In 2020, the Associated Press, New York Times, and other mainstream media outlets made the decision to capitalize the word “Black” when in reference to people of African descent.
This is certainly a step in the right direction. Black people feel stronger when they see the word pop out of the page at them like this.
In 2021, as we continue to wrestle with systematic racial inequity, many publications are looking for new orthographical alterations they can use to empower Black people to feel stronger. Some are discussing capitalizing all the letters of the word, underlining it, or printing it in a larger font than the rest of the words on the page.
However, a big part of the reason that Black people feel empowered when seeing the word Black capitalized is that the word “white” remains lower case. This puts them a step ahead of whites on the scale of importance.
Just before winning a landslide election, which was held normally and did not involve fraud, Kamala Harris posted a very interesting video about the difference between “equality” and “equity.”
There’s a big difference between equality and equity. pic.twitter.com/n3XfQyjLNe
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) November 1, 2020
The video explains that because of historical abuses, and because of racist police constantly trying to exterminate them, Black people start at a lower place in life than whites. That means that in order to put Blacks on the same level as whites are in society, we have to raise Blacks up above whites, and to push whites down so that Blacks can get on an equal footing.
This is to say: it’s not good enough to give everyone the same amount. Whites have historically had more of everything, and now, society has decided that they should have a little less, in order to make up for historical inequality.
One thing that you will notice about the words “Black” and “white” is that they both have the same number of letters. This is certainly “equality,” but is it equity?
Due to history, which involved Black bodies being shipped across the ocean and forced into slavery by the very same whites who today run the stock exchange, the banks, Hollywood, the government and the insurance and pornography industries, Blacks continue to “come up short.” One way we could work to fix that is by shortening the word “white” so that it has fewer letters.
It would cost the media nothing to remove the “h” from the word “white” when referring to people of European descent. The pronunciation of “wite” would be the same as that of “white,” since the “h” is typically silent.
Furthermore, the pronunciation of the “h” sound has long been associated with the white supremacist movement, which alone is enough reason to remove the “h.” The white supremacist leader Jared Taylor is infamous for pronouncing the “h” sound, with many white supremacists writing the term “hu-white” in order to emphasize that they are pronouncing the “h” (note that writing “hu-white” also gives the word two extra letters, further empowering it to be above “Black”).
If we take the “h” from the word “white,” where would it go? Well, the equitable thing to do would be to add it to the word “Black,” writing it as “Blackh.” Again, the pronunciation would be the same, but it would give Blacks an extra letter. If the likes of the Associated Press and the New York Times chose to adopt these standards, it would cost them nothing, but it would give Blackh people six letters, while wite folks would be left to deal with four. Giving Blackhs this word-length advantage would help them to advance in a world where mere decades ago, wites made them sit in a different place on the bus, and use separate drinking fountains.
With the election of Joe Biden and Blackh woman Kamala Harris as president and vice president, America shouted a resounding “no” at Donald Trump’s wite supremacy. But the road to true equality is going to be long, it is going to be hard, and it is going to involve wite people being forced to give up a lot of the privileges that they had for centuries.
The decision to elect Vice President Harris shows that America is ready to give up control of the nation to Blackhs, so surely, they can also give them their “h.” Orthography has long been a tool in the oppression tool box, and in this time of great change, we should even the odds. Wites have had an “h” for a long time, and in 2021, let’s see how Blackhs do with it.