“Symbolic Racism” and the “US of KKK A”

Hannity, Clinton, Obama, Rev. Wright and "Racism 101": Part Two

I’d be a millionaire, if I had a dime for every time some white American expressed some variant of the opinion: “Slavery ended a long time ago. Blacks have it much better today. They’ve achieved equality under the law and many middle class blacks have achieved de facto equality. Why can’t they just get over it?”

Well, it’s one thing to insist that blacks take responsibility for their own lives, even in the face of past and present racism. In fact, a November 2007 Pew Research Center poll found that 53 percent of America’s blacks believe: “blacks who don’t get ahead are mainly responsible for their own condition.” But, it’s quite another thing to close one’s eyes to the impact of past and present racism.

When discussing the current indifference of whites to the cumulative impact of past racism, perhaps political scientist Roy L. Brooks put it best: “Two persons — one white and the other black — are playing a game of poker. The game has been in progress for some 300 years. One player — the white one — has been cheating during much of this time, but now announces: ‘from this day forward, there will be a new game with new players and no more cheating.’ Hopeful, but suspicious, the black player responds, ‘that’s great. I’ve been waiting to hear you say that for 300 years. Let me ask you, what are you going to do with all those poker chips that you stacked up on your side of the table all these years?’ ‘Well,’ said the white player, somewhat bewildered by the question, ‘they are going to stay right here, of course.’ ‘That’s unfair,’ snaps the black player. ‘The new white player will benefit from your past cheating. Where’s the equality in that?’ ‘But you can’t realistically expect me to redistribute the poker chips along racial lines when we are trying to move away from considerations of race and when the future offers no guarantees to anyone,’ insists the white player. ‘And surely,’ he continues, ‘redistributing the poker chips would punish individuals for something they did not do. Punish me, not the innocents!’ Emotionally exhausted, the black player answers, ‘but the innocents will reap a racial windfall.'”

Commenting on this “racial windfall,” Paul L. Street concludes, “there is something significantly racist about the widespread mainstream white assumption that the broader white majority society owes African Americans nothing in the way of special, ongoing compensation for singular black disadvantages resulting from overt and explicit past racism.” [Paul L. Street, Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis, p. 23]

Americans familiar with the work of sociologist Dalton Conley know that that slavery and Jim Crow sharecropping have been curses that keep on cursing, especially by preventing most African-Americans from accumulating the wealth they should have gathered otherwise. As Professor Conley sees it, “wealth accumulation depends heavily on intergenerational support issues such as gifts, informal loans, and inheritances.” [Dalton Conley, Being Black, Living in the Red, p. 6] “Wealth is much more stable within families and across generations than is income, occupation, or education. In short,” says Conley, “we are less likely to have earned it and more likely to have inherited it or received it as a gift.” [Ibid, p. 14]

“In 1865, at the time of the Emancipation Proclamation, African Americans owned 0.5 percent of the total worth of the United States…However, by 1990, a full 135 years after the abolition of slavery, black Americans owned only a meager 1 percent of total wealth.” [Ibid, p. 25] According to Professor Conley, “In 1994, the median White family held assets worth seven times more than those of the median nonwhite family.” [Ibid, p. 1] In a word, the deliberate impoverishment of slaves and Jim Crow sharecroppers played a major role in preventing blacks from passing significant wealth to their descendants.

(Much in the spirit of Barack Obama and, perhaps, Hillary Clinton, Professor Conley believes that the racial gap in wealth can be remedied by an “aggressive wealth-accrual policy” that would benefit both whites and blacks, who are “asset-poor.” Class, rather than race.)

Moreover, it wasn’t merely the horrors of slavery and Jim Crow sharecropping that retarded the creation of wealth by African-Americans. During the 1930s and 1940s, African-Americans suffered yet more discrimination and abuse — this time from “Crackers” in the U.S. Congress who conspired with office-holding and administrative racists in Southern states to assure, to the best of their ability, that only whites benefited from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal” social welfare programs. It gave an insidious new meaning to the South’s insistence on “States Rights!

As Ira Katznelson has written in When Affirmative Action Was White: During the New Deal and Fair Deal era of the 1930s and 1940s “the southern wing of the Democratic Party was in a position to dictate the contours of Social Security, key labor legislation, the GI Bill, and other landmark laws that helped create a modern white middle class in a manner that also protected what these legislators routinely called ‘the southern way of life.'” [p. 17]

Thus, “at the very moment when a wide array of public policies was providing most white Americans with valuable tools to advance their social welfare — insure their old age, get good jobs, acquire economic security, build assets, and gain middle-class status — most black Americans were left behind or left out.” [p. 23]

How could such a thing happen? It happened because a Cracker in the U.S. House of Representatives, John Rankin of Mississippi, “led the drafting of a law that left responsibility for implementation mainly to the states and localities, including, of course, those that practiced official racism without compromise.” [p. 123] According to Katznelson, Rankin “keenly grasped that black veterans would attempt to use their new status, based upon service and sacrifice, along with a new body of federal funds, to shift the balance against segregation.” [p. 126]

Take the case of the GI Bill. “Between 1944 and 1971, federal spending on former soldiers in this ‘model welfare system’ totaled over $95 billion.” [p. 113] As Katznelson notes, “with the help of the GI Bill, millions [of veterans] bought homes, attended college, started business ventures, and found jobs commensurate with their skills.” [p. 113] Yes, it helped many blacks and should be credited “for developing a tiny group of professionals into the large, stable, and growing ‘black bourgeoisie’ that exists today, composed of doctors, lawyers, teachers, and mid-level civil servants.” [p. 120]

But, “on balance, despite the assistance that black soldiers received, there was no greater instrument for widening an already huge racial gap in postwar America than the GI Bill.” [p. 121] Soon after the law’s enactment, a delegation “told the Veterans Administration that discharged Negro soldiers in the South are discouraged from enjoying the benefits of the ‘GI Bill of Rights.” [p. 122]

One consequence of this discrimination wouldn’t be seen until 1984, when GI Bill mortgages had largely matured. In 1984, “the median white household had a net worth of $39,135; the comparable figure for black households was only $3,397. Most of this difference was accounted for by the absence of homeownership.” [p. 164]

Whites, especially in the South, made a last ditch attempt defend “the southern way of life,” when they engaged in violence to prevent the integration of schools, as required by the historic 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education. As Mark M. Smith has observed, in his book, How Race is Made, “In years to come, civil rights activists let such men and women lay bare their visceral fury to the world, their glowering faces, punching fists, and kicking raw feet, frightening testimony to their determination to protect their society. It was a wise strategy. Seeing segregationists spew their hatred with such ferocity on national television shocked many.” [p. 138]

Fury and violence weren’t the only tools available to whites, who wanted to keep blacks “in their place.” Until the enactment of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, most southern voting districts “employed literacy tests as a condition for entitlement to vote. The tests were employed in an explicitly racially discriminatory manner, with blacks given lower scores than whites regardless of their actual performance on the tests.” [Lawrence Blum, “I’m Not a Racist, But�” The Moral Quandary of Race, p.24]

Fortunately, the enactment of Civil Rights legislation greatly diminished the most overt forms of racism. Unfortunately, overt racism has been replaced by what scholars call “symbolic racism” — “a coherent set of beliefs including the sense that discrimination is no longer an obstacle for blacks, that their current lack of upward social mobility is caused by their unwillingness to work hard, that they demand too much of government, and that they have received more than they deserve.” [Hutchings and Valentino, p. 390]

Symbolic racism, which is deeper and more widespread in the South than elsewhere in the United States, has become the bedrock upon which the Republican Party bases its “Southern strategy.” Lee Atwater (who worked with both Bush’s) put it this way: “You start out in 1954 by saying ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger.’ By 1968 you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.” [Bob Herbert, “Impossible, Ridiculous, Repugnant,” New York Times, Oct. 6, 2005]

Thus, even if we put aside the issue of a final reckoning for past injustices, there’s still the matter of the willful blind eye that symbolic racists and other ignorant Americans turn to stark evidence of present-day racism.

Present-day racism? Yes, “in June 2000, American General Life and Accident Insurance Co., one of the nation’s largest life insurance companies, agreed to pay $206 million to settle allegations that it had overcharged millions of mostly poor, black customers for burial insurance because of their race.” Consider that, “in November 2000, Coca-Cola agreed to pay more than $156 million to current and former employees of color alleging racial discrimination.” [Blum, p. 25]

Present-day racism? As professors Maria Kyrsan and Amanda Lewis note, in “Racial Discrimination Is Alive and Well” [Challenge, May-June 2005], “No matter what the employment rate generally is, African Americans are unemployed at twice the rate of whites.” [p. 38] Fine, but how does racism enter in?

First, from the findings of researchers, who sent out resumes to a wide sample of potential employers. “The resumes were identical except for the name at the top. Some had black-sounding names like Tamika or Tyrone. Others had white-sounding names. But the resumes were identical. It turned out in this well-controlled study that the person with the white-sounding name was much more likely to get a call back than the one with the African American name.” [Ibid, p, 40]

Second, “Kathryn Neckerman and Joleen Kirschenman did a study where they interviewed employers in-depth. They found widespread evidence of a racial hierarchy and belief in stereotypes. These views were quite readily verbalized by employers, who admitted that they, for example, selectively recruited in some communities. They preferred to hire white ethnics or Hispanics and had negative stereotypes of black inner-city applicants in particular.” [Ibid, p. 41]

Thus, it’s perhaps no accident that the huge expansion of the black middle class since the 1960s is due largely to jobs obtained in the government sector.

Present-day racism? In October 2005, Van Jones wrote about the disproportionate rate of arrests and convictions of blacks and cited an analysis conducted by two researchers for Justice Department: “Two-thirds of the studies of state and local juvenile justice systems they analyzed found that there was a ‘race effect’ at some stage of the juvenile justice process that affected minorities for the worse.” [Van Jones, “ARE Blacks A Criminal Race? Surprising Statistics,” Huffington Post, Oct. 5, 2005]

Using data about drug use and incarcerations from four studies written between 1999 and 2005, Jones concludes: “The Monitoring the Future Survey of high school seniors shows that white students annually use cocaine at 4.6 times the rate of African American students, use crack cocaine at 1.5 times the rate of African American students, and use heroin at the same rate of African Americans students [sic], and that white youth report annual use of marijuana at a rate 46% higher than African American youth. However, African American youth are arrested for drug offenses at about twice the rate (African American 314 per 100,000, white 175 per 1000,000) times [sic] that of whites, and African American youth represent nearly half (48%) of all youth incarcerated for drug offense in the juvenile justice system.”

Such racism in America’s juvenile justice system is but part of a larger pattern of racial discrimination that recently prompted the United Nation’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to urge the United States to rectify the “stark racial disparities” in criminal justice systems throughout the country. [“UN Faults US on Racism,” Human Rights Watch, March 7, 2008]

Present-day racism? With reports that America’s schools are experiencing a new wave of re-segregation, it became national news when 16-year-old Kiri Davis recreated “the famous 1940s experiment conducted by Dr. Kenneth Clark that studied the psychological effects of segregation on black children.” [“What Dolls Can Tell Us About Race in America,” ABC News, Oct. 11, 2006]

“In Clark’s test, [black] children were given a black doll and a white doll, and then asked which one they thought was better.”

“Overwhelmingly, they chose the white doll.”

The results from Clark’s experiment led him to conclude that “prejudice, discrimination and segregation” caused black children to develop a sense of inferiority and self-hatred; a conclusion that influenced the Brown v. Board of Education decision to end segregation in the nation’s schools. [Ibid]

In the test administered by Kiri Davis some sixty years later, Davis asks a little girl, “‘Can you show me the doll that looks bad?’ The girl immediately chooses the black doll. Why does that look bad,” asks Kiri. “Because it’s black,” the girl answers.

In fact, 15 of 21 children (ages 4 and 5) “said that the white doll was good and pretty, and that the black doll was bad.” [Ibid] How’s that for the impact of present-day racism?

Symbolic racists also would do well to consider the deadly present-day impact of previous racism. For example, when you think about hurricane Katrina’s devastating impact on the lives of African-Americans living in New Orleans, think racial segregation. As Richard Thompson Ford writes, in recent book, The Race Card, “Racism didn’t flood the black neighborhoods of New Orleans, but racism established and enforced the residential patterns that made those neighborhoods black.” [p. 55]

And New Orleans wasn’t alone. “Many American cities were segregated by force of law until the Supreme Court invalidated racial zoning in 1917. Those cities and many others replaced racial zoning with an almost equally effective private substitute — racially restricted real estate covenants — until those too were invalidated in 1948. Banks, real estate agents, residents, and in some cases the federal government conspired to enforce segregation informally until Congress prohibited housing discrimination in 1968.” [Ibid]

Yet, although the evidence of present-day racism is overwhelming, such widespread and continuing racial discrimination does not justify the growth of a very troubling, self-destructive black “oppositional culture” in inner-city ghettos (See Elijah Anderson’s Code of the Street.)

