Given the founding of the nation in vicious ethnic cleansing of the original inhabitants and the forced immigration of kidnapped Africans in chains, racism, the false notion that humans are members of different races with some superior or inferior by virtue of skin tone, has taken hold of the minds of most Americans. Given the taught and learned rationalization of that material ugliness of national origins as being natural divisions among humans, this is understandable. But when racism becomes a fetish used to keep divisions among people that ensure minority wealth’s continued dominance of what is supposed to be a democracy, its hateful supporters and sincere opponents become equal participants in the perpetuation of an ugly lie.
We have just finished a presidential election which, despite the horribly comedic idea that either of the major party candidates represented anything but continuity of ownership of the nation by that wealthy minority, was reduced to charges about racism and its companion national isms that serve the same purpose: to keep Americans from looking at the source of most, if not all, our social problems in the political economic system and instead focus on alleged good and bad individuals in places like police departments, schools, or the two parties with one ownership class.
Thus, we have a president elected by the system created to sustain slavery, the Electoral College, and wildly criticized now because the candidate of the rich won the popular vote while the richer of the candidates won the Electoral College vote. Were there substantial differences between the two? Only in genitalia. Both were of what is called the “white” race, which could lead to charges of a political hate crime leveled at both if the nation continues on its path toward total social dementia.
While charges of racism, sexism, xenophobia and appalling ignorance are hurled at the new president, only the last is real and hardly an impediment to carrying out the job of chief executive of this nation. Trump’s tendency to over speak, under think and rarely edit his remarks, the very thing found endearing by those who didn’t vote for him just because they hated her, has led to counter quotes sometimes even dumber than his, as in the case of his slur of some immigrants. His remark that Mexico wasn’t sending us its best but often some of its worst, criminals, like rapists, led to scathing charges of racism from people who don’t seem to know that Mexico is a nation and not a race. Nor did Trump, who even in his crudeness included a demurring “some of them are nice people”, ever say anything as stupid as charging 68 million Mexicans with being rapists, but the atonal orchestra lead by hearing impaired mind management and echoed by the thought controlled chorus simply sang the ridiculous charge that “he called Mexicans rapists”.
This usually sincere and humanitarian support for maligned immigrants also showed an incredible ignorance of our history, which has found enormous waves of foreigners, first from Europe, later from Asia, swept out of their homelands and into America to both rid those nations of extraneous people and reward American capital with cheap labor. All these past waves of immigrants encountered not only severe hardship but often violent discrimination, often far beyond the experience of present generations who, though made to suffer greatly, mostly do not have to cross an ocean but only a border and have an entire network of support service organizations to represent and protect them from the dreadful abuse that befalls all foreigners who are not here as tourists or escapees from countries experiencing revolutions against tyrants supported by the USA.
Perhaps the most persistent and bigoted notion driven into the minds of far too many was the idea that “uneducated white working class” people voting for Trump were all racist, sexist and afraid of losing their privileged status to other more deserving identity groups, these usually composed of, by comparison, a pampered class that experiences professional work after college, if ever, but is made to feel superior to a class often forced by economics to experience work during or even before high school. It should not take Harvard and Yale degrees – both earned by the incredibly brilliant George Bush – to learn that as disgracefully expensive a college education has become in America, the minority who gain such enjoy a very privileged status by comparison to those with simply a high school education.
In fact, going along for the moment with the horrendous racist divisions of Americans forced into identity groups, only Asian Americans show a majority of their number to be college graduates. All others find minorities of their minorities with such degrees, including what are called “white” people. In very real fact, while some immigrants can dream of a higher education, under current economic market rules most Americans do not have a prayer at getting one. Especially if they are members of the working class, and of any skin tone, religion, ethnicity, sexual preference or other artificially forced separation, in keeping with the national standard of equal opportunity economic bigotry.
While a few corporate pundits have begun to notice that the nation is being driven wild by the truly stupid notion that people who have less are actually dominating those who have more, a concept only possible among supposedly educated people barely familiar with Groucho let alone Karl Marx, the post election atmosphere continues to force more Americans further apart, after a campaign that nearly started a civil war. Trump rallies were picketed and attendees threatened and even attacked by neo-libs while neo-cons have been guilty of their own ugly attacks and threats to both self and falsely identified minorities. Even allowing for exaggeration of all such stories, where and how does this end?
Very difficult days lie ahead, for sure, but the demand for change represented by both Sanders and Trump and their tremendous support even in confusion about what the change should be, are a healthy sign for the future if we can get beyond the intellectually senile analysis which provokes the mentally infantile behaviors now creating exactly what our rulers want: a more divided, easier to control public set against its own interests that allow a minority of fabulously wealthy people to rule a supposed democracy with a tyrannical power ancient feudal lords would envy.
When global capitalism is working that means millions of Americans are not. That is the most important reason for Trump’s election, which will bring a more nationalist orientation of capitalism for a brief while and make no essential difference except to reward some at the expense of others. And that’s what has been going on forever under the domination of private capital over an anything but free market, even during the heyday – for some – of the New Deal, which Bernie Sanders suggested as answer to our problems though it would only do the same thing: Reward some at the expense of others, for a while.
The system of anti-democratic capitalism is the core reason for destruction of the environment that sustains all life, and currently going under the 21st century brand name “climate change”, though it was anticipated in the 19th century and not only by Marx. Its local hold over consciousness has to do with the identitarian and politically correct politics that focus on micro changes that carry on the policy of benefits for only some at costs for many, while doing absolutely nothing to macro change the economics which are the problem of humanity and not just one or another group of humans. And the acceptance of evil, even fanatic nonsense like the existence of different races, plays a very large role in keeping us occupied with science denial as great as what is called climate change denial. In fact, believing in different races is even dumber since there is absolutely no scientific evidence for such ignorance. While some small case can be made that climate always changes and bla bla bla so let’s not mess with the profit margin for private capital or we’ll all die in a market collapse brought on by god, the big bang, market forces, or the “college educated” who teach us to believe such nonsense.
Those socialized to blithely speak of “Trump America” or “Black America” or “Latino America” or any other reduction of humans to a sub-strata are responsible for people reacting as hyphenated rather than whole citizens, falsely divisible by birth when our only real division is of class. A transgender Latino-Serbo-Croation-American-Jew with money matters more than a straight, Black-Greek-Chinese-American-Seventh Day Adventist without money. What truly matters has nothing to do with the fiction of racial difference and everything to do with the reality of money and class.
In truth, we are all “people of color” except for a few who suffer a genetic defect called albinism, but whatever our skin tone or lack of it, we are in danger of far more than our nation collapsing if we continue living lies like the one about race. And more, the one that says treating humans, earth, air and everything else as simple commodities to be used in creating profits for some and enormous loss for most is the best way of reproducing our race, along with democracy, equality, social justice and other good stuff we need but will never get until we stop acting as slaves of capitalism and begin acting as what we are: a human race.