Saturday, July 07, 2018

Law and Order is Sympathetic to Profit


Counterpunch |  To reverse angles, one need not be a self-affirmed racist to have complied with ‘red-lining’ or ‘white-flight’, only protecting your home value as banks and tax codes made fit.  In fact, a recent survey on immigration found Americans (along with Canadians) the mosttolerant among 27 polled countries, of non-native speakers, the unemployed, felons, radicals, or ethnic groups, so long as they’re citizens.  I’m not altogether sold, but we might not be the irreparable bigots we seem. According to the findings, ‘the US has a very legalistic vision of what it is to be an American’.[i]  (Of course, Nikki Haley stood it on its head when she told the UN it was ‘ridiculous to look at poverty in the world’s richest nation’.  Apparently just as citizenship welcomes our most-poor, it denies them outside protection.)

Thus it’s pertinent to ask, in both cases, should we be looking at conceptions of race and poverty, or of law enforcement and state-power to understand mass-incarceration or the police’ rising body count?

Consider the FBI memo that invented ‘Black Identity Extremism’ (BIE) the same time it granted them right to oppress it. ‘Racism’, in which case, is literally a state-authored fiction, as the group only exists on FBI records. Moreover, as with the ‘blue lives matter’ bill which makes resisting arrest a hate crime, their (straw) premise is that racism ‘goes both ways’.  I’d prefer that were true, since, as stray individuals, we’d have limited ability to act on it.  But it’s not. Racism has a definition: prejudice plus power.

Unlike BIE, ‘SIR’ (state-invented racism) and ‘CRP’ (capitalist-powered racism) have been the constant since answering the mixed ranks of poor in Bacon’s Rebellion with the 1705, Virginia Slave Codes, our first official color-line.  Since then, occasionally its been lifted due to public reckoning.  But it’s never been imposed without the help of some authority, be it state, judicial, or investment capital.  ‘Law and order’ is sympathetic to profit.  The Slave-trade launched our banking system, and the plantation supplied the organizational model for the corporate firm.ii  Post-slavery, fomenting racism was and remains an indispensable strike-breaker.

This doesn’t apply only to blacks.  Today, corporations open our borders to cheap, bracerolabor that it can throw away when its worn, or dares lift its head, while coaxing us to blame the workers.  Or stuff them in jail, along with 1 in 10 African-Americans.  After all, wrenching kids from their parents precedes our deranged president.

It’s ironic though, that the free-market is putting labor in cages, like the slave-market did.