Comedian and actor Peter Kim offered an "updated definition of white supremacy" for a PBS News Hour segment, saying it's "a lot less dramatic and a lot more commonplace" than images of "Adolf Hitler screaming into a microphone" or "white-hooded figures marching around a burning cross."
It's as everyday, Kim said, as being asked by white people, "Where are you from?"
"I've been lucky enough to travel and perform all around this country," Kim explained. "And when I get asked the question, 'Where are you from?' and I respond, 'Oh, New York,' most of the time well-meaning white people get upset and ask, 'You know what I mean. Where are you from-from?'"
Kim, who's gay, quipped that his white boyfriend "who's from Minnesota, whose family has roots in Sweden, never has to explain where he’s from-from."
He added that the notion of "white supremacy" also means that "white is the ideal, and we are all consciously and subconsciously working to achieve whiteness."
Kim told the following story:
For example, I’m an actor. And once I was sitting in the waiting room of a casting agency with a fellow actor who happened to be white, and I was telling him how I keep getting called in for roles looking for all ethnicities but are clearly written for a white man, like characters named Vincent Daniels.
And he says to me, "Well, Peter, you’re almost white."
OK, let that sink in for a second. If you haven’t flinched yet, you should take a deep look inside of yourself.
Me, an Asian-American, being almost white? Meaning what? That I’m not black or Latino or any skin complexion darker than white?
In saying so, he’s assuming that white people are the default race in this country, that I am almost normal.
Kim then let loose with an observation that would appear to have its own set of racial blinders, noting that "this isn’t some ignorant racist. This is a liberal creative person living in Chicago."
You know, since it's impossible for liberal creative Chicago residents to be racist and all.
He noted that his definition of white supremacy means it's "embedded in the fabric of our everyday lives. It’s in our schools, in our movies and on our televisions."
(H/T: Heat Street)