On the other hand, when a white Department of Defense colleague asked me to comment on a speech by Bill Cosby — in which Mr. Cosby tore into blacks, especially black parents, for the poor upbringing and resulting social pathologies of so many black children — I not only recommended Elijah Anderson’s sobering book, but also asked why white Americans weren’t equally outraged by the social pathologies of low-class whites — a much larger American sub-group, often called “white trash” by mean-spirited folks. I suggested to my colleague that the double standard, itself, constituted evidence of widespread racism in this country.

But, beyond this racial double standard, symbolic racists do their country a double disservice. Not only do they belittle the existence of present-day racism, thereby turning a deaf ear to potential remedies, they also provide fertile soil for the reemergence of overt racism.

As with Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s “God Damn America” (a sentiment that was shared by Thomas Jefferson, see part one), Sean Hannity and FOX News also has heaped scorn upon Rev. Wright’s reference to the “US of KKK A.” Again, Hannity’s racial hypocrisy was astounding!

Simply consider that on November 14, 2007, Hannity’s former co-conspirator to fill WABC’s airwaves with hate, Hal Turner, went on the Warren Ballentine radio show and asserted: “We are going to begin lynching blacks in this country again next year!” He followed that assertion with a suggestion that we must return to what worked in the past, a rope. [“Hate Groups: Mainstreaming the Far Right,” The Center for Democratic Renewal, February 2008]

Turner made his assertion in the wake of the huge September 2007, “Jena 6” rally against racial discrimination and hate in Jena, Louisiana that sparked a flurry of some 50 to 60 “noose incidents.” The flurry marked a spike in noose-specific offenses that, according to a Justice Department report in 2000, have been increasing in professional environments. In fact, in October 2007, “seven black workers employed by an Oklahoma-based drilling company won a $290,000 settlement in a discrimination lawsuit which claimed they felt threatened by the display of a noose on a Gulf of Mexico oil rig.” [‘Noose incidents; Foolish pranks or pure hate?” CNN.com, Nov. 1, 2007]

In fact, the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) had put out a call: “All across the country, white people are spontaneously hanging nooses from trees to say that white people will not be intimidated by nigger mob rule and to show support four our ‘Lynch the Jena 6’ campaign.”

The NSM appears to have picked up where the KKK left off. As the authors of Hate Groups: Mainstreaming the Far Right have written: “The practice of lynching exploded following the establishment of the Ku Klux Klan in 1867 as the organization used lynching to promote the concept of white supremacy. It has been estimated that between 1880 and 1920 an average of two African Americans per week were lynched in the United States.”

“Lynchings weren’t just murders — there were, in many cases, sanctioned murders: casually reported in the newspapers, ignored by law enforcement; celebrated with family picnics; photos of hanging victims turned into postcards, and ‘souvenirs’ were taken from the scene of the crime.” [Ibid]

Mr. Turner’s prediction of more lynchings came just last year, when the number of hate groups operating in America rose to 888. That number represents an increase of 48% increase since 2000. [“The Year in Hate,” Southern Poverty Law Center, Spring 2008] And it came just a year after law enforcement agencies reported that 4,737 single-bias hate crime offenses were racially motivated. Of these offenses 66.2 percent were motivated by anti-black bias.

Thus, although it might be a bit of a stretch today (but certainly not during the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century) to refer to the United States of America as the “US of KKK A,” Rev. Wright’s assertion did not merit the outrage it received across white America, especially in light of the “noose incidents” that have increased since 2000 and spiked in 2007. Are we a nation of amnesiacs?

My closest African American friend, Stanley Brown, gave me his considered opinion about the outrage, which I publish here with his permission: “They finally found Barack’s swift boat issue. It will probably never stop. Politics is a dirty business and Americans are easily led around like sheep (sheep are dumb). This issue of Rev. Wright allowed race to become the issue, to which white America can assert their sense of superiority making white (thought) right. The media disguises the whiteness as patriotism because most Americans have little knowledge of world events unless provide[d] by our fair and balanced media. It’s as if the sons and daughters of slaves and victims of a Jim Crow society, now James Crow, Esq., should have the same perspective of America. It would actually mean that African Americans [were] insane, if they did. We are all a sum of our experiences. It’s a testament to how far we haven’t come and our lack of desire for real intelligence.”

“Symbolic racism” and the “US of KKK A.” My brief, two-part, introduction to “Racism 101” should persuade you that Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s utterance about present-day racism is no more outrageous than are the smug, self-serving beliefs of symbolic racists who maintain that “discrimination is no longer an obstacle for blacks, that their current lack of upward social mobility is caused by their unwillingness to work hard, that they demand too much of government, and that they have received more than they deserve.” And nothing said by FOX’s Sean “Lee Atwater” Hannity will make it so.

Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including Dissident Voice, The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also is President of the Russian-American International Studies Association (RAISA). He can be reached at: waltuhler@aol.com. Read other articles by Walter C., or visit Walter C.'s website.

63 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Linda Schrawyer said on April 4th, 2008 at 9:37am #

    This is one of the most comprehensive and informative articles I have read regarding the fact that racism is alive and well in 2008. I am a white person, and I still find it difficult to believe that people are still denying that racism is a thing of the past. Obviously nothing was learned regarding what white people did to the Indian culture either. Such a tragedy, in this day and age, that many folks are still walking around in a fog of denial. What will it take for people to just be human beings, and fess up to the past as well as current racism issues, and bring about a positive change for the sake of humanity.

  2. James said on April 4th, 2008 at 9:45am #

    I do not agree with many of your arguments. While you will get no argument from me that the past directly affects the present, the facts do not bear out a lot of the claims that have been made here.

    Every year, foreigners arrive from various countries around the world, a very large percentage come from very poor places without good education systems. Many of them enter the country illegally. Yet, recent history has shown that these immigrants, who come from backgrounds in Asia and Latin America where access to the wealth and education that African Americans have available to them is almost nonexistent, are able to prosper and quickly increase their average income and education level over successive generations.

    Are African Americans disadvantaged? Almost certainly, but one cannot blame the lack of opportunities available to blacks in this country for their low educational and economic achievements given the fact that immigrants with much, much less opportunities are able to thrive in the United States, so, one cannot, in intellectual honestly, blame slavery and Jim Crow laws for most of the failure of blacks to achieve economic and educational equality today, given that so many immigrants, with much larger obstacles to their success (educational opportunities, xenophobia, language barriers, legal status, et cetera) have managed to thrive.

  3. rosemarie jackowski said on April 4th, 2008 at 10:34am #

    Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s statements were 99% historically correct. What per cent of the time is Hannity correct? Maybe 2%. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

  4. Stefan said on April 4th, 2008 at 1:43pm #

    James, your comments actual prove how alive and well racism against blacks is in the United States. To equate the experiences of willing immigrants and those who were brought here in chains, and treated as sub-humans for hundreds of years, is just ignorant. Immigrants do face hurtles, but they are no way comparable to what blacks face – an historical, deeply entrenched preception of inferiority and discrimination going back generations. As the author argues, despite the latent, covert form this rascism now takes, blacks have never really been able to overcome the stimga that was placed on them from the very beginning of the country. Did you read the article and all the evidence the author convincingly presents of real, exisitng prejudice against blacks that continues to this day?

    You seem to imply the lack of upward mobility among blacks is proof of their inherent inferiority. Wouldn’t the more reasonable conclusion be that this is evidence of a strong latent strain of rascism against blacks in American culture?

  5. Colby said on April 4th, 2008 at 3:07pm #

    Firstly, don’t ever lump me in with Hannity.

    Secondly:
    ‘Wealth is much more stable within families and across generations than is income, occupation, or education. In short,” says Conley, “we are less likely to have earned it and more likely to have inherited it or received it as a gift’

    That may be so Mr Uhler, but not in my case, and not for most of my white friends, either. So please let’s make an effort to eliminate the sweeping generalizations. It is YOU who views everything through the prism of race. It is YOU who divides everything into black and white, so to speak. And by doing so, it is YOU who so willfully ignores other factors, like the fact that only 10% of Southern whites in the antebellum South were slaveowners. Like the fact that the abomination of slavery disenfranchised ‘poor white folk’ by undercutting their wages from sharecropping, etc etc.
    So of course I question the validity of an article, however well-intentioned, which ignores facts like these to protect an idea. My people were dirt-poor Pennsylvania coal-miners, Mr Uhler. I venture to say that most white people in this country descend from similar socio-economic stock – that is, from the poor, rather than the rich. So blow it out your ass, won’t you?

  6. rosemarie jackowski said on April 4th, 2008 at 4:24pm #

    My people were dirt-poor coal miners in Pennsylvania also. My world view is very different from yours, Colby. I remember seeing crosses burned on the hill near the strip mines.
    Now, when I visit Pennsylvania I am saddened that so many there are STILL very prejudiced.
    Racism is alive and thriving in the US. Ignoring that fact of American life is like ignoring the elephant in the living room. Shame on us. Shame on the US. Bravo Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

  7. Hue Longer said on April 4th, 2008 at 5:13pm #

    Colby? Hanity Hanity Hanity Hanity….Why so threatened? Sorry slavery hurt your poor family so much, but you should aim your rocks a little higher.

    The best part about reading these articles is watching the irony play out in the message boards from benighted fuckwits who are unable to comprehend what they just read

  8. Malcolm Martin said on April 4th, 2008 at 6:37pm #

    Mr. Uhler’s analysis is an airtight case that racism is endemic in the “damned” United States of America. But he never goes directly to why this is so. Namely, the capitalist economy of the US and the bourgeoisie democracy at its political service.

    Capitalism’s nature is at the root of the racist attacks on the Obama candidacy. One should have no illusions about Barak Obama. He is auditioning with the ruling class in this campaign for president. He is desperately trying to convince them an Obama Administration would be business as usual, his empty rhetoric about change notwithstanding.

    But this goes beyond Obama the Black man and candidate for president. Something the ruling class can never permit must happen before Obama can be elected. In all future primaries and in the general election, if the process gets that far, Obama will win 90-plus% of the Black vote and his people will turn out in record numbers. But he will win the nomination and then the presidency only with a substantial number of white working class votes. Oh, the unity!

    Such unity would shake this county’s ever constricting capitalist bourgeois democracy to its foundation. One of the main engines of that capitalist economy is racism. For the sake of profits racial divisions and the super exploitation of workers of color must be kept intact—at all costs.

    The reason that chattel slavery came into existence in the semi-feudal agrarian US economy of the time was that it was very profitable for the masters of that economy.

    The reason that racism is so pervasive in the United States today with its developed industrial capitalist economy is that it is very profitable for the masters of that economy.

    It took the bloodiest war in US history and hundreds of thousands of white workers willing to fight to the death to end chattel slavery. No election and no candidate for office will end racism in this country. As long as capitalism exists elections will only produce racist results.

    In the end Barak Obama will not be stopped for fear of his empty promise of change. The ruling class chuckles over such nonsense. What they are stricken over is the possibility that working-class whites might make their first halting steps toward an effective political relationship with their brothers and sisters of color. They know their history. They know that was the dynamic that brought down the slave economy. They know that would be the beginning of the end for them.

  9. Raven said on April 4th, 2008 at 8:12pm #

    Long-time reader, first-time comment.

    I just wanted to comment on this and other articles about racism in America. Why is it that Latinos rarely ever get mentioned? And, if they are, they are mentioned only in passing as to “not forget about them.” As much discrimination that occurs to Blacks, it happens much more frequently with Latinos, and a lot more shamelessly. While I don’t take away from the fact that Blacks are discriminated against, the fact remains that there is much more attention paid to them. Latinos are paid meager wages, manipulated and lied to, and mercilessly persecuted in this country, and have less avenues in which to defend themselves. The moment they step up to do so, they receive threats of INS coming down and doing sweeps on innocent families trying to earn an honest living.

    Latinos take the jobs that no one else wants to work. Honestly, how many people from other races do you see working the fields, or becoming janitors, or working in sweatshop factories? Hardly any, because companies know that immigrant labor is cheap, and because no one wants to be paid minimum wage and work for 18 hours a day. Halting illegal immigration isn’t going to do much to stop this, because corporations will just take their factories to Latin America and other third-world countries, and take advantage of the poor anyway.

