Specifically, white supremacy is the form of racial supremacy that we operate under in America. The white supremacist framework has been set in place for centuries, yet it doesn’t get much critical attention in the media or in the overall social structure. And therein lies the root of the problem to which racism is tied. White supremacy is a social framework, which means that its basis is fluid, not rigid. Its power lies in its amorphous ability, its ability to change “faces.” It expresses itself via different social and structural modalities. The only thing that actually changes is the systemic form that white supremacy portrays takes (through which order and control is maintained). For example, we went from the system of slavery to the system of Jim Crow to the contemporary system of colorblind racism and mass incarceration. Throughout all of these changes in form, the fundamental centralization and concentration of racial power has not shifted. In fact, it has only gotten stronger.
Consider what has taken place in the past few months. The Supreme Court has struck down key portions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act; affirmative action measures that aim to reduce discrimination in college acceptance are being threatened; surveillance and policing of black youths is becoming more rampant; and Trayvon Martin and many other similar young people have been killed because of intensified racial anxieties. Consider also all of the other economic, educational and health disparities that are particularly experienced by people of color.