Wednesday, July 01, 2020

“It’s almost like someone thinks there’s a benefit to keeping people divided.”



nakedcapitalism |  The racial categories of white and black were developed around 1600. Probably a little after by wealthy Americans who used it to keep divided Black slaves, poor often indentured Whites, and the often enslaved Indians. These people were not disposable because they were useful as workers, but who often worked and even socialized frequently. As a group they had potentially considerable political power during the 1600s. This was deliberately dealt with. The Blacks were brutally suppress with (the category of Black indentured was eliminated. There was no Southern style chattel slavery for Blacks at first). The Whites were placated with some very modest reforms. The Indians (labeled as savages) were just driven off at gunpoint. This is also where the Southern Slave Patrols started to terrorize and keep down the slave population as well as keep down any poor whites. Where they started asking for people’s papers.

When my Irish great whatever grandfather stepped off the Coffin Ship around 1850, he was barely considered human, never mind white, and about on par with the black community. This was true for decades as were the “Irish need not apply signs” and the creation of the Paddy Wagons. Would you consider him having White Privilege?

It was only after the development of political power over multiple generations that the Irish-Americans were given the status of being both human and white, which only really happened during the early 20th century. Similarly with the Italians, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Italians, Greeks, and so on. 
Then there are the Jews. The Italians only finally became real whites after the Second World War although I do not think that they were quite as abused as the Irish. Going up to an individual in these groups at anytime before the 1960s and saying that they have White Privilege would have had them laugh at you in your very face. Today, they have been giving the category of White with its very real privilege of being treated like a human being, so long as you are not poor. But in the past?

During the Antebellum South and after Reconstruction when a poor white farmer or laborer even got friendly with a black person, the local wealthy white landowner and his hired goons would often beat up the offending white man. After Reconstruction, the allied white and black reformists in the South were literally extirpated via guns and the rope. If they were lucky and in the government, they were merely deposed, and run out of town by armed white supremacists during actual coups. Much like the American led coups in the Americas and elsewhere.

When a leader, especially a black one, becomes successful in his leadership and starts to bring up class and poverty, to suggest crossing class and race as well as mentioning our common humanity they often wind up dead like MLK and Fred Hampton. Working just on racism is much less dangerous.

Actually in the South and Southwest during the 19th century Blacks, Hispanics, and the very, very occasional White who were too successful as business owners were sometimes lynched for just that reason. To destroy the opposition.

There are a number of ways to destroy reformists movements besides murder especially those that threaten the power and money of the elites. Hell, you can find elite co-option, police and goon squad assassinations in the labor movement, equal rights movement, even in feminism (no murders, but plenty of false arrests and beatings). All of these movements were captured by elitists who expunged first the non-whites, then the socialists, then the working class from what became their movement. Any economic benefits from these “reforms” only accrued to the Upper Class Whites.

Why do cries of racism become so strident and the very real problem of racism become something that must be solves right now, today when cries of poverty and want are also raised. Every single time? Do you think that the current debates about racism just happened right after Bernie Sanders near success and the rise of an actual American Left fifty years after it was destroyed is a coincidence? Really?

If this was really and truly about racism or even poverty, why are the Native Americans, trapped on their Reservations with the highest poverty, drug use, rape and murder statistics of any group of Americans, bar none, not mentioned. They have the most police brutality as well and some of the reservations, due to legal loopholes, are happy hunting grounds for rapists coming from outside of some of the reservations. Their leaders usually do not have political power and wealth and they are isolated and beaten down at least compared to the national political leadership. So just under three million people are ignored and targeted.]

People are finally taking some notice of the shrinking middle class and of the increasing homeless population. If you wanted, I can take to some of the skosh less then fifteen thousand homeless in San Francisco. Or the over one hundred thousand throughout the state. At least half of whom are White. Are there any real protest over them? We can look at the millions wasted every year by San Francisco with cushy jobs being created, but not much progress. However, there are fine demonstrations on racism, which is good because racism and also police brutality with no mention of the increasing poverty in this country. Even now large sums of cash are used to “deal” with the problems, nationally. Problems that always get worse.

So cui bono? At least half of any negative statistic one could name, with the possible exception of prison, which IIRC only one-third are White. Unemployment, poverty, drug use, police brutality and police murders. Poor and struggling people are much easier to manipulate, aren’t they?

However, when there are protests about those issues it very often morphs into one about just racism. Let’s tear down some statues. Yah! When ever there is smart, hardworking, talented, and dedicated reformist or a successful non-profit making progress dealing with those issues, including racism, money from somewhere drops from the sky like manna. So long as small concessions are made. Or a slick person applies for a job there. Always has money somehow and eventually takes over or at least co-opts the organization. Or cushy jobs are offered elsewhere to certain people. In the old days like the 1960s and before, if that didn’t work s*** would happen, sometimes fatally. Sometimes nothing needs be done because often college educated are already brainwashed into uselessness by Neoliberal propaganda. The wealth and power of the Haves remain protected.

As an aside, Social Darwinism and Eugenics were created and spread by very wealthy people and foundations in the United States. Much like racism. If one doubts this, I can recommend some books I have. A good start would be War Against the Weak by Edwin Black.

So, in two part harmony, the Black Misleadership Class starts it latest performance along with the Backup of the White Misleadership Class (what else should I label Pelosi, Schumer, and McConnell? Or the leaders of the entire state of California?). Racism, the horror! And the police, oh my! Screaming, shouting (a whisper about poverty, homelessness, hunger, unemployment.) Perhaps Obama pops out and says some soaring nonsense or some very poor white fool is interviewed. A fantastic tempest in a teapot with nothing every actually getting done.

Then some Alt-Right creeps pop out and start saying you are White or not, and that’s all that matters! There is no American nationalism, only White Nationalism. White Power! Join us! (and don’t forget the Jews!) Finally, lies like the 1619 Project or propaganda like White Fragility are published.

Yes, racism does exist, and as a percentage of all the ills of our American nation, Blacks get it the worse excepting the Native Americans, of course. White Privilege is a real thing. But just as the categories of White and Black, of racism were deliberately created in the 17th century, for benefiting the powers that be, I wonder about Identity Politics and Cancelling. That blend of Nazi racialism and Maoist thought control. I wonder how racism and its pernicious child Identity Politics has been created, nurtured, fed a steady diet of hate, and then used as a weapon upon those who would care about everyone regardless of there supposed identity. I also wonder what would happen if I approached the man sleeping on cardboard, perhaps in the usually three month rainy season, or that family living in their car/van/RV on some out of the way road, that the do have White Privilege, which the do and usually means being treated as a human being. I also wonder about my nose.

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