Sunday, November 13, 2016


From facebook:
I guess this is analysis, posted while I drink English Breakfast Tea and sugar. I know I should give up the sugar, but not yet. (I do have honey.) I don't know what was more important in this election: racism or the economy. Wages have not gone up in 30+ years. Many people lost their houses in the 2008 financial crash. Kids are told they must get a college education, which saddles them with debt they can't escape through bankruptcy and which is difficult or impossible to repay. Stable jobs are hard to find, especially if you are a blue collar or clerical worker. Company pensions have disappeared. Social security is not adequate and few people have managed to put together significant retirement savings. All of this has hit white people harder, because they had more to lose -- and because they don't have a political analysis which explains any of this. PoC know racism keeps them down. White people are not sure what happened. This leaves them open to racism and sexism and so on.

Would white people give in to prejudice if their own lives were better? I don't know. But the Klan was really strong in the 1920s, which was a bad time for farmers and workers -- and also a bad time for the union movement. A guy I worked with decades ago said, "Even a horseshit union is better than no union at all." I tend to agree. The AFL unions have often been racist. The CIO unions much less so. (Though the UAW's neglect of black workers led to some really interesting black rank and file union movements in the 1960s. See Dan Georgakas's book Detroit: I Do Mind Dying.)

It doesn't hurt to help working people, because (a) it's fair and (b) a lot of PofC are working class. So if you don't like helping white working people, think of everyone else. We need a higher minimum wage, laws that make unionizing easier, enforcement of existing laws such as Sherman Anti-trust, and a large investment in infrastructure, which will provide jobs. You can't offshore repairing a road or putting up Danish-made windmills. Some of these the Dems neglected to do. Others were stopped by the Republicans.

I honestly don't know how bad racism is in the US. It's always been a dark undercurrent. The country was built on black slavery and the theft of Indian land. This is a bad start. And prejudice has always been used to turn ordinary people against each other.


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