    Blacks may have less opportunities than the affluent Whites, but Blacks don’t have to cross language barriers, or fight the fear that Mom and Dad might not come back from work today because “Homeland Security” did a sweep of the sweatshop they were working in and deported them back to their home country.

    I have no faith in any of the presidential candidates, because they give no voice to the Latinos that serve ALL OF YOU on a daily basis. We clean your bathrooms, we pick your fruits and vegetables, we’re the people you cuss out at the drive-thru because you can’t understand our broken English. We kill your genetically-altered livestock so you can eat your tasty burgers and steaks. We provide more money to corrupt educational systems by allowing shady school board administrators (not teachers) to consider children that don’t speak English as mentally handicapped so they can suck the little grant money that is provided for education for their lavish offices, swanky dinner meetings and luxurious summer vacations. We cut your grass, we bag your groceries, we care for your children, we clean and remodel your houses- and yet, we can’t even get so much as a driver’s license, or proper medical care for our children.

    Slavery didn’t end, people. It just shifted it’s sights on a more vulnerable prey.

  10. Brian Koontz said on April 4th, 2008 at 8:28pm #

    This article is missing a larger and much more crucial point – the American Empire, of which both blacks and whites have taken part, have expropriated the wealth of the people of other countries. It’s THAT blood money that is being talked about being redistributed from whites to blacks in America. What we really need to do if there is any talk of actual justice in this article is to redistribute the money not *just* to American blacks, but to people all over the world, in EVERY American colony, in every country that the American government has exploited, coerced, dominated, stolen from, and otherwise terrorized.

    The internal colony of blacks within America is just one colony of many within the American Empire. Redistributing wealth to this colony without addressing the other colonies only brings blacks more fully into the criminal conspiracy and power domination of the American monster.

    Blacks don’t want blood money, they don’t want money stolen from children in American colonies who then die of malnutrition and preventable diseases. They want justice, and wealth within that justice.

  11. hp said on April 4th, 2008 at 8:49pm #

    I’d bet they would take the money..

  12. Brian Koontz said on April 4th, 2008 at 10:17pm #

    If that’s true than we’ve solved nothing at all, and the monstrosity will continue. Let’s get it right.

  13. D.R. Munro said on April 5th, 2008 at 7:17am #

    “If that’s true than we’ve solved nothing at all, and the monstrosity will continue.”

    Now you’ve got the right idea.

    I’m with HP on this one. Throw enough money in anyone’s face and watch the avarice take control of their body.

    Why are there no rich activists? Because they can afford to not give a shit. I’d like to be able to afford to not give a shit.

  14. Brian Spencder said on April 5th, 2008 at 7:45am #

    Yes, Racism is alive and well, when i cant wear my Irish Pride shirt because it offends some people. Remember when the Irish arrived during the Civil War, were given a gun and a bowl of soup and told to go fight for their country! Furthermore, My grandmother was told no Irish need apply! Yes, Racism is alive and well, its called Affirmative Action. Ask our friend Borax Obama’s Pastor, RACISM IS ALIVE AND WELL.

  15. hp said on April 5th, 2008 at 8:48am #

    D. R., I wouldn’t ever go so far as to say anyone, or everyone, but I will say most. It’s a rare person who can truly overcome the many human afflictions.
    And these afflictions transcend race.

  16. Annie said on April 5th, 2008 at 11:23am #

    Racism is alive and well. I am a white women who lives in the South.
    About 2 years ago I was once in a car with my white husband, two black men and an Asian woman. We were headed to our favorite BBQ joint in a small town in southern Arkansas. When I got out of the back seat with my friend (a black man), the looks of disgust I recieved from restaurant patrons was staggering. It literally took my breath away. The people there were disgusted for one and only one reason, there were blacks and whites and (oh my!) Asians all together in one car. It didn’t matter that one of the black men was Stanford educated and his Asian wife was a nurse, it didn’t matter that the other black man was a well respected news reporter in my city or that all of us had just come from an event in Memphis that left us in a spiritual high. Skin color was all that mattered.
    I reiterate, RACISM IS ALIVE AND WELL!

  17. Max Shields said on April 5th, 2008 at 12:17pm #

    Stefan

    I don’t think it helps to state the obvious: racism exists. I don’t think racism began with the North American slave trade. Nor is is unique to African Americans. Racism exists, for example when Americans (of all colors) don’t think the life of an Iraqi child is worth the life of an American Soldier. That’s just one of thousands of examples of racism. We see the same with Israelis racism against Palestinians and Arabs and Muslims at large. Or Western imperial empires throughout the world and before.

    No, it is far too simplistic to think that racism began with white Europeans who came to America. Certainly it is a deep scare that seems to find no remedy, neither by racist nor those who wish to rid the world (and specifically Americans) of racism.

    In a word, we have yet to come to terms with our sense of justice across the board. We live in a deeply colonized world – locally and globally. There you will find oppression and by any other definition racism.

    It is curious that both the so-called left and right rally around Martin Luther King – one of the most radical American thinkers of the 20th Century as if he was just Rodney King. MLK saw the big picture and most of those who have followed are lost in the ant hill of dispair.

    There are real racist issues in America. The statistics are blantly clear, but they don’t speak to solutions. That’s the tough part and one we bat around as if saying we’re a racist nation will magically correct things (I know you’re not).

    Slavery happened. Now what? I think answers can be found when we work toward social and economic justice and don’t think that some kind of national soul search and “dialog” is going to heal this wound. Therapy has very mixed results on a one on one basis and it’s hard to imagine that it would translate better results on a national stage.

    We ALL need to be part of the solution and find ways to accomplish that. Again, I think we have a major turning point given the cliff we’re all heady on – as MLK said “we may have come on separate boats, but we’re ll in the same boat NOW!

  18. John Wilkinson said on April 5th, 2008 at 1:04pm #

    “And by doing so, it is YOU who so willfully ignores other factors, like the fact that only 10% of Southern whites in the antebellum South were slaveowners.”

    But the other 90% or so (there were honorable exceptions), directly or indirectly, actively or passively, supported the system. Enjoyed its fruits. Dropped the dime on escaped slaves. Arrested the same to be whipped or hanged. Took part in lynchings then and later on. Supported the back of the bus and segregation policies. Rioted in front of the Little Rock high school in the 50s. Rioted against the black and white equal rights protesters in the 60s. Passed and enforced laws on crack cocaine as opposed to those on powder cocaine. Etc., etc.

    Let’s be fair. We’ve done a lot of bad things. You claim to know that those have had no ill effect, that the others have no reason to be pissed at us? How would you have felt if the tables had been turned?

  19. Max Shields said on April 5th, 2008 at 1:07pm #

    Brian Koontz, I had not read your post before writing mine. I think we’re saying much the same. I would differ somewhat on the extent to which most American blacks have gained from a largely white driven empire. Still, on the whole there is great complicity regarding racism. Experiments by Milgram on authoritarianism in the 1960s showed just how universal some of our worst traits. It just takes the right conditions for us to be willing to hate and kill.

    Colonialization, as you rightly note, is not something that happens exclusively to external lands, but also within the borders of nations, in this case the USA. There are issues with nation-states which we cannot readily dismiss. A nation the size with the population of the US is nearly impossible to construct without imposing the very same neo-liberal and imperial approaches to its cities and various poor rural areas as it does tries to do in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East (and to some degree in Southeast Asia).

    This is very fundamental to the issue of racism in America, but there is no denying that the citizens of this nation are complicit, regardless of color, in the racist, imperialistic empire we perpetrate on many areas of the world where we have military outposts and settlements.

    Poor Americans may have some benefits from that set up, but there is a major issue of proportionality. Still, the deep seated willingness to look the other way on the part of most Americans – regardless of color – as we perpetrate racist hegemony cannot be denied, anymore than our at home statistics against minorities and poor.

    Nevertheless, I think we are all capable of changing our world, through local transformation. This can and should be done in solidarity with our diverse cultures, ethnicities and races. Or, we can just keep calling one another racists. Choice is ours.

  20. John Wilkinson said on April 5th, 2008 at 1:10pm #

    “and don’t think that some kind of national soul search and “dialog” is going to heal this wound”.

    Let’s bury our heads in the sand and pretend it never happened. Let’s do that for other things as well — the Holocaust, the Iraq war, the Indian genocide, colonialism, etc., etc. Let’s just erase history and happily repeat it ever after.

    No it may not heal this wound, but it helps to know the wound exists.

  21. John Wilkinson said on April 5th, 2008 at 1:17pm #

    …and the writer has many, spot-on examples of present day racism that are being engaged in as we speak, so it’s not a past problem, and it’s not just the ones who were slaveowners.

  22. Max Shields said on April 5th, 2008 at 2:04pm #

    John Wilkinson
    Are you a racist?

  23. Colby said on April 5th, 2008 at 4:10pm #

    Hue Longer said on April 4th, 2008 at 5:13 pm #
    Colby? Hanity Hanity Hanity Hanity….Why so threatened? Sorry slavery hurt your poor family so much, but you should aim your rocks a little higher.
    The best part about reading these articles is watching the irony play out in the message boards from benighted fuckwits who are unable to comprehend what they just read

    Mr. Longer:
    I would characterize your comment as hate mail, and as such this is the extent of my response.

    rosemarie jackowski said on April 4th, 2008 at 4:24 pm #
    My people were dirt-poor coal miners in Pennsylvania also. My world view is very different from yours, Colby. I remember seeing crosses burned on the hill near the strip mines. Now, when I visit Pennsylvania I am saddened that so many there are STILL very prejudiced. Racism is alive and thriving in the US. Ignoring that fact of American life is like ignoring the elephant in the living room. Shame on us. Shame on the US. Bravo Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

    Ms. Jackowski:
    I agree, racism is alive and thriving in the US. But talk is cheap, rosemarie. All the philosophy in the history of the world never changed a thing, as Marx wrote. And amends must be made.
    OK then, let’s start with your wealth. I demand, for the sake of American race relations and the future of our country, that the redistribution begins with your bank account. Therefore you must tithe 50% of your monthly salary to the NAACP, the United Negro College Fund, or a historically black college of your choice. Secondly, since wealth is more often ‘passed down’ through generations, rather than individually accrued, it’s also time you demand the same amends of your thieving, slaving ‘Cracker’ parents.
    Please don’t deign to assume you have a clear grasp of my world view. It’s a tad more complex than a single post on a single blog could begin to represent. And I promise to extend you the same courtesy.
    My child is of mixed heritage. And she can certainly do without the self-pity self-flagellators like yourself would teach her, and I could certainly do without my daughter being taught to hate her father, and two of her grandparents…

    John Wilkinson:
    ‘Let’s be fair. We’ve done a lot of bad things. You claim to know that those have had no ill effect, that the others have no reason to be pissed at us? How would you have felt if the tables had been turned?’
    The only post to have intrigued me thus far. But I’d like you to clarify what bad things you’ve done. Are you a racist?

  24. Brian Koontz said on April 5th, 2008 at 5:37pm #

    “Brian Koontz, I had not read your post before writing mine. I think we’re saying much the same. I would differ somewhat on the extent to which most American blacks have gained from a largely white driven empire.”

    I think it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 billion people in the world living (barely and often not for long) on $2 a day or less. Don’t kid yourself – American blacks have benefited tremendously from the American criminal machine. And they know it – which is why they ask the monster for reparations just for them (and maybe also for the 400,000 remaining indigenous Americans) instead of demanding that the monster give out true reparations to all it’s victims. American blacks don’t want justice – they want wealth. They want to move to a higher rung on the criminal ladder. Check out Michael Eric Dyson as he drools over the possibility of “one of his own”, Barack Obama, possibly gaining the high seat of the American throne.

    “The voice for the voiceless?” It’s not American blacks who have no voice – it’s the blacks and the “blacks” of the third world who have no voice. American blacks don’t give a shit about them.

    Martin Luther King made a critical error when his vision was one of integration. One cannot change the beast from within – it can only be killed from without. It’s the global population – a global democratic movement that will destroy all forms of oppression including the American empire. And you’d better believe that most American blacks will side with the empire instead of with the global democratic movement. The empire has the wealth that American blacks covet. They just want a piece of the pie that was made with blood, sweat, and so many tears.

    “Still, on the whole there is great complicity regarding racism. Experiments by Milgram on authoritarianism in the 1960s showed just how universal some of our worst traits. It just takes the right conditions for us to be willing to hate and kill.”

