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Calling Working People of All Colors


Calling Working People of All Colors

Ebony Slaughter-Johnson

A little over 80 years ago, NAACP founder W.E.B. Du Bois wrote “Black Reconstruction in America,” a groundbreaking essay that looked at the racial politics of the post-Civil War years.

The major failure of those years, Du Bois insisted, was that poor whites and poor blacks failed to form an alliance around their mutual economic interests and challenges. Instead, white elites doubled down on their efforts to divide poor people of different races.





Yep, the oligarchy had no problem with MLK as long as he stuck to civil rights and other issues that didn't threaten their unlimited ability to extort.

Like the Kennedys it was only when MLK attempted to hold the oligarchy accountable for their Viet Nam occupation and other economic issues that he got caught in their crosshairs.


The inclusion of Indigenous peoples in this broadening of awareness has never been more relevant. The extraction of power by division and 'silo' of interests is the bailiwick of the 1% and they know no borders - in fact division by nationality, ethnicity and race are being milked for all they are worth.
Example: In Ecuador a situation being referred to as "the Standing Rock of Ecuador" - is another case of transnational colonization for pharonic mining operations. Who suffers? the peoples closest to the land and who are ancestral heirs to the territory. What happens? the national government breaks its own laws to accommodate the excessive transnational extraction and the 1% continue their 15th century genocide methodologies becoming less and less human every step of the way.


Trouble is, Ms Slaughter Johnson contradicts her self when she says that whites and black face the same problem, then points out that statistics that show the system treats blacks far worse than whites.

More importantly, this idea - coming from university and think tank ivory towers that the "black and white need to unite" is at serious odds with observed reality on the ground. Black and Latino poeple already overwhelming have class-consciousness - look at color of the skin of the people doing a majority of union organizing in the lower wage occupations. It is the white people who are clueless, tend to kiss their capitalist boss's asses, don't have a clue what solidarity is, and cling to the remaining shreds of their white privilege.


Related question: The US shut down/shipped out an entire chunk of our jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare aid in the 1990s, creating a huge surplus of job-ready people who are desperate for any job at any wage -- grateful for the chance to replace you for less than you are paid.

What should we do with them? Seriously. We're way past the point where another decade of calling for jobs can make much of a difference. Until those jobs come along, what should we do with all those who are left out? While many are ultimately funneled into our prison system, this is the most expensive "solution" possible. We can't stack them up and store them in warehouses until of use to employers. So -- what should we do with these, our fellow Americans who have no means of providing for themselves?


Who knows? The great majority of US poor are white. Masses of these live outside the cities, and don't have access to things like food pantries and free children's lunches when school isn't in session. They don't have access to much of anything at all. They can't afford to move to the city. We have people out here who survive in old abandoned farm buildings and dumped RVs. There's nowhere to go, no way back out of poverty today. And we got very, very tough on the poor.

Maybe just a side issue, but we refer to poor people of color as "disadvantaged," and poor white people as "white trash." Liberals have done their part in reinforcing those stereotypes. What Americans can't seem to come to terms with is the fact that our deregulated capitalism has, since the 1980s, proved to be a grotesque failure. The overall quality of life in the US was rated at #1 when Reagan was first elected -- far from perfect, but much better. By the time Obama was elected, this had already fallen to #48.