Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/11/corporate-media-are-focusing-race-and-dodging-class
I have pointed out in numerous CD posts during the past 15 plus years that no meaningful racial or gender equity improvements have ever occurred without societal income and wealth equality being improved first.
FDR’s New Deal enabled a period (1935-75) of unprecedented income and wealth equality that enabled nearly all of the racial and gender equality progress made during the Republic’s 244 year existence.
And, Mr. Solomon, you expected what exactly?
A new and different reaction and response from the MSM?
Good luck with that.
Not an article by Norman Solomon that raises my hackles! Yay!
However there are still some significant omissions in his piece imo.
I don’t have time to put my thoughts together as much as I’d like---- but need to add to this discussion of race and class the question which I’m not hearing asked these days:
Why Are Men More Violent Than Women?
Wealthy men kill, objectify, rape, sexually harass and assault women (children)
The number of women killed, beaten by domestic partners is massive.
Almost every woman I know has been themselves (or know someone who has been) sexually harassed, raped, abused, stalked by a stranger or someone they know.
It usually is labeled as a “women’s issue” which is terribly wrong.
It has on some levels become normalized.
"The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488. The number of American women who were murdered by current or ex male partners during that time was 11,766 That’s nearly double the amount of casualties lost during war .
Women are much more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence with 85% of domestic abuse victims being women and 15 % men men.Too many women have been held captive by domestic violence — whether through physical abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse or a combination of all three."
Most perpetrators of sexual violence are men yet many still call it a women’s issue.
Lastly: if there is systemic racism that implies if we change the system it can reduce racism and violent acts against people of color.
How do we stop men from being violent and objectifying women/children/people of different ethnicities?
What would we specifically protest for? A change in brain chemistry? (sorry —no offense intended to all you nice, empathetic guys out there, I know this is painting with a broad brush but the stats do not bode well for men and violence)
Bingo. It’s more a class war than a race war.
The msm and the Democratic Party continue to defraud the American people, using the big social issues, including race, to divert attention from their profound treachery on the economic issues. $$$$ - that’s where the rubber meets the road, folks. As long as there’s no economic justice in this rapidly failing country of ours, there will never be social justice.
The corporate lackeys in total and irrevocable control of the Democrat Party don’t give a crap about economic justice. Of that, there could be no better proof than their brazenly open cooperation with the Trump Death Cult on the recent corporate welfare legislation passed in response to the Covid -19 pandemic. Sadly, the large majority of individuals thinking of themselves as “progressives” continue to buy into the Dems’ sellout. That old fraud Sanders is out there right now, actually telling progressives that they can expect meaningful concessions for Joe Biden on the big issues. What utter garbage Sanders is serving up these days.
Notice that the progressive Mr. Solomon makes no mention whatsoever of the Dems’ sellout of the people. Those not sufficiently acquainted with the political reality of this corporate oligarchy we inhabit might think it’s all the fault of the msm. While the msm is indeed complicit, it’s our government that’s the main culprit. Solomon totally ignores the basic fact that it’s the Congress, by way of the governmental policy it sets, that largely determines whether economic justice is to be a reality. And for decades now, the Dems have intentionally jilted the masses in matters of economic justice in their near total commitment to wealthy and to the big corporations, working hand in hand with the Republicans. That’s the real story here, Mr. Solomon.
Mr. Solomon knows very well that blacks, and the average peson no in the top 80%, suffered the greatest loss of wealth in American history under Obama. Sanders was always rather mild and impersonal in his critiques of the administration, yet nobody bears as much blame for giving us Donald Trump as Fauxbama. The esteem of one sorry politician with more than average melanin is not worth an ongoing blindness to the vacuity of identity politics. He even lied about his race on the census, claiming to be black when the accurate choice for him is mixed race. White liberal idolatry of PlacebObama is a huge part of the problem. And now we’re supposed to embrace Biden, an Obama epigone without charisma who’s doddering on the precipice of dementia?
Spot on. Obama is probably the best example of how the Democratic Party has so profoundly sold out the American people. There could be no better example than the presidency of Barack Obama of how economic class is the most important issue. Obama was and still is the ultimate corporate political lackey, and little more.
Racial issues are very important but it’s money that impacts and ultimately affects everything, everywhere, including matters of race. Access to money directly determines the impact and effectiveness of racial bigotry and discrimination. and it’s on matters of money where the Dems have been so blatantly corrupt and treacherous. They’ve actually promoted systemic economic injustice which, in turn, materially feeds racial injustice.
