"To those who have been used to privilege all their lives, equality may feel like oppression."
That caller to Sonali’s show need to leave California and come to good old-fashioned racist Pittsburgh. She’ll like it here. In spite of a black population of 25 percent (admittedly smaller than a lot of US cities but still substantial), black people especially black men, are rarely found in_ any_ occupation - even burger joints or collecting trash - much less well-paying ones. Even the Laborer’s International Union local is 100% white. The surviving union steel/rolling mills - 100% white (in spite of sitting in the middle of nearly 100% black Braddock and Clarton where blacks were forced into by white (and Asian) gentrification of the city.
And in other US cities with larger black and Hispanic populations, wouldn’t seeing only black and Hispanic workers in the lowest-paying occupations like McDonalds be evidence of the opposite of white discrimination - i.e. white privilege? Notice who is in all the BMW’s and Teslas in that California Mcdonald’s drive-through…
That caller should just travel out to State of Jefferson country California, maybe hang out in the Redding area for a while. Might enjoy the number of pickups with confederate battle flag stickers, NRA stickers, and large American flags hooked up to their beds. Good thing we progressives have our priorities straight for this next election, you know, fighting the “duopoly” and such.
Yeah, I’ve seen the same thing in the northwest, People in Seattle, Olympia or Portland will go on about how their progressive paradise of “Cascadia”, but a relatively short drive over the mountains and the eastern three-quarters of Washington and Oregon are the most swaggering, right-wing-asshole places I’ve ever been. And we aren’t even talking about Idaho and northern Nevada yet…
To the the author’s goal, we are way behind the curve.
We are up against generational white supremacy indoctrination for the poorest of the poor, who brazenly bully, condescend, violate and terrify people of color.
This is ongoing in 80% of the country, including those living just outside the metropolitan north west. If you take I5 just north of Portland, there are plenty of Confederate flags flying.
The dog whistles of the mainstream media need to do just enough to keep the tradition alive. And no amount of Jewish/Hollywood interracial progressiveness is going to be enough. The oncoming discomfort will not cause these people to look to be egalitarian, it will further fuel their cocoon of victimhood.
It will take at least a generation for a correction.
But going to the heart of this article, the idea that a majority of white USAns feel they being discriminated against in jobs, education, law enforcement (even housing?) is so out of touch with reality that it is frightening. What they are effectively saying in thinly veiled form is that even token levels of minority representation in the workplace or place or education, or neighborhood is not to be tolerated. White purity always!
And the blatant anti-Semitic canards that Ms. Kolhotkar’s supposedly educated caller expressed are frightening too.
Anyone doubt now that we are not descending into fascism?
I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that this article sees little interest among the Commondreams readership…
Articles about organized labor and labor actions are similarly ignored, for reasons that I have never quite figured out.
Also, article about the environmental impacts of mining and burning coal are similarly ignored - maybe because coal mining is all done in “flyover country” - out of sight and out of mind?
Since almost all Jews in the US are white, this clearly goes beyond whiteness. This seems be a very specific type of whiteness and since Jews are excluded it must involve Christianity on some level. It is something that stirs up hate. Perhaps a deep belief that this is a country for white Christians and others really don’t belong here. Certainly hate groups like the KKK have been using some version of Christianity to attract recruits for many years. They don’t burn crosses for no reason. Hate of various racial and ethnics groups is very common but mobilizing it for political purposes as the Republicans have done threatens the fabric of the country. Trump has taken it to a new level where hate is not hidden but front and center. Certainly continuing down this road would seem to lead to something like Nazi Germany.
I live in the Northeast and I can tell you coal burning is not out of mind, While I think Pennsylvania is the only state in the Northeast that still burns a lot of coal the pollution from coal-burning plants in the Midwest play a big part in the air quality problems that occur too often. It is frequent, especially in the summer, to have air quality alerts because of high ozone levels. The EPA has been saying for many years that ozone levels need to be lowered and it has not been accomplished. So while the coal plants are out of sight effects of burning coal are very evident many hundreds of miles away.
Are they “importing foreigners” or might the foreigners, who you seemingly despise so much that you are unwilling to even recognize their individual agency, be choosing to emigrate to various western countries, for various, very good, reasons - the reason often being to escape death? Have you asked any foreigners about this? Or do you hate them too much to ask?
