide black income into quintiles, the top quintile has now secured almost 50 percent of the total black income, which is a record. The top quintile in the white population has secured about 44 percent of the white income, which is also a record. This gap shows white people have much higher income and overall wealth than black people. If you look at the distribution of income, inequality is growing more rapidly in the black community more than in the White community. If you look at the gap between the top quintile and bottom two quintiles, it is incredible.” I believe Wilson said it all.


The media helps.


The media is also very quick to pull the race card over matters without conclusive evidence race was even involved. This only creates racism where it does not necessarily exist. To many media outlets, facts do not matter and the accounts do not matter. The media is  only concerned with ratings at the expense of increasing racial tensions between white and black people.

In regards to the white supremacy Jadhav believes infects our entertainment industries, I contend the segregation of black culture, imposed by whites and blacks alike, enables and contributes to this “supremacy” social stigma by promoting racial separation rather than racial equality.     Of course, the intention behind celebrating blacks in American culture concerns celebrating and preserving knowledge of black history, contribution and heritage, yet the unintentional and subtle result is that of social segregation based on race and race alone.


Black celebration: Nay?


Jadhav mentioned that “cunning literature, films and representation in various forms of media, be it television, radio, or print” has reinforced the concept of the white supremacy racial contract. Yet, the black community has BET, Ebony Magazine, Black History Month, etc. We celebrate the Black community as if they are part of a separate entity rather than as if they are our American brothers and sisters. Black culture is American culture, and treating it as anything more or less than that unintentionally promotes racial segregation in our culture rather than racial equality.   

These facets we utilize to celebrate certain races and social groups only serves to draw a border around them with the implied statement of “this is where and when you belong.” It is important to be proud of your race and heritage, but it is another thing entirely to establish a magazine or television network that unintentionally carries the message, “this is where black people can be accepted and appreciated.” This is not helping the problem of lacking diversity in media. It is making it worse.


What’s important? 


It is vital that white people and black people come together in collaboration to include black media into what has been predominantly white media until the only media we can choose from is American. 

To put it plainly, the U.S. is a nation with a very racist history. Racism did not die out until the 1960’s, which  in the grand scheme of things, really is not that long ago.This is the year 2015, and I have no doubt in my mind racism is no longer the national epidemic others might have you believe it to be. The concept of nationalized racism will not die because we will not let it die. When you mix all of these factors together, you end up with the grand illusion of living in white America. But, there is no white America. We are a nation “united” in name and it is time we tore down the barriers that keep us from being united in spirit.  


Leave a Comment
Donate to The Reflector

Your donation will support the student journalists of Mississippi State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Reflector

Comments (0)

All The Reflector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Rebuttal: ‘Racial Contract’ is non-existent, unfair theory