Controversial White Supremacy Beliefs in Kipling’s Poem White Man’s Burden

June 7, 2022 by Essay Writer

The psychological traits of any individual are shaped through social norms. It is indeed common to perceive ‘white’ as the epitome of eminence. This is evident in Kipling’s poem ‘White Man’s Burden’ in which he proclaims that the white man is haughty and mighty. However, I firmly believe that white skin tone is a mere feature to impose the white man’s supremacy.

Kipling asserts that white-skinned humans are superior because of their god-gifted skin color. The lack of epidermal layers in white qualifies them to be termed as ‘civilized’ humans. It is an obligation of individuals possessing white skin to tame and train the ‘half devil, half child’. This phrase depicts how Kipling envisages other races. He presumes that the indigenous people are incapable of taking care of themselves. They’re undeveloped and childlike, thus need saving by noble efforts of white men. White people are remarkably tremendous; they are the hallmark of greatness. Hence, it is their foremost duty to ‘serve the captives need’.

White-skinned individuals should work hard to aid and benefit them. Since they’re essentially great, it is their responsibility to put blood, sweat, and tears to nurture and nourish the individuals who are deprived of God’s gift of white skin tone. It is indeed a White man’s burden that they’re required to make sacrifices for the inferior races as portrayed by Kipling. They’re required to do the tough work like waiting on these captives in a ‘heavy harness’, a metaphor that likens white men to strong horses who have to pull a sizable load. It is a challenge for them to help out ‘fluttered folks’ who were ‘wild’. The effort white people have to put in to civilize the inferior races and to qualify them to the status of ‘civilized’ inhabitants of Earth is fathomless.

The irrationality of Kipling’s thoughts is evident in his infamous poem ‘White Man’s Burden’. The logical reasoning Kipling provides to depict why White man is mightier is sufficient to assess the intellect he possesses. I firmly believe that skin color doesn’t make any individual superior or inferior nor qualify one to achieve the status of civilized or uncivilized. Rather one’s actions qualify them to be known as the epitome of greatness. Barak Obama wasn’t a white person yet ruled the white people. Martin Luther King is another significant example in history that depicts skin color isn’t the reflection of supremacy. It is a historic fact that time and again, white people did employ their imperialism in the remote areas of Africa and Asia but they were unable to contain the intelligence of indigenous people. Presumably because of their beautiful skin, which might be a visual delight but it surely is not an indicator of mental supremacy. It is my observation that skin tone doesn’t reflect mental capacity. Hence, the people who aren’t white do not require someone of a different color to guide them; they’re capable enough to work for their betterment. Furthermore, white people are immensely miserable since they lack the chemicals to protect themselves from skin diseases. They’re required to protect the ‘other races’ yet can’t protect themselves.

It can be stated with conviction that it is indeed a misconception that being white automatically marks one to be essentially great or remarkable. Skin color is a natural feature. Thus, shouldn’t be used as a symbol of hegemony and supremacy nor should it be used to thrust power onto any individual. Honesty, generosity, and loyalty are the most favored virtues of human nature which remain beyond the boundaries of race, class, and religion.

Source

Read more