Obama faithfully and very effectively served big money, even as he talked hope and change for the masses. His was a particularly despicable and unforgivable sellout. While Biden is nowhere near as intelligent or capable as Obama, he will continue the same policy of impoverishing the masses to further enrich and empower the already filthy rich and powerful.
Not a bad place to start:
Those protesters should be carrying signs stating that and demanding economic justice as well.
Very powerful and truthful comment. May I use it and post on facebook.
Dead right on everything. The issue is about CLASS - not about race or religion or sexuality or gender or age or identity politics or any of the other “labels” that the powers use to separate we have-nots from each other. It’s the old divide and conquer play. We have to unite on the CLASS divide. Everything else is irrelevant.
A lot of people must be wondering how their income will fair in this economic downturn.
The Fed Chairman talks about high unemployment for years, catching the wrath of Trump.
People want security. They don’t want lectures on race and class anymore than they did Bernie’s 1% diatribe.
We need to talk about a strong social safety net with generous unemployment payments for everyone unemployed. For massive training programs for all that want them. For expansive efforts to redo infra-structure and ease our dependence on carbon fuels. For health care that isn’t job dependent.
Certain words are divisive because the right has effectively scared the nation. “Class”, “Green New Deal” and especially “socialism” are anathema. Better word are “Infra structure”, ending “dependence on imported oil”, guaranteed health care etc.
Push income security, secure health care and infrastructure rebuilding…I think those are better than focusing on class as Solomon suggests.
Lenin didn’t offer Communism he offered “Peace, Land and Bread”
It’s an interesting question, partly because answers exist, if only to a partial extent.
There are both biological and cultural reasons that men commit more violence. But the great precursors to violence committed by either men or women are trauma and iniquity. These factors also influence groups that may in one or another way be privileged. So, for instance, while males do perpetrate more violence, males also receive more violence. It turns out that apart from immediate self-defense, committing violence does little to prevent or avoid trauma.
So violence is really not a women’s issue, though that does not mean that the victimization of women by violence might not be regarded as a women’s issue. It does mean that to stop the victimization of women by violence, we have to act against victimization more generally.
Young and middle-aged adults need to be more free to take care of their children in order to reduce trauma. But nurture involves personal decisions that are little amenable to general pressure, like that applied by a broad political movement. And, at the same time, there is one enormous factor in iniquity that can be addressed directly.
It is class difference. Particularly (in the US, at least) differences in relative income and wealth. When these differences are reduced, a very broad range of other conditions improve. These include violence in general, violence against women, violence against children, abandonment of children, abuse of alcohol and chemicals, and quite a few other things.
The best documentations of the above, to my knowledge, are made by Richard Wilkinson with various other authors. The documentation is discussed in a final chapter of The Spirit Level. The easy-entry and really pretty adequate introduction is Wilkinson’s 17-minute talk at TED, “How Economic Inequality Harms Societies.” May skeptics scramble as they wish; these pretty answer the large-line correspondences pretty completely.
As incomes become less equal, the price of most every wage drops, and the price of most every other sort of bribe increases. Sacrifices of human values become more frequent as they involve greater economic differences. This impacts the poor most, but it impacts the rich negatively as well. In a country of great inequality, not only do the poor die younger, the rich die a bit younger as well.
For all the errors over the years, addressing racism and sexism requires addressing class, perhaps not first in terms of time or sequence, but primarily and most centrally–not because one or the other thing is necessarily more important, but because racism and sexism involve class differences, whereas class bigotry need not involve racism and sexism, and yet it will tend to create and to arm other bigotry.
We have seen these things over the last couple decades regarding party politics around the Democratic Party, which has largely been able to deepen issues of class by making small and usually symbolic concessions to race and gender, thereby deepening all three problems. Of course, at the same time, this is facilitated by the Republicans’ rigorously counterproductive stance as regards all of it, which arms the “Blue no matter what” responses and thus the general failure to unite people of egalitarian persuasions.
corporate media are simply the propaganda arm of the capitalists–it is expected that they will NOT cover class conflict except to castigate,condemn, and attack the ones who threaten their property–as for their coverage of race–they can’t wait for the story to get behind them so they can concentrate on promoting the end of the planet for a profit
I must extend my gratitude for this valuable, thoughtful response Bardamu!
Thank you for your insights and for the reference of Richard Wilkinson which I will check out.
And this which is spot on (my bold):
Which reminded me of this MLK quote:
“I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice"
And order would be maintaining (abusive) power and control via small concessions as you point out.