TheGrio Daily

Whiteness is a cryptocurrency

Episode 113

“The cryptocurrency of whiteness is declining in value.” Much like cryptocurrency, Michael Harriot explains that whiteness has been mined out of nothing yet is extremely valuable. 


[00:00:00] You are now listening to theGrio’s Black podcast network. Black Culture Amplified. 

Michael Harriot [00:00:05] Hey, I just want to let you know that I’m with you. I know there are a lot of people out there who are struggling right now who have sunk all of their investments into something that has crashed. You know, I know that this cryptocurrency thing has put a lot of people under a lot of pressure, especially since it’s fallen. And I want you to know that I will be okay. And I feel you. And, you know, everybody goes through something. Oh, no, no, I’m not. I’m not talking about Bitcoin. No, no, I’m not even talking about Ethereum, you know? I’m talking about the other cryptocurrency. That’s why I want to welcome you to The Grio Daily, the only podcast that will explain why whiteness is a cryptocurrency. A lot of people think this is a crazy idea, right? But, you know, at my heart, like, I use these kinds of analogies because I used to teach and I studied macro economics. And so this is kind of a good way to understand whiteness using the framework of cryptocurrency. And if you don’t know what cryptocurrency is. Who does really? Like it’s from something called a blockchain. And it is. Like, Look, we don’t even need to go into all that. Here is what cryptocurrency is. It is not real. It is something that you can mine. And then people try to exchange this thing that they mined and made up for real things of value. And like for a long time, everyone thought that it was this thing that people had made up, had some kind of value, that it would grow in value that one day everybody would have this thing and it would be valuable to everybody who had this cryptocurrency, we call whiteness, would be able to live on forever. If you invested in it. If you invested in whiteness, you probably thought, Hey, man, I got it made because you thought it would grow in value. And but that’s part of the reason why we’re having so much pushback over Wokeness. 

[00:02:36] Woke infects something. It spreads its tentacles. We are seeing a woke ideology spread like a disease. The wokeness is very potent. This woke mindset virus, the wokeness. This is all we should be talking about. 

Michael Harriot [00:02:50] What they mean when they say wokeness is stuff Black people like, right? What they mean when they say Wokeness is stuff that disagrees with the current conservative anti-Black political ideology. What they mean when they say wokeness is the devaluation of whiteness as a currency. What they mean when they say wokeness is. We want you to stay asleep. And that’s why you have to understand that whiteness doesn’t mean anything. Like it is something that people made up. And we’ve gone through this on this podcast before, but people always say, Well, racism existed in every society. Well, yeah, because see, so when you think about the etymology of the word racist, it was used way back, like even in Shakespeare’s time, right, as a kind of thing. Right. So Shakespeare writes about a race of wine, right? A kind of wine. Like you got races of wine, white wine, red wine. I don’t know a lot about wine, merlot. Mad dog is is my favorite race of wine. I used to drink Red Dagger, but they don’t even sell it anymore. But I don’t know. You probably drink bottles in James, but race was always a kind of thing. And then there were groups of people who considered their nationality as a race. So the Greeks would fight the Romans because the Roman race was superior. The Chinese fought the Japanese, because the Japanese race was superior. That’s like part of the lead up to World War Two was like the Japanese race and their superiority. And so race was a kind of thing. And then it evolved to a kind of people. And then when the world Europe discovered that they could enslave Black people and carry them across the world to another continent and get them to work for free, those lazy people had an idea what would differentiate all of those different tribes, all of those different kingdoms, all of those different nationalities in Africa from the different tribes and nationalities and ethnicities in Europe. Well, somebody had an idea. There was no longer Greeks and Romans and French and English people, they put them under one category white. This was like an arbitrary designation. 

Michael Harriot [00:05:44] Because, you know, like there was some people like the Irish initially white, and to become white, you had to kind of get exchanged for the value of whiteness. You had to adopt white values. You had to assimilate. You had to go to a currency exchange and exchange your ethnic identity, your cultural identity, and adopt whiteness. Because whiteness was a cryptocurrency, they had minded out of nothing. And then as time progressed, that cryptocurrency that they called whiteness started to mean things and more people started to exchange their identity for this cryptocurrency. The Italians, when they came to America, they weren’t considered white. And then they went to that money exchange and got them some cryptocurrency they invested in the cryptocurrency witnessed. Same thing with the Jewish people, right in America. Jewish people are still, you know, ostracized. They are still oppressed, but they were able to get some of that cryptocurrency right. And everybody got that cryptocurrency and invested in it. And it started to grow like even after slavery, right? They managed to buy some Jim Crow with some of that white Bitcoin and then they got some some more whiteness cryptocurrency and they used it for redlining and they, they because you know, you can invest a cryptocurrency in real estate and then they bought some some some unequal schools with that cryptocurrency so now was in a tax system right and they expanded that tax system into the political system so they use that white cryptocurrency to buy votes. Right. 

