How Whites “Supposedly” Oppress Blacks and Why Successful Blacks are Called Uncle Tom

Essential to keep in mind is that in social justice (cultural Marxism), oppression by the majority is not tyrannically imposed oppression, something done by force. Instead, it exists in the common-sense ideas of liberal culture, which in America includes concepts taught in Christianity. This may include things such as objectivity, a strong work ethic, personal responsibility, meritocracy, and understanding the family to be composed of heterosexual marriage, including children, unless providentially hindered.

Antonio Francesco Gramsci was a significant Italian Marxist philosopher.[1] He is considered a key neo-Marxist. Both Marx and Gramsci grappled with the question of why the proletariat (workers) did not rise in rebellion against the bourgeoisie (the people with capital, businesses, or land); they concluded that the proletariat adopted the standards of the bourgeoisie, which created the middle class.[2]

Gramsci’s theory is called cultural hegemony (hegemony means predominance or domination), which is the domination by one group over other groups in society. Cultural hegemony contends that rather than using violence or force to maintain the bourgeoisie’s dominance (majority’s oppression), the dominant ruling class oppresses by making their values the common-sense and accepted norm of the culture. That is, the dominant group promotes its values as true, natural, and inevitable.

Applying Gramsci’s cultural hegemony to America would seem to provide two primary responses to this hegemony (predominance of the majority culture) that perpetuate the standards of the majority, the status quo. One, the oppressed believe the norms of the dominant group, such as meritocracy, are natural and adopt them. They then conclude they remain oppressed because they do not deserve to have more. After all, they are neither as accomplished nor contribute as much to society as their oppressors; if this group is awakened (becomes woke) to their oppressed state being the result of artificial socially constructed norms, the revolution can begin; otherwise, they continue to accept their lowly state.

Two, some of the oppressed adopt the norms of the majority and take advantage of them and succeed. They prosper in society just as those who are in the dominant group. Both responses are considered wrong because they are built on the hegemonic idea that the dominant group’s values are natural and inevitable when they are actually, according to Gramsci, a social construct, which needs to be resisted, overthrown, and replaced with a natural and equitable system such as socialism or communism.[3]

Understanding this dynamic helps to shed light on the victim culture in America, which derives its vitality from promoting its victimhood as being the result of a social construct hegemony rather than a natural and moral one. To wit, they are victims of an unnatural and biased set of norms. This victimhood is also the mentality that results in the ones who adopt victim status rejecting those from their group who succeed and thrive under the dominant cultural system, which results in them being called Uncle Tom or said to be acting white. People like Condoleezza Rice, Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, and Thomas Sowell serve as stellar examples of successful blacks being called Uncle Tom. Additionally, there are countless black people who equal or surpass their white counterparts all across America who receive the same disrespect from the victim culture.

Because rather than adopting a correct set of values (rights and wrongs), they are said to have adopted the white man’s standards, which are unnatural and oppressive; therefore, they are not really black. Important to keep in mind is that social justice’s use of black and white includes more than skin color, although that is a part of what being black or white means. Being black or white consists of a mindset, a cultural identity.

Accordingly, blacks who succeed have become white, thereby perpetuating the majority’s artificial domination. The oppressed group that does not thrive must reject those from their group who succeed in order to sustain the narrative of their victimhood and that the present system is systemically unjust—racist. The rejection of those blacks who succeed must happen in order to maintain the viability of the claim of being a victim, which is essential for fueling the necessary revolution that will overthrow the present capitalistic (and in the case of the USA, Christian) system of values. People like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton exist to promote and by promoting victimhood.

The revolution through protests, riots, and anarchy supposedly will usher in a just system of socialism and communism (equal outcomes for all groups regardless of whether or not everyone exercises personal responsibility).  If the oppressed group that rejects the dominant morals and standards did not discredit those who liberate themselves from being oppressed and succeed by exercising personal responsibility and adopting the standards of the dominant culture, the claim of victimhood could not survive. Because the sheer acknowledgment that black people can rise up out of their lowly estate and remain black discredits the essential claim to victimhood and systemic and structural racism.

Thus, the actual failure on the part of the oppressed is that, in America,  they see the path to success as forsaking their blackness and becoming white rather than seeing themselves as Americans adopting the American path to success—something all people have to do to succeed in America regardless of their race. We should all note that Gramsci does the same thing he accuses the capitalist of doing; he promotes his socialism and communism as natural.

[1] Antonio Francesco Gramsci (22 January 1891 – 27 April 1937)
[2] There are other theories why the revolution did not happen.
[3] Of course, Gramsci notwithstanding, the acceptance of a set of norms need not be proven to be natural or inevitable to be legitimate. The only thing needed is that they can be demonstrated to be the morally and economically best for the highest number of citizens and the country as a whole; for a Christian, this would mean a set of norms that are consistent with and reflective of biblical teaching and principles.