by Deantre Martin
White supremacy and racial oppression are the cornerstones that have built Western civilization. No matter what, as long as you are black these things will perform against you.
This article is an excerpt of a thesis paper I wrote in defense of how white supremacy performs in the LGBTQ+ community. Throughout the article I focus on issues of racism with a focus on black folk (specifically male aligned).
White supremacy is a distortive, harmful lens and practice that transcends gender, sexuality, and class.
George Yancy in his essay, Black Bodies and the Myth of Post racial America, briefly defines the term White Gaze. “The white gaze then is a site of racist sedimentation that viciously operates in the present.” Yancy was specifically talking about how the “white gaze” operates in a lens of distortion via racism against black bodies.
White supremacy and racial oppression are entities that cross intersectional bounds. In terms of sexuality and the LGBT+ movement and community, white supremacy and racial oppression is sadly a prominent figure. We see white supremacy perform in various ways.
The most famous, would be the erasure of the work and legacies of Queer and Trans people of color. For instance Marsha P. Johnson And Sylvia Rivera both of whom are vanguards of the LGBTQ+ movement whose work and lives were disregarded and erased, but now are coming to light.
In the realm of anti-blackness, we see the fetishization of black Queer bodies and also observe how the “white gaze” distorts black bodies into modes of eroticism as well.
For instance, within the LGBT+ community (and actually outside of it) there is a myth and culture around black men being well endowed, or as I like to call it, BBCC (Big Black Cock Culture). This is a culture that is harmful for black men (Straight or Queer) because it creates a false narrative that we as black men somehow have to attain to be desirable.
Another, harmful facet of this culture that I have noticed is that their seems to be this want of Black men (queer men in particular) to attain to a being of hyper-masculinity to be attractive or desirable to the racist “white gaze.”
I believe this demonstrates that BBC culture is derived from the age-old Mandingo narratives that are rooted in the animalistic fallacies of black bodies.
The lens of the “white gaze,” positions black Queer men in servitude and/or
dehumanization. This culture performs vibrantly in the online dating realm via dating sites and apps.
Take case in point, a lot of non- black people will have in their dating app bios phrases such as, “BBC Only,” “Jungle Fever,” “Down with the Swirl,” and many other racists iterations. In short, their racist “white gaze” phrases reduce black people to their skin color while ignoring their humanity. This is thought as permissible to them.
In making the case on how the “white gaze” distorts and redacts black bodies I am arguing that BBC culture is a form of eroticism.
I have noticed through personal experience as a black male aligned person and through the shared experiences of peers, that a lot of white men seek black men because they believe we have “BBCs” and are “good” in bed (which I would equate their use of “good” with primal/animalistic because that seems to be the conations of their usage).
To briefly expand on another idea called “white common sense” which works in tandem with the “white gaze.” Linda Alcoff, explains white common sense as, “a part of the backdrop of practical consciousness, circulating, from the bottom up as well as the top down” White common sense is the instinctual attitude and cognitive process of white folks.
In other words, this is how white people are able to perpetuate negative stereotypes about black bodies and white common sense is the mode of operation in which they enact the “white gaze”.
To provide perspective, I offer this as evidence to my previous stated claims.
On Pornhub, a popular pornography website that can be accessed by anyone, there is a porn series entitled “Thug watcher.” What happens in these episodes is that a group of white men cruise (which is also a term in gay male hookup culture) around the “Hood” looking/hunting for a “thuggish” black man to have sexual intercourse with.
This is exoticism/fetishization at its finest. When I found this out I first noticed the parallels of a “hunt” and that black men are seen as exotic animals meant to hang as ornaments in the collective conscious of white supremacy.
The white gaze and white common sense completely distorts, destroys, and sometimes refuses to acknowledge the humanity of black bodies. These modes give no reprieve and ask no questions and continue to allow white folk to believe and perpetuate the racist fallacies surrounding black queer bodies.