Michael Harriot [00:07:51] Like you could buy your way into democracy with whiteness as your cryptocurrency. You could vote, you could go to school, you could run for political office as long as you had this cryptocurrency man. It was more valuable than the dollar and it was growing, right? And then, in 1929 the entire actual system of money crashed in America. But they still had the cryptocurrency. And so President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, well, I mean, if we ain’t got no money, we still got whiteness. And he created a program called The New Deal. And he built suburbs and he used it to give people mortgages and loans. You gave it to farmers, but. You could only exchange that social currency that the government was offering for whiteness because Black people were left out of The New Deal. I mean, Black people weren’t included in those suburbs. Black people were redlined. Black people weren’t allowed in the works project. You had to have that cryptocurrency to buy in and be part of The New Deal. Because whiteness is a cryptocurrency, they mined it out of nothing. And even after the New Deal, right. Like whiteness was still valuable. It was so valuable that you could steal Black people’s money. Right. Like, that’s what segregation was, right? Because Black people were paying taxes and the children couldn’t go to the schools that they paid for because they didn’t have that cryptocurrency. And then even the bravest, strongest Black people in the world that would fight for this country and come back. But because they didn’t have that whiteness cryptocurrency. They couldn’t get the GI Bill. They couldn’t attend college. They were paying for it. They fought for this country. They had been brave, but they didn’t have that cryptocurrency. 

Michael Harriot [00:10:10] And that’s why whiteness is something not just that people made up, but it has value. And that’s why we’ve seeing all this pushback today, because the cryptocurrency of whiteness is declining in value. And that’s why we got to let it crash. That’s why we got to subscribe to this podcast. That’s why you got to tell a friend about it, and that’s why you got to download that Grio app. And it’s also why. We always leave you with a Black saying. And today’s Black saying comes from one of the greatest cryptocurrency advisors of all time. He’s really a financial advisor and it says “Money is the root of all evil unless you’re white and then dollar dollar bill, y’all.” We’ll see you next time on theGrio Daily. If you like what you heard, please give us a five star review. Download the Grio app, subscribe to the show and to share it with everyone you know. Please email all questions, suggestions and compliments to podcasts at the 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:11:39] I’m political scientist, author and professor Dr. Christina Greer, and I’m host of The Blackest Questions on theGrio’s Black Podcast Network. This person invented ranch dressing around 1950. Who are they? 

Marc Lamont Hill [00:11:53] I have no idea. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:11:54] This all began as an exclusive Black history trivia party at my home in Harlem with family and friends. And they got so popular it seemed only right to share the fun with our Grio listeners. Each week we invite a familiar face on the podcast to play. What was the name of the person who was an enslaved chief cook for George Washington and later ran away to freedom? In 1868, this university was the first in the country to open a medical school that welcomed medical students of all races, genders and social classes. What university was it? 

Roy Wood Jr [00:12:28] This is why I like doing stuff with you, because I leave educated. I was not taught this in Alabama Public Schools. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:12:34] Question three. Are you ready? 

Eboni K. Williams [00:12:35] Yes. I want to redeem myself. 

Amanda Seales [00:12:37] How do we go from Kwanzaa to like these obscure. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:12:42] Diaspora darling. 

Amanda Seales [00:12:44] This is like the New York Times crossword from Monday to Saturday. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:12:47] Right or wrong, because all we care about is the journey and having some fun while we do it. 

Kalen Allen [00:12:52] I’m excited and also a little nervous. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:12:55] No need to be nervous. And as I tell all of my guests, this is an opportunity for us to educate ourselves because Black history is American history. So we’re going to have some fun. Listen, some people get zero out of five, some people get by five out of five, it doesn’t matter. We’re just going to be on a little intellectual journey together. 

Eboni K. Williams [00:13:10] Latoya Cantrell. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:13:13] That’s right. Mayor Latoya Cantrell. 

Michael Twitty [00:13:15] Hercules Posey. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:13:16] Mm. Born in 1754. And he was a member of the Mount Vernon slave community, widely admired for his culinary skills. I’m going to guess Afro pop closed on Afro Nation. So last year, according to my research, and Samuel Wilson, a.k.a. Falcon. 

Michael Harriot [00:13:35] Wrong. Wrong, I am disputing this. 

Latosha Brown [00:13:39] Very, very, very rare 99.999 sure that it is Representative John Lewis, who is also from the state of Alabama. That let you know, Christina, we got some goodness come out of Alabama. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:13:51] There is something in the water in Alabama. And you are absolutely correct. 

Diallo Riddle [00:13:54] The harder they come. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:13:56] Close. 

Diallo Riddle [00:13:57] Oh, wait, The Harder They Fall? 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:13:59] That’s right. I’m one of those people that just changes one word. 

Roy Wood Jr [00:14:04] I just don’t know nothing today. I’m going to pour myself a little water while you tell me the answer. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:14:08] The answer is Seneca Village, which began in 1825 with the purchase of land by a trustee of the A.M.E. Zion Church. 

Roy Wood Jr [00:14:15] You know why games like this make me nervous? I don’t know if I know enough Black. Do I know enough? How Black am I? Oh, my Lord. They they, we going to find out in public. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:14:23] So give us a follow. Subscribe and join us on the Blackest Questions.