    Emotions are derived from social relationships (both real and pursued). That is to say, if you plan to steal and subjugate someone you hate him in order to make the theft, subjugation, and possible murder all the easier (both instrumentally easier and easier on your psyche). This truth is utterly universal.

    “Colonialization, as you rightly note, is not something that happens exclusively to external lands, but also within the borders of nations, in this case the USA. There are issues with nation-states which we cannot readily dismiss. A nation the size with the population of the US is nearly impossible to construct without imposing the very same neo-liberal and imperial approaches to its cities and various poor rural areas as it does tries to do in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East (and to some degree in Southeast Asia).”

    “This is very fundamental to the issue of racism in America, but there is no denying that the citizens of this nation are complicit, regardless of color, in the racist, imperialistic empire we perpetrate on many areas of the world where we have military outposts and settlements.”

    Right – it’s about who gets the money – and American blacks are in a completely different position from third world blacks. While most of the wealth transfer goes from third world peoples to the American elite, American non-elite, white, black, and otherwise, share in the criminal gains.

    “Poor Americans may have some benefits from that set up, but there is a major issue of proportionality.”

    If one man steals $10 Million and another steals $1,000, both are criminals. For the latter to say “well, proportionally I’m not nearly as bad” is a weak argument. And, proportionally, blacks Americans have 10% of the wealth of white Americans (per capita). What percent of the wealth of white Americans do black third-worlders have? And more importantly, how many Americans care? And more importantly yet, how many Americans are willing to do something about it?

    “Still, the deep seated willingness to look the other way on the part of most Americans – regardless of color – as we perpetrate racist hegemony cannot be denied, anymore than our at home statistics against minorities and poor.”

    Yep – and it has nothing to do with racism – since black Americans hardly care more about black third-worlders than white Americans do. It has to do with “looking out for #1”, the capitalist ethos of utter greed. The most common excuse is “I’m taking care of my family”. A mafia boss uses the same argument.

    “Nevertheless, I think we are all capable of changing our world, through local transformation. This can and should be done in solidarity with our diverse cultures, ethnicities and races. Or, we can just keep calling one another racists. Choice is ours.”

    We’re not racists – racism is created and maintained solely by the elites who benefit from divisions within the exploited class (per divide and conquer). However, we need to wake the hell up to our own moral failings and recognize the power that we have to improve the world. The world can be changed – but only if we have real solutions and aren’t just lesser versions of the monsters we claim to despise.

  25. Hue Longer said on April 5th, 2008 at 6:29pm #

    Colby said on April 5th, 2008 at 4:10 pm #
    “Mr. Longer:
    I would characterize your comment as hate mail, and as such this is the extent of my response”.

    Poor little victim, Colby…I will then retract my “hate” and tell you to “blow it out your ass” instead.

  26. Colby said on April 5th, 2008 at 7:00pm #

    Oh great. little Hue’s back. And somewhere a toilet is missing a very large chunk of turd.
    I find it hypocritical that in previous blogs you have decried ‘ad hominem attacks’, then deign to label me a ‘benighted fuck wit’.
    Yet the best part about reading these articles is watching the irony play out in the message boards, eh li’l Hue? (from ‘benighted fuckwits’ such as yourself, li’l Hue:)
    Decidedly, my words have had considerable impact on you to provoke such a vitriolic, ad hominem attack.

  27. Colby said on April 5th, 2008 at 7:51pm #

    Now, as the comment section is preceded by the header ‘Add to the discussion'(we can all hope)…
    Someone showed acumen when stating earlier: ‘I don’t think it helps to state the obvious: racism exists. I don’t think racism began with the North American slave trade’.
    ‘Some historians estimate that between 11 and 18 million black African slaves crossed the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Sahara Desert from 650 CE to 1900 CE, or more than the 9.4 to 14 million Africans brought to the Americas in the Atlantic slave trade’.
    – BBC News
    Also, to clarify, I have no problem with Jeremiah Wright voicing his opinion, I have a problem with where he voiced his opinion, as part of an organization that enjoys the benefits of a religion-based tax break. Whether it’s Mr Wright in Chicago or John Hagee doing the same from the other side of the pulpit – so to speak – down in San Antonio, if politics enters a church, the church should be audited and de-listed.

  28. Colby said on April 5th, 2008 at 7:53pm #

    The earlier stat is attributed to the Arab slave trade, btw.

  29. Hue Longer said on April 5th, 2008 at 9:16pm #

    you understand vitriol, but not ad hominem…and certainly not what’s being said to concerning privilege

  30. Max Shields said on April 6th, 2008 at 6:29am #

    “We’re not racists – racism is created and maintained solely by the elites who benefit from divisions within the exploited class (per divide and conquer). However, we need to wake the hell up to our own moral failings and recognize the power that we have to improve the world. The world can be changed – but only if we have real solutions and aren’t just lesser versions of the monsters we claim to despise.”

    There is systemic racism which sustains the oppression. It does not stop at our borders. The change that happens will not come through the system that perpetruates this oppression. It appears that the only reasonable chance for this change will come in the form of a grass-roots solidarity movement around our common sense of survival and a true just quality of life. We are not victims. The mindset of VICTIM is part of the problem and is worthless to such a critical movement.

    However I do believe that those who have suffered against the odds of systemic racism can and need to be central to the transformation. Movements are strongest when we discover new unassuming leaders. These are people who never thought they could have a voice, shyed away from the spotlight and felt voiceless. But with some coaching, they’re out there ready to take the lead and with a depth of commitment we can only imagine. But the issue of solidarity between those – regardless of color – who want deep transformative progressive change is the equally deep waters that seem to keep us separate. Bridges must be consciuously and arduiously built from all sides.

    What makes our “liberal” conversation about racism a non-starter is that it supports institutionalized racism. It stops with the legacy of slavery in America and takes leaves us there.

  31. Max Shields said on April 6th, 2008 at 8:15am #

    “Right – it’s about who gets the money – and American blacks are in a completely different position from third world blacks. While most of the wealth transfer goes from third world peoples to the American elite, American non-elite, white, black, and otherwise, share in the criminal gains.”

    Here’s where I think you move the argument too far. Yes, there is a complicity across the board with exceptions (from people of all color), but it does us no good to simply say that the machine that imposes empire is rooted in the colonies of America. New Orleans is such a colony, one of many. I cannot in all good conscience say that New Orleaners are the recipients of empire, anymore than the 700 miliary based colonies throughout the world that receive US remittances are in fact part of the oppressive machine. There is an important difference

    I do not think that New Orleaners perpetuate empire. As an American colony they are kept in receipt of remittances that reach but a few and are siphoned off by corporate elites. It is simply not fair to call a colonists racist or part of the heart of empire. They are peripherial at best.

    My point is that racism is essential to imperial empirism and it is true whether that colony resides within our outside the major empire – USA. But the oppressive machine is not restricted to people of color. Most urban centers have lost their voices, the local paper and the local land owners run the show – and if you are a middle income citizen of such a city – regardless of color – you are oppressed by this colonizing machine. This is true in just about every city in America.

    All that said, racism in terms of the sanctity of life and the quality of life is what is very worrisome. When Americans, regardless of color, cannot empathize with the pain of Iraqi families who are suffering do to empire we have to acknowledge the universiality of this wretched condition.

    To your issue of where change comes from, Brian, local change is the only meaningful change. It roots the change on a human scale that absolutely cannot be achieved from the top down (globally or nationally). To see such change across the globe or even just within the US landscape is a major challenge, but I think that the notion that we can have some kind of national or global transformationis nearly outside the realm of the possible. I can imagine a cataclysmic situation where human species is subverted across the planet. Within that context all bets are off.

  32. Brian Koontz said on April 6th, 2008 at 10:59am #

    “Here’s where I think you move the argument too far. Yes, there is a complicity across the board with exceptions (from people of all color), but it does us no good to simply say that the machine that imposes empire is rooted in the colonies of America. New Orleans is such a colony, one of many. I cannot in all good conscience say that New Orleaners are the recipients of empire, anymore than the 700 miliary based colonies throughout the world that receive US remittances are in fact part of the oppressive machine. There is an important difference”

    If there were no serfs there would be no king. We live in a neofeudal age, the age of corporatism. If there is no slave there is no master, because the slave acts as enabler for the master. The internal colonies of America are given special treatment due to actual democratic advances within a nation-state system. But with the rise of a single superpower, that superpower determined that it no longer needed to act democratically in order to woo international opinion it’s way. So the weak democratic elements that led to favoring internal American colonies over external colonies began to erode.

    It’s the serfs as well as the king who keep the system going. If the serfs decide that the king will no longer receive the serfs’ bounty, he won’t. Many serfs will die of course in the aftermath of such a choice, but the king will also die and sooner than all the serfs will, since the emergence of a new king with more moderate policies will then occur in order to spare the lives of the remaining serfs (in order for the land as a whole to have more power than if the killing of serfs continue).

    It’s completely true that black slaves played a large role in building the United States of America. But hardly anyone acknowledges the actual implications of that – which is that black slaves played a large role in building an empire of tyranny, terror, and mass murder. And now they want to reap the gains of such a criminal construct, instead of meting out justice.

    As serfs they certainly didn’t choose for their masters to be imperialists, but they sure did keep giving the imperialist master bounties, didn’t they? And their “leaders” kept up the mantra of integration, of the desire to work their way up the criminal ladder, of the desire for wealth and to stand side-by-side with the mass murdering king himself. That’s what “equality” means within the American monster. The equal right to extort, coerce, and dominate the rest of the world.

    It takes a brave serf to defy a king, and the history of black slaves in America is not a history of bravery (by and large). If it was the world would be a very different place today. Blacks mourn the death of Martin Luther King not so much because of his great leadership but because of the utter dearth of black leadership today. The serfs have lost their spine.

    Serfs define kings, and black slaves (through chattel, wage, and neofeudal) have shared in the defining of the American monster.

    “I do not think that New Orleaners perpetuate empire. As an American colony they are kept in receipt of remittances that reach but a few and are siphoned off by corporate elites. It is simply not fair to call a colonists racist or part of the heart of empire. They are peripherial at best.”

    That’s like saying workers are “peripheral at best” within capitalist systems. It’s nonsense. Serfs are the heart and soul of every kingdom, and American serfs are no different. Even for those black Americans who have problems gaining a place as a wage slave, they serve a crucial role insofar as they hold a lower rung on the social ladder, and show those on a higher rung the suffering that waits for them if they get out of line. American progressives think they are sophisticated when they talk about poverty, never knowing or caring that it’s the different shades of poverty, “minor” differences in the social structure, that make all the difference. “Divide and conquer” is, sadly, understood far better by the masters than by those who claim to be helping the serfs.

    What do you think the “American Dream” is, this thing that so many serfs care about and who are lamenting the death of? It’s about the gaining of wealth, of milk and honey. America is the “Land of Opportunity” – that is to say the opportunity for wealth. So it’s not surprising that those at or near the bottom of the American ladder would put their energies into climbing up that ladder instead of dismantling the system itself. In order to climb up a ladder there not only needs to be a ladder (the “American Dream” of upward mobility) but there also needs to be someplace to climb to, so that after all that climbing the person isn’t stranded at the destination. That “someplace to climb to” is filled with blood money extracted from American colonies.

    “My point is that racism is essential to imperial empirism and it is true whether that colony resides within our outside the major empire – USA.”

    No, it’s not true. Do you think the serfs of Europe were a difference race from the king? Do you really think if there was only one race on the planet there would be no imperialism? Imperialism and empire is about greed, about desire for power, not about racism. Racism is just a convenience, an easy way for divide and conquer to be maintained. End racism and all that happens is that American blacks move up that ladder.

    Emotions are outcomes of social relationships, not causes of them. That is to say, if one plans to steal from and subjugate a bunch of people, it’s convenient for those people to be able to be identified by race. It’s extremely convenient – it’s a kind of skin-based uniform, so that soldiers immediately know who to shoot, for example. So that people know who to hate just by looking at them.

    “All that said, racism in terms of the sanctity of life and the quality of life is what is very worrisome. When Americans, regardless of color, cannot empathize with the pain of Iraqi families who are suffering do to empire we have to acknowledge the universiality of this wretched condition.”

    If the Iraqis were white there would be no increase in compassion among American whites. When a school bully extorts money he only cares about race if race plays a larger role in the school society – he really just wants the money and he seeks to get it in the easiest and cheapest way possible.

