For "black supremacy" to exist, the entirety of Western history would need to change.
UPDATE July 2020: Unfortunately, the massive backlash to Terry Crews' prior "Black Supremacy" tweet in early June seemed to teach him nothing.
CONQUER OUR OWN NEGATIVITY— terry crews (@terry crews)1595938846.0
Again, Terry, "black supremacy" and "#blacklivesbetter" are not valid concerns. Nobody is saying or suggesting either of those things. You have a massive platform and a voice that many people look to for guidance. Instead of using that platform to push respectability politics and fictional notions of "black supremacy," why not promote the Black community's basic human rights in America?
The core question is: Who do you think of when you dance, Terry?!
Terry Crews at the next Trump Rally https://t.co/jHjEwClY2l— Dready Van Halen (@Dready Van Halen)1595958315.0
It began in late June, when Crews tweeted, "We must ensure #blacklivesmatter doesn't morph into #blacklivesbetter."
If you are a child of God, you are my brother and sister. I have family of every race, creed and ideology. We must… https://t.co/3kk1HXp5QH— terry crews (@terry crews)1593523224.0
Like, dude, Terry, man. Come on. We're still at the point where Black people are protesting for the basic human right of not being murdered by police in the street on a frequent basis.
Prior to this spate of strange tweets, Terry Crews always seemed like a really great guy.
Alongside stepping up as one of the most prominent male voices behind the #MeToo movement, Terry Crews is also known for going above and beyond for his fans (for example, stepping in to give VISA express permission to let a girl get his face printed on her credit card). This is an important preface because the intent of this article is not to drag Terry Crews in any way, shape, or form. Everyone mis-words Tweets on occasion, and Terry Crews deserves the benefit of the doubt.
All that said, amidst the recent surge of Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a white cop, Terry Crews keeps writing tweets worthy of a good deal of backlash: "Defeating White supremacy without White people creates Black supremacy. Equality is the truth. Like it or not, we are all in this together."
Defeating White supremacy without White people creates Black supremacy. Equality is the truth. Like it or not, we are all in this together.— terry crews (@terry crews)1591572354.0
Right off the bat, it's worth pointing out that it's very likely that Terry Crews' only intent was to call for togetherness amongst protestors and that he wasn't intending to draw an equivalency between white supremacy and some hypothetical notion of "black supremacy." But regardless of intent, Crews' tweet does draw that equivalency, and as such, his words warrant a response. Of course, many people on Twitter have already weighed in, with most of the responses focusing on how the very concept of "black supremacy" is a false start and how dangerous it is to the Black community for someone with as big a platform as Terry Crews to give credence to the idea.
@terrycrews So, brother: here's why your tweet is a problem: 1. Black supremacy isnt possible unless we rewrite th… https://t.co/PlNpr7HYRl— Benjamin Dixon (@Benjamin Dixon)1591582388.0
The biggest issue with the idea of "Black supremacy" is that for supremacist ideologies to hold any weight, they needs to hinge on real-world, systemic power structures. White supremacist ideologies are dangerous because Western culture is largely built on white people's oppression of minority communities. From slavery to colonization, Western history is chock full of white people profiting from the pain and suffering of Black and brown people and, moreover, ensuring that race-based hierarchy continues to exist through institutional means.
Sometimes these means of oppression are transparent, as they were with the Jim Crow laws, which enforced racial segregation in post-slavery America and stayed in effect from 1870 all the way until 1965. Other times, the systemic backing of white supremacy is less obvious, but still equally racist. Such was the case with stop-and-frisk programs, which gave cops the freedom to stop any civilian they thought seemed suspicious and ultimately incentivized racial profiling that targeted black and latinx people for state-sanctioned harassment campaigns by police.
In short, for Black supremacy to exist, the entirety of Western history would need to change.
Sadly, understanding the far-spanning implications of racism in the West isn't exactly a strong suit for many Americans, and the danger in Terry Crews' bringing up a ridiculous concept like Black supremacy, inadvertent as it may be, is that ignorant, racist white people have inevitably begun to cling to it.
@CindyHarriman @terrycrews Terry look what you did? You got this white girl thinking she’s oppressed— Lexi❤️ (@Lexi❤️)1591575259.0
As a white person, it's hard to even fathom how someone could equate being called a "white cracker" to all of the myriad abuse that Black people continue to endure in America; but alas, that's the kind of discourse that mentioning "Black supremacy" elicits.
Terry Crews has since clarified his position while responding to Everybody Hates Chris star Tyler James Williams' gentle take. "I was not saying Black supremacy exists, because it doesn't," said Crews. "I am saying if both Black and Whites don't continue to work together--bad attitudes and resentments can create a dangerous self-righteousness. That's all."
It's certainly nice to see Crews state outright that Black supremacy doesn't exist, but his follow-up about "dangerous self-righteousness" doesn't seem quite right either. Indeed, many POC voices on Twitter began to point out this unfortunate word choice.
Considering the fact that many white people are still shouting "All Lives Matter!" even after countless police murders of Black people, doesn't it make sense that some Black people would be wary of white America? Factoring in moderate white liberalism and performative wokeness on the parts of many white "allies," is it really fair to suggest that Black people who don't trust white people have "bad attitudes?"
That's not to say Black and white people shouldn't work together—of course, togetherness leads to progress. But white people have done incalculable damage to Black people throughout Western history, and the path to recovery is bound to be rocky. Assigning any of the blame to black people, even in a hypothetical capacity, is just plain wrong.