Racism: pollutant that serves GOP, Wall St interests

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To win victories requires unity. Communists understand that well, but so do corporate America and the far right. Thus they work overtime to divide the people's movement.

They pit employed against the unemployed, men against women, straight against gay, believers against nonbelievers, workers against welfare recipients, native born against immigrant, old people against young people, labor against environmentalists, occupiers against election activists, and white people against people of color.

Each of these deserves some elaboration, but what I would like to do is focus on the fight against racism.

Racism is the most persistent and pernicious form of division in our country. It creates a fault line in the labor and people's struggles that, if not overcome, irredeemably weakens them.

Racism appears in structural and ideological forms. It is more than prejudice or attitude. It rests on the systematic elaboration of the notion of white superiority.

This notion has its origins in, and is sustained by, racist practices and structures that confine people of color to a subordinate status relative to white people in nearly every area of life.

Much has been said in recent years that the country is in a post-racial era. The only problem with this claim is that there is little evidence of it.

By every social measure people of color find themselves in inferior conditions. A quick glance at unemployment rates or life expectancy rates or wealth accumulation rates or incarceration rates or poverty rates offers ample proof of this fact.

Nor has racism in its ideological form abated. Perhaps its contemporary expression is different than it was a half century ago, but its essence hasn't changed.

In a column a few weeks ago, Pat Buchanan wrote:

"Can Western civilization survive the passing of the European peoples whose ancestors created it and their replacement by Third World immigrants? Probably not, for the new arrivals seem uninterested in preserving the old culture they have found."

He doesn't say segregation now and segregation forever, but it is a hardly concealed appeal to the worst instincts of white people.

Buchanan is not a lone voice in the wilderness however. Since his election President Obama has been the object of open and unrelenting racist vilification by the Tea Party and others.

"He's not a citizen," "he's in over his head," "he's Hitler in a black face," "he's a tribesman," "he's a dick," "he's your boy," and on and on.

All of these vile expressions of racism pollute our political culture, rationalize the harsh conditions in which people of color live, fatten the corporate bottom line, and sustain the rule of the most reactionary sectors of our society.

It is also the ticket of the party of white supremacy - the Republican Party - to return to the White House next year.

This racist ideological offensive attempts to convince white working people that they share common cause with the reactionary right.

But there is no evidence for this claim. While the program of the extreme right falls especially hard on people of color (cuts in people's programs, denial of voting rights, obstructing jobs legislation, etc.), it also negatively impacts on white working people.

This is the common thread that binds the multi-racial working class together. And this is especially so if the democratic demands of people of color and other oppressed people combine with the overall demands of the working class and people as a whole.

Thus, what is urgently needed is a broadly-based and sustained struggle for economic justice and equality.

Such a struggle not only brings relief to the victims of racism, other forms of oppression, and class exploitation, but it also constitutes the strategic cornerstone of a winning struggle against the Republican right in the elections next year.

I emphasize this question because there is a tendency to lose sight of the special oppression those sections of the working class experience, and the democratic demands associated with that oppression. This is a mistake at any time, but particularly now when such grave dangers are facing our country and the world.

Photo: Workers cheer President Barack Obama during 2010 Laborfest in Milwaukee. (Marguerite Herbst

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  • Sam's political insights and "connecting the dots" for us to Republicans and Capitalist/monopolist racism (see article above) is inspired. Need an education in the politics of racism? .. just follow Sam's writings.

    Thanks!

    Dr. Don Noyes-More Ph.D.
    Editor in Chief
    Downtown LA Life Magazine International

    Posted by Dr. Don Noyes-More Ph.D., 11/22/2011 6:13pm (3 years ago)

  • Lenin wrote: "The tsarist police, in alliance with the landowners and the capitalists, organised pogroms against the Jews. The landowners and capitalists tried to divert the hatred of the workers and peasants who were tortured by want against the Jews. ... It is not the Jews who are the enemies of the working people. The enemies of the workers are the capitalists of all countries. Among the Jews there are working people, and they form the majority. They are our brothers, who, like us, are oppressed by capital; they are our comrades in the struggle for socialism. ... The capitalists strive to sow and foment hatred between workers of different faiths, different nations and different races. ... Rich Jews, like rich Russians, and the rich in all countries, are in alliance to oppress, crush, rob, and disunite the workers. ... Shame on those who foment hatred towards the Jews, who foment hatred towards other nations." [V. I. Lenin, 'Anti-Jewish Pogroms' (1919), Lenin Internet Archive.]

    If you substitute African-Americans for Jews and Americans for Russians in Lenin's speech, you have a picture of how the capitalists have divided the working class here in the U.S. In our cities with large African American populations, no Occupy (or any other progressive) movement can be successful without significant African-American and labor participation. And that participation needs to be at the leadership level as well as in the trenches.

    Posted by Rev. Paul White, 11/22/2011 10:25am (3 years ago)

  • As believer, one believes in the substance of the multi-racial, multi-national peoples of color, and all people, which not only embodies, but which OUR United States of America uniquely embodies, in sacred promise. Further, we believe as the great heroic American Communist W.E. B. Du Bois did, in his famous 1904 Credo starting stating"I believe in God who made of one blood all races that dwell on earth. I believe that all men, black and brown and white, are brothers, varying, through Time and Opportunity, in form and gift and feature, but differing in no essential particular, and alike in soul and tn in the possibility of infinite development."
    As believer, one believes in the evidence of unseen and unheralded labor of the infinite deeds of the working people, including the struggle for economic justice for working people and the working poor.
    The current movement and struggle for economic justice and human development is the Occupy movement, in its multi-racial, multi-national, androgynous form.
    It is the unified people.
    It is the unified people, anti-racists, for jobs, peace, freedom and justice as a matter of human survival.
    The time for general declarations of beliefs is now over because our unifying in deed will determine human survival or extinction, in matters of war and peace, housing, health care, pubic education, public transportation, public communication, public or private capital, certainly.
    The form of anti-racism as a manifest demonstration of substance-through the election and direct action of voting is the order of the day. This seals the deal of the affirmation of our survival-and will do so as we educated, educate, educate, register, register, register and above all, mobilize for 6 November 2012 to give ourselves a continued chance at survival in the 21st century, voting for and re-electing Barack Hussein Obama, to usher in the need of an anti-racist United States of American, in national, federal policy and deed.

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 11/21/2011 3:05pm (3 years ago)

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