    It may sound trite to say that the global division of race is based on convenience, but it’s true. White imperialists aren’t the way they are because they hate non-whites, they hate non-whites because they want a perpetual stream of wealth from them, and if this convenience wasn’t available they would extort even more from members of their own race.

    Look at this another way – do you really think a capitalist machine stops and starts based on the race of the victim that sits on the assembly line in front of it? The machine just wants victims, and convenient victims makes for more efficient extraction, that’s all.

    “To your issue of where change comes from, Brian, local change is the only meaningful change. It roots the change on a human scale that absolutely cannot be achieved from the top down (globally or nationally). To see such change across the globe or even just within the US landscape is a major challenge, but I think that the notion that we can have some kind of national or global transformationis nearly outside the realm of the possible. I can imagine a cataclysmic situation where human species is subverted across the planet. Within that context all bets are off.”

    I don’t think we disagree here. The global democratic movement will link together many local movements. It will have to link them together otherwise it will fail. In order for people to support each other across the globe they have to be in communication, regardless of whether that communication is mediated or otherwise controlled in a “top down” or “bottom up” fashion.

  33. dan e said on April 6th, 2008 at 11:37am #

    Well, Max ol’ buddy, guess I owe you an apology:) Most of your comments on this phread are IMHO really pretty intelligent, especially in comparison to those by individuals trying to defend their racist attitudes.

    But you DO have to get past the notion that the problems besetting our species (as well as those we customarily victimize) can be substantially ameliorated by focussing primarily on activity in local arenas. Actually many of your comments above contradict that thesis, as you have presented it so often in previous “comments”.

    I’m fascinated by the comment from Raven, which exposes some really important problems which work to create/maintain disunity and discord between the two biggest oppressed ethnic minorities here in “the belly of the beast”.
    As an individual who is usually classed as “wyt” on the basis of appearance, but one who has non-white descendents as well as close relatives some of which are Latino and others Black, I find it easy to sympathize with feelings on both sides of the questions Raven raises.

    To me its important never to forget how white racism has in the past and continues to impact Latinos, Native Hawaiians, Inuit, Native Americans as well as US Blacks. However I myself find Raven’s presentation a little onesided?

    For instance, talking about “taking jobs no one else will take”? In the mid-seventies there was a disco hit about “workin’ at the Carwash”. In those days, the Carwash was as much a part of Black American culture as the Brotherhood of Railway Porters was earlier. But now if you go to a carwash & see a Black face, it belongs to a customer. All carwash employees, other than the “girls” behind the cash register, are now recently-arrived Mexicanos. Whom nobody can blame for trying to survive NAFTA & go somewhere they can find some paying work.

    But advocates for Migrante rights need to recognize that this most recent wave of mass immigration has had some negative effects on some who have been enduring Poverty In America for some time.

    Another fact relevant to Raven’s arguments is that while Blacks and Native Americans continue to be targets of an ongoing campaign of deliberate Genocide, the Latino and Asian portions of the US population are rapidly expanding as fractions of the whole.

    One of the factors rendering US working class Blacks to the status of so much Surplus Labor Power is the abundance of cheap labor-power so easily imported across the US southern “border”. (which artificial line on the map should be abolished ASAP, IMHO).

    From the information available I’d say there are a number of social groups in various parts of Latin America, including much of Mexico, who are confronted by Crisis conditions, by desparate social & economic Emergencies. But within the US, I believe only the Blacks and the Native Americans are facing a deliberate attempt to eliminate them as a significant presence in US society, by reducing their numbers overall and by incarcerating the bulk of those able to survive.

    For this and other reasons which have arisen out of our peculiar collective history, IMO, US Blacks need to play a key role in any collective attempt to improve things, to confront “power with a capital P” (as Cynthia puts it), or that attempt won’t get very far.

    Which is one of the reasons I find it crucial that all persons of goodwill and intelligence join the McKinney for President 2008 effort and push it hard as you possibly can. You can do it as a Green, a member of MAPA, of CA Peace & Freedom, as a supporter of the New Orleans-based Reconstruction Party or simply as an Independent. The important thing is to get this “parade” moving, give it all the momentum we can during this “election cycle”, and be in position to take max advantage when if becomes obvious to everybody that Obama has been a swindle all along.
    Well I can’t put everything into one “comment” so let me just conclude by observing that there is no such thing as a “progressive” Democrat:)

  34. Max Shields said on April 6th, 2008 at 12:29pm #

    Brian Koontz
    I sense we’ve started to talk a bit passed one another. When I say racism – a term which has been controversial in its definition – I think of oppression. Those who are singled out and oppressed to serve others are facing a form of “racism”. For instance, Israel has systematically oppressed and created conditions of control over the Palestinian people. I would term that racism. Perhaps you would not.

    I don’t deny physical differences between groups of people. Ignorant hatred is not a good place to start with a conversation about race. When I talk about racism I’m not talking about red-necks or idiotic name calling. I’m talking about systematic and powerful oppression of one group upon another – and done in ways that are not idiotic. A state of racism is not a stupid state as hateful as such as state is.

    Here’s another perspective: If I look at a Latino I don’t pretend not to see a Latino. But that doesn’t mean we have a racial relationship just because I acknowledge some physicial and linguistic distinctions. From an anthropological perspective do Latino represent a racial distinction from white Europeans? We are of the same species, can readily procreate and create a blend of off-spring. In fact, most native born African Americans are the off-spring of European origins.

    So, for me the term racism has more to do with an ideology built around dominance and manifested as oppression. With the exception of WWI and II whereby US involvement was arguable not about imperialism or empirism (on the part of the USA), almost all other American wars and conflicts have been about some form of expansionism and empirism and thus have a strong racist element.

    Kosovo has it’s racial element. In this case it may be Muslim based. You see there is a blurring between this term of race. If you imagine a Muslim (a strange concept in deed) do you see a white European looking man in a business suit? Hardly.

    dan e, glad you see some value in my post. Please point to a specific contradication so I can see the err of my ways.

  35. K. deTreaux said on April 6th, 2008 at 12:40pm #

    Aloha,
    I enjoyed the article, but enjoyed the comments to a much greater degree. I live on a Hawaiian Island, and I am a caucasion. I am called a “haole” here. A word that can carry a sting or not depending on context. I have lived here 22 years. Strangely, the racism I have seen here has been primarily against the caucasion. There are racial overtones and hierarchies amongst all the other racial demographics here, but at the bottom line, most the non whites who are inclined towards racist mindset, share an agreement that the “Haoles” are worst.
    It has been an intersting place to raise my children. I arrived here after growing up first in the south in the 60’s from very poor stock, and then childhood and teenage years in Santa Cruz, Ca. My experience in the south, Mississippi is hazy. We left when I was 6. my father worked in social services and was idealistically involved in the anti-segregation movement.
    Santa Cruz was experiencing a very strong moment of Latino pride during my 15 years there through elementary school, junior highschool and highschool. Being a “White man” in Santa Cruz was very “unhip” almost across the board, however I don’t think my financial mobility was ever effected.
    Moving to Hawaii in the early 80’s was my first experience of being on the ‘dissempowered” side of the racial divide. Growing up in Santa Cruz, I viewed this as the natural response to the Exploitation and theft of Hawaii by the Europeans. I understood the anger and resentment, and made a daily affirmation not to take it personally.
    Soon, it became clear that it was not even really the “Hawaiian” element that was engaged in racist “anti haole” thought to the extreme. Infact, it was largely the Asian (Japanese and Chinese), Philipinno and mixed segments of the island population that had the most hatred and contempt of whites or “Haoles” .
    I talk weekly if not daily to my children. They see the anger and racist thought in their daily lives. I try and explain it, it’s origins, it’s “default status” for most minds. I am actually glad they get to see it, and understand it, and talk about it. It is my feeling that almost any majority will exploit the minorities first if possible before “turning on their own”. I think the challenge of a good parent is teaching your children how to move through the world from their own grounded stance.
    I am called a “white occupier” weekly here by a fellow radio talk show host. A “white settler”, “the man”, “a rich white imperialist” etc.
    This person is caucasion, she is married to a causasion, and the family profits off realestate and home building. She is a liberal minded, Berkely Educated Socialist. She means well, and has a good hgeart, but I have to say, in all my life, I have never experienced more racism, more pidgeon-holing, then from this person. It leaves me often confused and sometimes angry. I really don’t come from a perspective of race. I have stated this to her but she says I do and just don’t know it.
    I have not benefited from this “White Imperielist Eliteism”. I did not even know I could get my college paid for or get assistence from the government for years after I left home at 16 because my mother was just barely surviving to get us through.
    Nobody in my lineage has ever been wealthy, or even comfortable above the basics. So, despite being a liberal democrat, I am starting to get sick of being at the effect of such aparent self hating “white guilt”. I find it mostly from affuent College and University educated white’s.
    I find that most of the working people in my milieu regardless or should I say despite race, just want to work and get along…get by.
    The exploitation I see here is not by Whites, or Haoles, but by Asian’s.
    You know what? So what. They control things via civil service, police, county boards, supervisory postions etc., but if I want to work hard, I could work my way into almost any position here. Not because I am white or Haole, not despite being white, or Haole. Would it be made easy for me? Doubtful. Do I “hate” them for their position? No.
    Where there grievious crimes against our African American brothers and sisters in the past? Hell yes. But there have been grievious crimes against every race, religion and ethnic group on the planet.
    Half my wifes family is Jewish, and they are horrified about what is happening in Palestine…grievious. Dharfur, Chetznia, Guatamala, Zimbabwe, you name it.
    Let’a get beyond skin color. It is the have’s and the have not’s who are battling. It is the elite in any culture, working to divide and conquer all those beneath them regardless of color. I am not a socialist, I am a capitalist, only because it is the best system out there at this moment. That will change in the future, not now. We are not mature enough as a human species yet.
    I have no white guilt, I have human guilt. Humans need to be trained from childhood to have empathy and logic. The right choices are very simple. Until then, we can watch as the top of the pyramid gets smaller and smaller and the base gets larger, and the emotinally minded will be cajoled to feel self hatred from a hundred different angles.
    This change should start in the family, at home, not at the Capital.
    I am not as college educated as many here. My arguments are not clever or even well thought out. I did not want to impress here, just to be real, so I am not even going to go back and edit. I look forward to comments, that is how I learn and change, and I am not “attahced” to my position. This is just me, tired of racism whether white guilt, black anger, or anything else.
    The change has to come from home, from within, from the caregivers, and community.
    We can’t let the vaguaries of the political wind dictate our thinking.

    Aloha
    Karlos deTreaux
    moc.oohaynull@revresbo_tnatculer
    Talk Show Host
    KKCR Kauai Community radio

  36. Max Shields said on April 6th, 2008 at 1:37pm #

    Racism is not about color. It is about power of a certain kind. It is not about one individual wielding power or insults over another. It is about a system of power with very specific purposes.

    There are examples of every “type” of person in the world who would not support racism and its purposes. It is about dominance with a economic purpose. Slavery was an economic system. It was not done to degrade Africans. As tehnologies displaced the need for slaves, the method was reduced and eliminated – along with the Emancipation, etc.

    When Chinese first came to America slavery had subsided, but they were used as cheap workers and produced the track laid across the countryside for inter-state railroads.

    Racism is integral to an economic system. Social, economic, and environmental justice is a movement targetking this vial economics.

  37. K. deTreaux said on April 6th, 2008 at 4:16pm #

    That was my point…lol
    Thanks for breaking it down succinctly.
    It is the rare individual who will not exploit their power.
    If we get stuck on color, we miss the real issue.

  38. e.o.barlow said on April 6th, 2008 at 4:52pm #

    I truly believe that a lot of what has been/being discussed here would have a broader meaning and context if all the partisans who are so dead set in their positions would have the courage to listen to a totally different argument from the ‘enemy camp’. By that I mean, Jared Taylor, editor of American Renaissance. Yes, yes I know, the MSM and nearly all of academia and the left consider him a mad, right wing, supremacist of the worst order. I disagree totally. He has just finished a 2 part essay that deals with the desire of many races, including blacks who have come to the conclusion that segregation but equal is not a bad thing. He has a mountain of evidence to back his claims at the total discomfort of all who promote the government sponsored nonsense we have all lived with for 40+ years. I have read a few of his articles and they are well researched and heavily footnoted with conclusions that rub hard against my notions and inclinations. I have come to respect his scholarship and integrity even though I hardly agree with his ultimate premise. The old adage comes in play here: “If you know only your side of the argument, you don’t know it very well”. I fear Mr. Uhler knows only the weak side of the argument.

