Last Updated on July 15, 2020
The National Museum of African American History and Culture released a new web page explaining white culture and how it can be contrasted to African American culture, claiming that the Protestant work ethic, scientific method, delayed gratification, and a series of other generally positive attributes, are all aspects of “white culture.”
The museum, part of the Smithsonian, claims that “Whiteness and white racialized identity refer to the way that white people, their customs, culture, and beliefs operate as the standard by which all other groups of are compared,” and that the “normalization of white racial identity throughout America’s history have created a culture where nonwhite persons are seen as inferior or abnormal.”
The web page also extols the significance of white privilege in American society, claiming that because white people hold power in the United States, all whites are privileged. “For many white people, this can be hard to hear, understand, or accept – but it is true,” says the National Museum of African American History and Culture. “If you are white in America, you have benefited from the color of your skin.”
In an infographic accompanying the explanation of white culture, rugged individualism, family structure, the scientific method, justice, delayed gratification, and communication are all aspects of white culture, and are fundamentally different in African American culture.
The National Museum of African American History & Culture wants to make you aware of certain signs of whiteness: Individualism, hard work, objectivity, the nuclear family, progress, respect for authority, delayed gratification, more. (via @RpwWilliams)https://t.co/k9X3u4Suas pic.twitter.com/gWYOeEh4vu
— Byron York (@ByronYork) July 15, 2020
The museum also warns about the threat posted by “white supremacy” and “white nationalism.”
“White nationalists in the United States advocate for a country that is only for the white race due to feelings of entitlement and racial superiority,” the article about white culture explains. “They also believe that the diversity of people in the United States will lead to the destruction of whiteness and white culture – hence, the correlation to white supremacist ideology.”
Americans who “identify as white” are then urged to confront their own racism in an effort to combat it throughout the nation.
“If you identify as white, acknowledging your white racial identity and its privileges is a crucial step to help end racism,” the web page instructs.
However, the museum acknowledges that the majority of white people will experience “white fragility” when asked to confront their own horribly racist history.