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Racism Hidden in Plain View


#1

Racism Hidden in Plain View

Robert Kuttner

One of the odd things about our era is that 50 years after the great civil rights era, ugly realities that the black community knows all too intimately are finally being recognized by the broader society. The question is whether constructive change will result.


#2

Until Americans get better at friend or foe recognition (pardon the military jargon), divisive forces will waste vast amounts of their potential. Fortunately, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others are illuminating important issues. Unfortunately, the distraction-industrial complex is in high gear.


#3

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#4

This goes all the way back to pilgrim days. It has always been the policy of the ruling elite to cause strife amongst the ruled...let's you and him fight. It started when lies and subterfuge were directed toward the Native Americans concerning black slaves. Native people were told slaves were black because they were demons and would eat children. Native people were employed to hunt down run-away slaves, thus causing the slaves to fear the natives. White rulers realized if slaves and native people banded together, whites would be outnumbered and find themselves on the short end of the stick. Now poor white people who have 1000 times more in common with poor black people than they ever will with the rich ruling class, continuously vote against their own interest because of the fear mongering similar to the old days. "We need to take our country back" is code for "all those 'others' who are taking away white privilege and position need to be put in their place." Here in Oklahoma, tax cuts were gifted to the richest 1% last year. This year we are told we have a budget short fall and services (especially welfare and medicare) need to be cut. Yet, still the voting population elects those who have been bought and sold by special interests over and over...because of jesus not in the schools and Mexicans stealing our jobs. Our governor was eleted as a "family values" candidate (her opponent was possibly gay) although when she was Lt. Gov., she had an affair with her head of security which caused his family to break apart. Some family values! How soon they forget.


#5

It should not come as a surprise that this nation still struggles with racism and oppression, and will continue to do so. It is a stark reminder of the failure of our “democracy”. This nation, its institutions and culture, spring from brutal colonization and a founding that privileged white propertied men over all others. The Civil War extended the franchise to Black men. Women would not be recognized for another forty years. (Corporations were recognized as “people” under the Constitution before women achieved that status.) The majority of US citizens today are citizens because of past violent struggle, not because there was any kind of democratic principle at work in the halls of power. And while overt racism appears to be waning, it is woven into the fabric of our society at large and our institutions in whole, and is tearing apart the soul of this nation. A very clear, sincere, and public apology, which recognizes and names wrongdoing, accompanied by some from of reparation from government is the first step. Next comes the complete revision of policies and procedures in our democratic institutions, which also includes teaching the factual and historical study of oppression and anti-oppression techniques in our schools. Racism is the tool used by those in power to divide us. It's among the most effective tools they employ and supports growing global corporate domination.


#6

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#7

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#8

You wrote:

The majority of US citizens today are citizens because of past violent struggle, not because there was any kind of democratic principle at work in the halls of power. And while overt racism appears to be waning, it is woven into the fabric of our society at large and our institutions in whole, and is tearing apart the soul of this nation.

Hear, hear.


#9

Sounds like a call for reparations. I surely support that.


#10

" Yet, still the voting population elects those who have been bought and sold by special interests over and over...because of jesus not in the schools and Mexicans stealing our jobs."

Let's be clear here: a specific portion of the voting population votes the bastards in. They are the same angry white guys (and the wives they control, intimidate, shame, and blame into submission) who think Trump is their man.

IF the nation had lots of names on ballots, and used a proportional (run-off) system instead of "winner take all," then the angry thirty percent who hold the status quo in place would no longer get to do so. Remember--it is never a true majority of citizens that leads to these sickening outcomes.


#11

Did you intend to say: "The USA could sure USE a President like...." ?


#14

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#15

I remember. I was speaking specifically of the electorate here in Oklahoma. I live and work with these people and its not just angry white men, athough they certainly seem to drive the conversation. Its like the time my wife had one of her female students tell her she was for the re-publicans because they were conservative and she was all for conservation!?!?! I sometimes have trouble wrapping my head around the gross disconnect. This is only one of countless examples. I realize the game is rigged and the only information these people get is from 5 mega-corp owned outlets, but I live in Oklahoma, too, and I see what's going on. Its not that hard to figure out.