  39. Brian Koontz said on April 6th, 2008 at 4:58pm #

    “Brian Koontz
    I sense we’ve started to talk a bit passed one another. When I say racism – a term which has been controversial in its definition – I think of oppression. Those who are singled out and oppressed to serve others are facing a form of “racism”. For instance, Israel has systematically oppressed and created conditions of control over the Palestinian people. I would term that racism. Perhaps you would not.”

    I agree with your understanding of racism, but I’m saying that racism does not derive from hatred. The relationship between the American government (dominated by whites) and Iraq and it’s government (dominated by “browns”) is a perfect example.

    In the 1980s Iraq served as a check on Iranian power. The American government’s policy was to encourage arms sales to Hussein. With Hussein’s ambitions fueled with enough weaponry, he went to war with Iran for nearly a decade.

    With Iran and Iraq weakened and the American purpose fulfilled, the next step was engaged – severe economic sanctions on Iraq. This greatly weakened the population and the economy.

    And then the next step was engaged, the current step, to militarily and governmentally dominate the country and open up it’s oil reserves to control by American multinational firms, as well as open up it’s critical geography to American military bases which can then strike at areas in the region (including Iran).

    None of this has anything to do with racism, except that the American government fuels racism domestically in order (one reason) to create racism so as to move public opinion as well as make it easier to fill the ranks of American soldiers. In order to perpetuate war the American government through propaganda and social policy causes the American people to be racist. And then when war comes that same government invents slurs like “hajji” for American soldiers to use to make it easier for them to terrorize and kill the Iraqi population.

    My point is that racism is a convenience, a *tool* of subjugation, and not the *cause* for subjugation. The cause is greed, desire for power, desire for wealth, and desire for domination. None of this would be any different if there was no racism in the world – all that a non-racist world would be (in the absence of other changes) would be one where greed, war, terrorism, power-plays, theft, and subjugation were not based on race. Calling that an “improvement” is at best cynical. The improvement will be to no longer *allow* greed, war, terrorism, power-plays, theft, and subjugation, whether such things are organized by race or not, in the same way as through the structure of domestic society we do not allow crimes through social control and legal enforcement. Crimes still occur, but they are effectively accounted for and minimized in their duration and frequency (at least that’s why a good society does, America is somewhat different).

    An objection to this is Europe – where I’ve heard it said countless times that the United States and Europe are allies because Europe is also dominated by whites. That’s ridiculous – Japan is an ally of the US for the same reason (western) Europe is. The reason is simple – both Japan and Western Europe are powerful forces who are also more or less compliant to American wishes. It’s this combination of strength and acquiescence (shared interests) that makes them allies of the U.S., not their race. Israel is in the same category, but is given favorable military treatment to fuel their desire to fight the Arabs in the region. A country that is weak and acquiescent (like Colombia) is treated differently. A country that is weak and not acquiescent is targeted for destruction, and if they have significant resources they are doomed to a quick death, like Iraq. China is treated differently from Japan because it’s seen as a threat, as a country which has the power to potentially dominate American multinationals. So the idea is to use India as a check on Chinese power just like Iraq was used against Iran in the 1980s.

    Or take a look at chattel slavery. People make a big deal out of Africans being black and American slavemasters being white, as if that was the cause of slavery. The cause, as you point out, was economic. That is to say, again, greed, subjugation, capitalism. Africans were weak (militarily) and abundant in resources. Perfect for capitalist exploitation. If they were white with the same degree of weakness and resources they would have also been exploited.

    The precise nature of the exploitation is based partly on racism. There is still such a thing as racism even without elite creation of it. Racism at it’s core is an extension of the localized family/society model that is geographically and historically centered. So over time races develop that culturally and biologically are distinct. Even in the absence of elite creation, if a person sees two equally injured people lying on the road, he is more likely to help the person of his same race, because he sees that person as a closer extension of his family/society. Likewise, if you see your child and a stranger lying injured on the road, you’ll help your child first. Your child may live and the other may die as a result of your priorities.

    So if whites inhabited Africa instead of blacks, would chattel slavery have occurred or some other form of exploitation? Probably another form that was less extreme, I suspect. The real underlying racism fueled the greed and desire to subjugate that was the primary motivation and made the result worse than it otherwise would have been.

    But the 10 million whites who were killed by whites in World War I can make quite an effective objection that racism is hardly the “cause” of conflict, as well as any of other countless examples.

    Far too many people believe racism is the cause of social problems. Ending racism may have a very minor positive effect on the total oppression in the world, but mostly what it would do is to distribute terror more evenly across races, which is a pathetic solution at best.

    To end terror we need to attack, destroy, and control those who implement terror, theft, war, and subjugation. That’s the early solution. Putting George W. Bush and those like him in jail is a good first step toward a solution. A more stable solution is to create societies and institutions that ensure good practices and values.

  40. Adam said on April 6th, 2008 at 5:43pm #

    The ideology of whiteness, white privilege and white supremacy to Americans considered white is like water to fish.

  41. Max Shields said on April 6th, 2008 at 6:01pm #

    I don’t think racism has its roots in biology per se. That there are distinctions between people, that these distinctions have regional origins doubtlessly is the case and these differences have been manipulated for racial/exploitation. These distinctions are not the essence of racism.

    Racism (ism) is a means to an end. So, how does a KKK get its marching orders? Is it hate created from displaced anxiety coupled with a mythological narrative? I think so. I think the KKK is the result of fear which is the basis of hate. It is the same rooted emotion that serves the elite when the drums of war need bodies to go off.

    If I recall my history American Germans were regularly rounded up by vigilante groups and strung up and lynched/hung in the run up to WWI. That same mob mentality exists throughout history and has been at the root of our image of post-Civil War abolition. It’s fanciful to imagine that had Lincoln lived to oversee the reconstruction, things might have been very different – he’d shown himself to be masterful at exerting tremendous will and determination. But who knows…

    So, yes people discriminate. They are as you note more comfortable on a number of levels with those who share a variety of similar values, life experiences, and so on. I don’t think that’s the basis of racism. It is the basis of cliques and the difficulty of creating solidarity when it would serve the interest of people who might not otherwise work together – poor minorities and poor whites or workers in general. But that’s not racism.

    No, racism is a ideology employed to dominate for economic purposes. The US invading Iraq has at its core racism. Slavery was and is naked racism. Beyond this the American people (all colors) subvert their empathy for their fellow human beings and ignore the horror that this empire reigns in places like Iraq.

  42. dan e said on April 6th, 2008 at 6:11pm #

    Well the good thing is that all these well-meaning people are making an effort to understand the phenomenon of Racism. The regrettable thing is that most are trying to avoid their own place in the process, and to avoid that which is bothering them the most about the subject.

    Even more regrettable is all this reinventing of the wheel. All these arguments have been made, refuted, refined and re-refuted countless times years and decades ago. Before coming on here propounding on “Racism” like you consider yourself some kind of expert, I suggest folks do a lil homework, acquaint yourselves with some of the classic literature in the field? As well as with some of the current glosses on same, such as those offered on the BAR page by Glen Ford & compatriots?
    I mean, have all you brilliant thinkers really covered your WEB Dubois, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Frantz Fanon, & come away this little wiser? Hmm.
    A guy name of Max Elbaum wrote some stuff back in the eighties for a journal called “Line of March”, about “the Material Basis of Opportunism in the US Labor Movement”, which provided answers to a lot of the questions some are raising about similarities and differences between the exploitation/discrimination/oppression experienced in the US by wyt workingclass ethnic minorities compared to that experienced by the Black & Native American/Hawaiian/Inuit and other Persons of Color.

    All the “Marxist-Leninist” outfits have been confronting these questions for decades, with varying degrees of success, but with much more sophistication than we see in most of the comments above. So have other kinds of “socialist” and “anarchist” outfits, with even more widely divergent levels of success. In my oh-so-humble opinion:)

    The Panther 40th Anniv Reunion site, >itsabouttimebpp.org, has links to a wealth of well-argued analyses of these questions. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’ reflections wd I think be of value to many DV trollerizers.

    Papers offered at the Durban conference would be helpful to many I think. The UK journal Race & Class at least raises these debates to a higher level, as does the US journal MR. And the Zmag site. Disclaimer: I have little use for M. Albert & his guru Chomsky’s takes on the Israel Lobby and various other matters, but Z publishes a lot of very insightful writing.

    Hope some can take advantage of some of these sources…?

  43. Max Shields said on April 6th, 2008 at 6:56pm #

    dan e such a name dropper!

  44. K. deTreaux said on April 6th, 2008 at 7:11pm #

    Dan E…
    If we have to get a College degree in order to feel that our own thoughts and feelings have merit…then we have already failed. it sounds like you have a good pedigree, but are a bit of an intellectual elitist.
    Ease up there. You could have made a compelling argument and suggested reading without casting aspersions on the intelligence of other posters.
    The best laid plans eh…
    You would be one of those smart guys at the party who I would pretend to listen to for awhile, and then sneak away.

    Try it again, with a small modicum of respect. The arguments do not need a college degree. They are wound up in the essence of human logic.
    Same GOOD!
    Different Scary!
    Power GOOD!
    Weakness vulnerable!
    Golden Rule works whether or not you went to college.
    Sorry…your diatribe rubbed me the wrong way….
    Why don’t you tell me how you feel, not what you read. I would be interested.
    Thanks, and with all due respect. I can see that you are a much smarter guy then me.
    Karlos

  45. K. deTreaux said on April 6th, 2008 at 7:19pm #

    ps….
    I will read those articles…..
    I re read your post and I see perhaps I was mistaking enthusiasm of the subject for a bit of intellectual elitism.
    Mea culpa…
    K.

  46. Hue Longer said on April 6th, 2008 at 7:37pm #

    Brian,

    I enjoyed reading your posts, but was surprised by your assertion that African slaves in the colonies/states were cowardly– It comes off as victim blaming, and pulls away from your presentation.

    A number of brave slave rebellions occurred ijn the colonies/states and many of them occurred alongside poor whites (which is no small act of courage when you see what they were up against). Every time they did, the ruling class got smarter and made adjustments in the social structure which marginally elevated whites.

    To make difficulty or bravery comparisons, I’m trying to think of slaves in history who’ve fought for their freedom and won it…but aside from some bible fables and a Kirk Douglass movie, I’m coming up empty

    Though I agree in part with your words concerning the use of racism as a tool vs. the ruling class actually being motivated by the racism they sell…there’s plenty of examples of how these things are not mutually exclusive. The Darwinian belief held by white rulers that Africans were lower on the evolutionary scale comes to mind as does Winston Churchill’s take on Arabs.

  47. Brian Koontz said on April 6th, 2008 at 8:34pm #

    “I don’t think racism has its roots in biology per se. That there are distinctions between people, that these distinctions have regional origins doubtlessly is the case and these differences have been manipulated for racial/exploitation. These distinctions are not the essence of racism.”

    I think you’re misreading me. They are based on cultural elements of family and society, not biology exactly. If one eliminates all of the propagandized, manipulated effects pertaining to racism 90% of the racism disappears. American soldiers don’t call Iraqis “hajjis” because of a lack of an extended family association – but this lack of an extended family association makes them more susceptible to using the term.

    “Racism (ism) is a means to an end. So, how does a KKK get its marching orders? Is it hate created from displaced anxiety coupled with a mythological narrative? I think so. I think the KKK is the result of fear which is the basis of hate. It is the same rooted emotion that serves the elite when the drums of war need bodies to go off.”

    Either you’re not reading me or you’re simply disagreeing. The KKK is not a hate group – it’s a theft and subjugation group. It’s a subset of the American internal colonial project. Here’s the process:

    1st: Desire to steal and gain power over someone
    2nd: Become willing to implement that desire
    3rd: Look around for someone to implement it on
    4th: Take the first steps toward implementation (insults, discrimination, light oppression)
    5th: Evaluate the effects of the implementation – did you face retribution? Were the costs low or high? If the costs were sufficiently low, move to:
    6th: Upgrade the oppression – moving to overt theft, light terror, etc. Re-evaluate. Rinse and Repeat until the late stages:
    7th: Enslavement, murder, rape, internal colonization, terror.

    The final stage:

    Implement propaganda so that the victim doesn’t know it’s the victim. Normalize the monstrosity. Create a new reality. Reap the benefits of the exploitation for the rest of human existence (or as long as one is able).

    The KKK is not a hate group – it’s a theft, terror, and subjugation group. If there were no blacks in the world groups like the KKK would still exist – they would just target someone else.

