What If White Supremacy Isn’t The Problem?

The curious case of Kyle Rittenhouse.

Steve QJ
4 min readNov 30, 2021
Photo by joeypistachio from Pexels

White supremacy used to be a meaningful term. It described hate groups like the White Aryan Resistance and the National Socialist Movement of America and the KKK (to name just a few), all of which still target people of colour today. It described evils like segregation and Jim Crow in terms that left no room for equivocation. It allowed the FBI to highlight worrying trends in domestic terrorism.

Then Tik Tok got hold of it.

Out of nowhere, “white supremacy” was being used to describe mathematics, and healthy eating, and classical music, and hard work. Science fiction, and SATs, and air conditioning, and well-behaved children were all suddenly “rooted” in it. Organisations like The New York Times increased their usage of the phrase ten-fold in as many years.

And, as inevitably happens with overuse, a term that people once treated with the gravity it deserves, became more or less meaningless.

The latest evidence of this decline is that the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, a white 17-year-old who shot three other white men, has nonetheless been widely portrayed as a victory for…you guessed it:

We just witnessed a system built on white supremacy validate the terroristic acts of a white



Steve QJ

Race. Politics. Culture. Sometimes other things. Almost always polite. Find more at https://steveqj.substack.com