CNN faced scrutiny over the weekend after it published an analysis article claiming it was a “myth” that White supremacy would fade away as America became more diverse.
In the Saturday article, CNN Enterprise writer John Blake argued that “Whiteness” was elastic and that as the population became more diverse, as seen in the 2020 U.S. census report, White supremacy would adapt because being White could expand to incorporate new members, “if they have the right look.”
“Don’t ever underestimate White supremacy’s ability to adapt. The assumption that more racial diversity equals more racial equality is a dangerous myth. Racial diversity can function as a cloaking device, concealing the most powerful forms of White supremacy while giving the appearance of racial progress,” Blake wrote.
“Racism will likely be just as entrenched in a browner America as it is now. It will still be White supremacy, with a tan,” he added.
Blake later claimed that how “Whiteness” was defined throughout history was a prime example of how White supremacy can adapt, citing the eventual inclusion of Italians, Irish and Jewish people into the White race when, he said, they weren’t initially considered to be “fully White.”
He referred to a guest essay in The New York Times by political scientist Justin Gest saying, “The US has broadened its definition of White people throughout history enough to maintain power over Black, Asian and Latino people.”
“Why do so many racial groups gravitate toward Whiteness?” Blake asked rhetorically.
“It’s due to a racial hierarchy that places Whiter-looking people at the top and darker-skinned people at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder,” he answered.
Blake predicted that Latinos could be “the future of Whiteness,” claiming that some had already begun to mark “White” on their census forms and that the temptation to identify as White could be “too tempting for many to ignore.”
Critics took to social media to blast the article, with some describing it as “propaganda,” “racist,” and “beyond parody.”