    Why do you think Iraqis are only hajjis when Americans are killing them? Why do you think blacks are only niggers when whites are committing genocide against them? Hatred has nothing to do with it – profit has everything to do with it.

    Hatred comes into play in terms of the perpetrator’s reaction to his own will to subjugate. Once a perpetrator becomes committed to terrorizing someone he becomes committed to hating him, in order to make the subjugation all the easier and ease his own conscience. After all, if one is a mass murderer one wants to be an *effective* mass murderer. It just doesn’t do to love the people one is killing.

    The KKK is not a group that hates and then kills – it’s a group that kills and then hates. Or rather, wills to kill, finds a victim, hates the victim, then kills, then develops institutionally toward “hating blacks”. But they aren’t psychopaths – the KKK kills in order to instill fear into blacks – making them more controllable by the interests the KKK serves – white elites within the United States (mainly).

    Take a look at the history of the KKK – only after ex-African blacks became established as a weak group within the United States did the KKK emerge and “hate blacks”.

    Or look at another example – Jews. Why have Jews been so often hated throughout European history? The answer is simple – they have been a socially weak group throughout much of recent history and hence have provided low costs, low retribution, toward any groups who sought to subjugate them. Hence Europeans have “hated Jews”. That is to say, they’ve willed to steal from and subjugate them, hated them, and then stole from and subjugated them.

    “If I recall my history American Germans were regularly rounded up by vigilante groups and strung up and lynched/hung in the run up to WWI. That same mob mentality exists throughout history and has been at the root of our image of post-Civil War abolition. It’s fanciful to imagine that had Lincoln lived to oversee the reconstruction, things might have been very different – he’d shown himself to be masterful at exerting tremendous will and determination. But who knows…”

    Japanese Americans were terrorized during World War II. Any group that through some event loses social power becomes vulnerable to oppression. Why do you think dissidents in America are oppressed? Is it some inherent hatred of them? Or is it rather that whenever the social group in power is threatened by dissidents they oppress those dissidents?

    You might think – how can a group both be weak and yet threaten the group in power? Power is relative – as far as the group in power thinks, any loss of profitability is a threat. So for blacks to strike on the corporate plantation is a threat which the KKK served to eliminate.

    Capitalism is about growth and opportunity. It’s especially important to terrorize Japanese Americans during WWII and German Americans during WWI because those are growth industries – when a group loses power there is a profit vacuum of exploitation which capitalism wants to and needs to fill. The same thing during the McCarthy era – the left lost power and then capitalism moved in to exploit them. Even the far left has no idea just how horrible capitalism really is, and the standard left has no fucking clue.

    “No, racism is a ideology employed to dominate for economic purposes. The US invading Iraq has at its core racism. Slavery was and is naked racism. Beyond this the American people (all colors) subvert their empathy for their fellow human beings and ignore the horror that this empire reigns in places like Iraq.”

    Racism has nothing to do with a lack of empathy and everything to do with greed, profit, and power. It’s not an ideology – it’s a tool. It’s easy to see this – Iraqis are hajjis while the American government is killing them and Iraqis once they aren’t. A worker is liked by his boss while he is working obediently for him and hated by his boss when he’s on strike. Do you honestly think the boss “has empathy” for the worker when he’s obedient and “loses empathy” for him when he’s not? Or rather – does the new social relationship created by the strike change the boss’s emotion toward the worker?

    Emotions are *outcomes* of social relationships, not causes of them.

  48. Max Shields said on April 7th, 2008 at 6:50am #

    Brian Koontz
    I think we’re fine tuning our differences but we have some general agreements.

    You’ll have to share your sources on the KKK. Obviously it has served various purposes, but I’m not sure how it provides support for an economics. The core mentality behind KKK is fear, propagation of myths, and self-organization. I don’t see the ruling power elite having a hand in it. But I’m open to new information.

    Modern day colonialism in the US borders is not done by brute force (KKK) for the most part, it’s done through a process of leveraging victim hood. The power of local media, land owners, and local and state pols manage the colony and sustain it and reap wealth from it. A kind of “ethnic” cleansing began several decades ago with wealthier (mostly white) folks migrating out of urban centers. Needs are assessed, social services pump in funding to keep the population on “drugs” or social services. Humans are marginalized and warehoused. Those with jobs usually require anywhere from 2 to 4 just to get by. Children are left on their own due in large part to the incredible lack of income. And the cycle continues. Communities decay and disappear: a colony is born.

    I’m not sure how substantial the power of the KKK is these days. So, I’m not sure they are central to what we both agree on: American colonialization policies and practices in and outside the borders of the US. For instance, Northern US cities have been colonized and yet the presence of a KKK is nil.

    This colonialization is irrational. From the beginning of time, wealth is created in settlements which became cities. Colonizing cities does not make good economic sense. On a local level it does, however. Not all cities are equal and many are finding ways to turn this around and free themselves…but that’s for another time/place.

    So, why would a city, whose economy has been depleted, be colonized? Who does it serve? From what I can see it primarily serves land owners and speculators. As taxes are pumped into city infrastructure wealth is accrued. This is unearned wealth that speculators cash in on. The local media becomes complicit and the local political system has been corrupted by campaign contributions. The State system is lobbied to comply. It’s a system and the city elites like it just the way it is and will keep it that way – just try changing it and see what happens!

    American colonialization is a direct descendent of the European system. American expansionism and the use of slaves and the slaughter of the indigenous peoples on this land was an extension of the European imperial empire. As the American Empire took center stage, Europe’s imperialism receded; the birth was accomplished and has gone on full force for over a hundred years.

    Brian said: “Racism has nothing to do with a lack of empathy and everything to do with greed, profit, and power. It’s not an ideology – it’s a tool.”

    I didn’t say racism was a lack of empathy. There is a central, system economically based (I think we agree) which is bolstered by racism. The psychology around group think/dynamics that creates the KKK or lynching of Germans pre-WWI, or Hitler’s cadre that had emerged out of WWI, are NOT the racist system, but they are a PRODUCT of it. I’m saying that the lack of empathy for Iraqi children and the death and mutilation caused by US invasion and occupation is a direct result/product of the economic system that fosters racism. In in its full bloom it is the demonization of the other.

    Ideology – “isms” tend to be belief systems acted on; a prism by which one sees the world, worldview. That said I’m fine with calling it a tool.

    Where we also agree is that racism is not about color, the root cause and fuel transcend what we identify as someone of a particular pigmentation, or eye color, or features. Just want to be clear on that.

  49. Max Shields said on April 7th, 2008 at 7:07am #

    One clarfication of that clarification at the end of the post: I’m not saying that people of color who have been discriminated based on color have not been racially targeted. What I am saying is that racism is not unique to some ethnic or racial group. Slavery created a particular legacy; but it is not the only legacy associated with racism.

  50. KR said on April 7th, 2008 at 10:36am #

    I agree with an earlier post that a college-level education shouldn’t be a pre-requisite for engaging in discussions about oppression. But sometimes it seems like white people (and I am one) need ALOT of education about racism, whereas people of color pretty much “get it” already.

    First of all, of course there are complicated intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, etc., and we can’t really isolate them away from eachother. There are productive ways of understanding how these systems affect one another, but there is also a more common inclination to use one to “trump” the other: “I grew up poor, so even though I’m white, I’m not priviliged,” “What about Oprah? She’s rich, so racism doesn’t affect her,” etc. (Then, there’s also an inclination to pretend that the anger of oppressed people toward the oppressive group is equivalent to the oppressive group’s animosity toward the oppressed. Uhler addresses this in Part One of this series. ) As someone noted above, these questions have been examined in detail by many people and there are good resources out there to get oneself caught up with the debate if one has the time to check them out.

    Often, in discussions about racism, white people in particular tend to define racism in very individualized terms. So, one can feel morally superior to the Klansman, for example, or feel personally attacked and defensive (“But my ancestors never owned slaves!”) instead of tackling the bigger issues of how a system of oppression benefits some and penalizes some OVERALL, and how each of us must pick up a piece of dismantling that system based on where we are positioned within it. But we can’t forget – we are all IN that system, whether we like it or not.

    As a white person committed to dismantling all systems of oppression, I feel I have a particular responsibility to challenge racism and help other white people join me in doing so. In my experience, there has been alot of resistance from some whites, and alot of willingness from others. I’m not sure if it’s possible to break through with the people who are defensive. I don’t think it’s an efficient use of time and energy to try to dismantle racism one person at a time. I notice that the defensive people take everything as a personal attack – even when we talk about systems and institutions. Maybe they just don’t want to be responsible for questioning their own roles in these systems.

    A poster above talked about the experience of being socially isolated as a white person in a community of color. I have had this experience but I came to much different conclusions about it. Instead of feeling like I was a victim of racism, I learned to understand why the community (in my case, the school I attended) did not accept me fully, why I wasn’t trusted even though my intentions were good. I found that I was part of an historical reality that I could not excuse myself from, but rather had to make conscious decisions about how to engage. This isn’t “white guilt,” as the poster above implies, but just honest assessment. I am not “guilty” about being white, nor am I ashamed of my identity and culture. I am just fully engaged in the struggle against white hegemony and the concurrent oppression of people who aren’t white. I have had to acknowledge my color-based privileges as distinct from my lack of class-based privileges and gender privileges.

    It’s taking me a long time to unpack all my assumptions about race and privilege. It takes some humility and a willlingess to feel really, well, “icky” sometimes. Thanks to those schoolmates of mine who never kissed my ass for helping me get an early start on this.

    I think it’s really important for white anti-racists to not be arrogant toward whites who haven’t yet made a committment to anti-racist action. Let’s remember that our goal is not to make ourselves feel better than them, but to find effective ways to work with them against racism, and to give them the room to examine themselves and learn about how to join this effort.

  51. hp said on April 7th, 2008 at 12:19pm #

    How about the good old universal ‘Golden Rule?’
    Not too much education required. Only one sentence.
    No favoritism.
    No discrimination.
    No heavy lifting.
    No extortion.
    No false ego.
    No, it’s just too easy. Must be a catch.

  52. KR said on April 7th, 2008 at 12:34pm #

    No matter what, we will have to address repairing the damage done by the historical theft of land and labor. Even if we erased all the de facto and de jure racial discrimination in America today, without some sort of material reparation it would take hundreds of years for economic parity to be acheived.

    Sorry, but the poker chips are going to have to be divided up.

  53. hp said on April 7th, 2008 at 12:40pm #

    Well I’ve got about 3K to my name.
    How much to buy my freedom?

  54. grv said on April 7th, 2008 at 1:06pm #

    That’s a silly oversimplification.

  55. hp said on April 7th, 2008 at 3:09pm #

    Exactly.

  56. Brian Koontz said on April 7th, 2008 at 6:12pm #

    In Reply to Max Shields:

    “I think we’re fine tuning our differences but we have some general agreements.”

    Our biggest disagreement seems to be that you believe groups like the KKK derive from fear and hate and I believe them to be derived from desire for material gain, with the fear and hate relating to and serving that goal.

    Before I get into direct replies, I want to talk a bit about fear.

    The people who are most afraid are those who are attacking other people. American soldiers in Iraq for example are terrified (which they attempt to hide under macho bluster). Fear is never understood for what it is because everyone looks at fear from the standpoint of the victim. The interesting truth of the matter is that perpetrators are far more afraid than victims. Here’s an example:

    An Iraqi family is sitting at home having a meal. The next minute their home is bombed and destroyed, and they are all dead. No fear (beyond what is caused by the occupation and any specific issues they have) except sheer terror at the last moment.

    On the other side of the equation, amid blaring sounds of Guns ‘N Roses and thoughts of the warm arms of a girlfriend left behind, an ignorant low-educated kid pushes a button, drops a bomb, and misses his target. But despite the ignorance, this kid knows the devastation he is taking part in and the anger that is creating.

    Who is more afraid? Well for one thing – the person who is still alive. But another – perpetrators are always more afraid because they are the one committing the crime, and they are the one who take on the moral burden of such. To commit a crime and know that you or your loved ones may pay for that crime years, decades, or even centuries later – that’s pure dread. That’s fear. That’s living in terror.

    Post traumatic stress disorder has fear as it’s main component.

    Take a close look at the Neoconservatives. The primary element of their composition is fear. They are deeply afraid of the end of the West, the end of capitalism, the end of white rule. They aren’t just afraid of the loss of rulership and the profit that entails – they are afraid of retribution. Their fear is far deeper and more motivating for them than it is for any of their victims.

    The KKK works on the same principles. They want to exploit and profit from blacks, so they attack blacks, so they fear and hate blacks. Just as for the American soldier and the Neoconservative, fear does not create their attack, it’s the logical consequence of it.

    The school bully who steals lunch money doesn’t do so out of fear – he does so out of desire for profit. But *then* he fears retribution after committing the crime, and if the crime is ongoing the fear is ongoing, and grows, and grows, and grows.

    “You’ll have to share your sources on the KKK. Obviously it has served various purposes, but I’m not sure how it provides support for an economics. The core mentality behind KKK is fear, propagation of myths, and self-organization. I don’t see the ruling power elite having a hand in it. But I’m open to new information.”

    You’re not sure how it supports an economic program? How about this:

    Capitalism requires not only workers, but compliant workers. Capitalists seek to create and maintain divisions within the workforce so as to allow them easy control. So, for example, several layers of management are set up and pitted against one another – the lower layer coveting the job of the higher – the higher having to keep the lower “in his place” to prevent his own job loss. This layering is done right on through to the workers. There are often distinctions between work-classes that appear minor from the outside but are critical for worker relations. Janitors are often on the low end of the totem pole.

    So for the KKK to keep blacks “in their place”, which is to say for black workers to be below white workers, is not so much to perpetuate racism but to perpetuate capitalism. To set up a capitalist work-layer based on race institutionalizes racism and gives capitalists a major lever of power, since white workers can then be pitted against black workers – the blacks covet the extra income of white workers and white workers want to protect their (relatively) privileged status.

    Take a look at the recent events in Jena, LA, which were imitated around the country, where white students (assumedly) hung nooses from a tree (deemed a “white tree”) after black students stood under it. What’s the point of a “white tree” in the first place? It’s to mark off territory – territory the white students like. For the black students to not stand under the tree shows their deference to white power, and for them to stand under it is in defiance of white power. So white power thus threatened, it retaliates in the form of nooses. Power is about theft and subjugation. Theft and subjugation (by any means) is another phrase for war. The KKK is not a hate group – it’s a war group. It’s part of the ongoing war against blacks to maintain them as an internal colony. It’s about maintaining power and profit.

    One of the problems people have when they think of war is that they think of killing. But really, the Bush Administration would have been just as happy if no Iraqis (except Saddam) had been killed. War isn’t about killing – it’s about power (theft and subjugation). Killing is just a means to that end. The KKK isn’t about hanging blacks from trees, it isn’t about fear, and it isn’t about hate – it’s about maintaining and extending power, profit, and privilege for the ruling class and maintaining relatively privileged status for non-ruling whites. The KKK fears and hates blacks as a reaction to what their own capitalist project is doing to them.

    Take a look at the similarity between what war is (theft and subjugation by any means up to and including killing) and what capitalism is (theft and subjugation by any means up to and including wage slavery). Capitalism is the economic version of perpetual war. That’s what “competition” means – perpetual war with certain restraints (usually killing is frowned upon).

    Capitalists don’t want corpses – they want slaves. The only value of a corpse to a capitalist is that it makes it easier to turn humans who are still alive into slaves. That’s what Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and other sites are all about – showing anyone who would oppose the American Empire what can and will happen to them. The message is – be a slave or be tortured. The choice is up to you.

    “I’m not sure how substantial the power of the KKK is these days. So, I’m not sure they are central to what we both agree on: American colonialization policies and practices in and outside the borders of the US. For instance, Northern US cities have been colonized and yet the presence of a KKK is nil.”

    The KKK began in 1866, shortly after the end of chattel slavery. The end of chattel slavery was a threat to whites of all classes, and the KKK was a response to that threat. The KKK stepped in to ensure that blacks would continue to be terrorized and controlled. Jim Crow laws and massive discrimination completed the task.

    Nowadays everything is so messed up (from the ruling class’s perspective) that noone in power cares anymore. I guess that’s potentially good news for blacks and other oppressed peoples, but it’s bad news for the human species. What I mean is that white colonial rule is dying. It’s easy to see this in a way – if white rule was healthy they would take care of the environment – if white rule was healthy they wouldn’t jeopardize that rule with the perpetual possibility of nuclear annihilation. Rulers never want the end of the world unless they see their own rule crumbling.

    But if they see their own rule crumbling, then watch out. Think of a shrew backed into a corner, but instead of little teeth the shrew has massive armies and nuclear weapons at his disposal. The outcome is sure to be extremely unpleasant. The outcome is found in the hearts and souls of the Neoconservatives and their elite Liberal allies.

    “This colonialization is irrational. From the beginning of time, wealth is created in settlements which became cities. Colonizing cities does not make good economic sense. On a local level it does, however. Not all cities are equal and many are finding ways to turn this around and free themselves…but that’s for another time/place.”

    It makes extremely good economic sense. It’s utterly rational from the standpoint of a small elite maintaining it’s power, wealth, and privilege. It’s bad from everyone else’s perspective of course. But since the elite control the means of propaganda and most others are just scrabbling along trying to not die or suffer from day to day, they in many cases either can’t know or at least can’t act upon their knowledge.

    The point of colonization is the same as the point of slavery – the perpetuation of weakness in the exploited group (a form of genocide). Here’s a rough breakdown of what the ruling class wants:

    Obedience to their will. Only in rare cases is disobedience acceptable.

    Many, many, variations in the exploited classes. Many layers of managers, many layers of workers, fine distinctions. Separate latinos into certain job classes, blacks into others, whites into others.

    Create a buffer class – the “middle class”. Give them substantial privileges. Make them the caretakers (doctors, lawyers, etc.) of the exploited classes so that they can “be on their side”.

    Create an educational system whose main method of passage is money. Ensure through job requirements that all good paying jobs require passage through the state educational system which required substantial money to get through in the first place.

    The more exploited the class, the more dangerous they are. Don’t worry about the middle class – they will never revolt. Make sure the heavily exploited classes are impoverished and thus have neither the time, nor the strength, nor the hope, in order to revolt. Wage controls ensure that the heavily exploited classes need to work long hours just to get by, and the already controlled classes (middle classes) can have their vacations and short work weeks.

    All of this is based on divide and conquer, colonization, maximizing profit for the elites, maintaining control, and all of it comes back to capitalism. Different flavors of capitalism (Neofeudal, Keynesian, Neoliberal) don’t differ all that much – they mostly differ in terms of how they treat the middle class. The middle class will sure tell you how different they are!

    “So, why would a city, whose economy has been depleted, be colonized? Who does it serve? From what I can see it primarily serves land owners and speculators.”

    You’re talking about physical colonization. That’s not what colonization is. Black colonization is well described in the phrase “escaping the ghetto”. The ghetto is not a place so much as a conflux of social, political, and economic conditions. Colonization may or may not have a physical component.

    “American colonialization is a direct descendent of the European system. American expansionism and the use of slaves and the slaughter of the indigenous peoples on this land was an extension of the European imperial empire. As the American Empire took center stage, Europe’s imperialism receded; the birth was accomplished and has gone on full force for over a hundred years.”

    Yep – but I hope people understand that it’s not based on racism. The American Empire will die soon, and I fear that people will then celebrate an “end to imperialism”, since they think that only white people are colonists. Meanwhile, whoever then emerges as a global power will meet zero resistance as they go about their own imperial project, and only many years later will people wake up and say “Oh, oh, I never knew!”

    Greed and lust for power are universal human conditions (just as are fairness and egalitarian principles), but they can be minimized in effect through social, cultural, and economic policies. What we need is not so much an end to imperialism as an end to the structures that ensure imperialism – capitalism. We need to understand capitalism and break it down – end class divisions – end a heavily privatized world – end hierarchies unless they are mutually supported. This can be done – and with the right local movements linked together in a global justice movement it will be done.

    “Brian said: “Racism has nothing to do with a lack of empathy and everything to do with greed, profit, and power. It’s not an ideology – it’s a tool.”

    “I didn’t say racism was a lack of empathy. There is a central, system economically based (I think we agree) which is bolstered by racism. The psychology around group think/dynamics that creates the KKK or lynching of Germans pre-WWI, or Hitler’s cadre that had emerged out of WWI, are NOT the racist system, but they are a PRODUCT of it.”

    We agree on that, but we don’t agree on what creates the KKK. It’s not true that groupthink created or maintained the KKK. That’s like saying that groupthink created a corporation. Shared interests create corporations, and shared interests created the KKK. The shared interest that involves the maintenance of white and elite white privilege, profit, and power by means of keeping blacks in a perpetual state of terror.

    Lets see if you agree on what I think our arguments are: your argument is that racism is emotional and irrational and mine is that racism is logical and rational. Your argument is that hatred is the cause of racism, and that racism just happens to then serve rational interests (amazingly!). My argument is that greed (rational greed from the standpoint of individualism) is the cause of theft and subjugation, racism furthers the ends of theft and subjugation, and all emotions involved (fear, hatred, and otherwise) are either reactions to this rational project or complementary to it. Is that a fair assessment of our differences?

    “I’m saying that the lack of empathy for Iraqi children and the death and mutilation caused by US invasion and occupation is a direct result/product of the economic system that fosters racism. In in its full bloom it is the demonization of the other.”

    Right – but I disagree insofar as the other can be pretty much anything. If there were no browns the other could be blue. If there were no blacks the other could be pink polka dot. The other is whatever happens to be most convenient to put on the assembly line of profitability. Whites kill whites for profit, blacks kill blacks for profit, the color money-green is the only true form of racism in the world. When blacks are weak and exploitable they are the other. When Jews are weak and exploitable they are the other. When whites are weak and exploitable they are the other and are then called by a different name (such as workers vs. managers).

    Can you ever imagine a white capitalist thinking “Wow, I have this great opportunity for profit but the person I would be exploiting is white! Oh well, I guess I’ll have to move on to the next opportunity.”

    That will be the day! Corporations *maximize profits*. The only logical outcome of this is that the victims of corporations are whoever most efficiently feeds that profit maximization.

    “Ideology – “isms” tend to be belief systems acted on; a prism by which one sees the world, worldview. That said I’m fine with calling it a tool.”

    I don’t think when Americans call Iraqis “hajjis” only when they are killing them can it be said that there is an ideological basis for the killing. Ideology can’t be turned on and off based on a military project. If, however, calling them “hajjis” is a tool to further their killing, torturing, and terrorizing efficiency, then it can and certainly is turned on or off depending on whether the Americans are killing, torturing, and terrorizing them or not at any given time.

    “One clarfication of that clarification at the end of the post: I’m not saying that people of color who have been discriminated based on color have not been racially targeted. What I am saying is that racism is not unique to some ethnic or racial group. Slavery created a particular legacy; but it is not the only legacy associated with racism.”

    Capitalists of any race will exploit whatever humans of whatever race they can get their hands on. Groups like the KKK make sure that certain races are easier for capitalists to grasp than others – it’s like someone on a life raft pushing a shipmate into an ocean with a shark in it. The shark consumes what’s closest to it first and the white guy on the life raft gets to drink his tea and enjoy his big screen TV. But then the shark gets hungry again, and who’s left to eat now?

    Either we kill the shark, or we all die.

  57. Hue Longer said on April 7th, 2008 at 7:59pm #

    well said KR, but then I think well said to this article and the first one too…but you still see the ironic, angry posts following

    “progressive” racists are the hardest to reach

  58. hp said on April 8th, 2008 at 11:59am #

    Almost as hard to reach as those who would define them and brand them.

  59. Hue Longer said on April 8th, 2008 at 2:32pm #

    anyone who agrees with that allegedly un-authored piece by Ron Paul concerning black folks has issues, hp….the word “racist” seems to be the most offensive word in the US and no one considers themselves one. Why is that?

  60. hp said on April 8th, 2008 at 4:00pm #

    Well Hue, first I’d I’d say anti-semite is #1.
    Second I’d say self flagellation and masochism is out of style.

  61. Hue Longer said on April 8th, 2008 at 8:20pm #

    There’s either no racists or some people are correctly identifying them.

  62. rob said on October 29th, 2008 at 8:20am #

    racism is bad

  63. karlos deTreaux said on April 9th, 2009 at 3:37am #

    The article was provacative, but the real value was in the dialogue between the various comment authors. Thanks for such a fresh back and forth. I have a radio show and will have to reread and then read again the whole thread. The fact that people still are willing to put it out there, interact and respond to each other heartens me.
    Any of the power posters who have other interesting work on the web, or articles they would recomend, I am always looking to stretch the mind.
    Thanks and aloha for giving me some hope that there is forward progress.
    moc.oohaynull@revresbo_tnatculer