(Oh, and what does that perfectly fine article pointing the idiocy of capitalist apologetics called “economics” have to do with your racist conspiracy theory?)
To Yunzer above:
Just stating a historical fact scumbag. The US invited the poor and huddle masses, not because Americans were so wonderful, but so they could cheapen labor and set factions against each other as the Liberal and Conservative intelligentsia is doing now.
Jay Gould said: “I can pay half of the masses to kill the other half.” What do you think Charlottesville was?
The EU has massive quotas for Liberal/Conservative war and economic refugees to bring into Europe. Greece has a quota of ten of thousands after the EU has just gotten done economically raping them. This is the age of austerity, where Liberals and Conservatives say we can’t afford anything (Bernie?), and we’re bringing in more poor people, and H1B migrants, who are essentially cheap foreign high tech labor to check American high tech pay.
If that’s racism to you. We’re screwed for sure. Wake up sucker.
Do you realize it’s your Liberal and Conservative policies that force migration from poorer countries?
Do you realize most economic refugees that your policies create don’t want to leave their home and go to a hostile country and work often under dangerous conditions. Who wants to leave their home, where they grew up and be forced to leave it because of clueless hypocritical Liberal and Conservative trash.
You aid and abet the ruling powers in their divide and conquer.
You seem to have the “idiocy of capitalist apologetics”.
The author improperly criticizes the results of this (albeit poorly worded poll). 55-20 = 35% of white people can have an opinion that something happens without it happening to them. Maybe it happened to someone they knew or maybe they read about it happening. If the poll didn’t qualify with something like “a significant level” or “a majority of white people” or something then the whole intro is pointless.
On the topic of immigrants vs native born, people are morons if they think being in the latter category means you are entitled to a particular job. I’m not Asian and I’m in a computer related field. More studying and less complaining goes a long way.
But the topic of undocumented vs documented is another story. I happen to part company with most on the left in that I think there should be a federal ID that clearly shows a right to work here and both empoyers and employees must face penalties for breaking employment rules.
I do agree with Sonali on this:
we need to articulate and promote a vision of economic justice that will benefit the majority of struggling Americans.
Or, it is Friday night?
An average black man has only a fraction of the opportunity you have had.
And if you hate immigration to the US so much, maybe you need to go back to the country you came from. As for me, as descendant of poor Irish and Italians, I will welcome every person who wants to come here - especially those seeking refuge from danger - as my brother, in the more enlightened country of Canada is doing with two Syrians in his own home. Down with all borders!
Charlottesville was a display of ugly intolerable fascism, and brave people resisting it - one with her life and others to within an inch of their lives. We on the left have NO common ground with these racist fascist thugs!
If you read the original NPR article, you will find out that a sampling of respondents who claimed that they were “discriminated for being white” had only a vague suspicion and no evidence to support it. I.e. I didn’t get the job, but I later found out that they hired a black man - as if that is evidence of discrimination!
And regarding documentation, I would not have trouble with you point of view it if it weren’t so difficult for working-class immigrants to get documented under the current syatem. Look at Canada - they are welcoming vastly more immigrants as a proportion of their population than the USA - and maybe in absolute numbers - and of all economic classes, with nothing bad, only good happening becasue of it. Most of my ancestors would never have been able to come here under current rules - they would have starved to death in Ireland under British Protestant oppression.
Yes, Charlottesville had nothing to with immigration. It was about white supremacists wanted to keep in place statues of people who fought to preserve slavery. It was an affirmation of whites having blacks as slaves based on the perceived superiority of the white race. This really isn’t much different than the Germans believing they were a superior race of Aryans. There is a US hate group called Aryan Nation. Probably the best known hate groups are the KKK, the neo-Nazis, and Christian Identity but there are many others. The Southern Poverty Law Center Hate Map includes 917 hate groups in the US, although not every hate is a white supremacist group.
Both sides had connection that go way farther than grassroots.
No specifics? What are you talking about? Sounds like a wild statement with no facts to back it up.
Most of the sentences in his ranting posts are not even coherent. Just layers upon layers of conspiratorial memes.
And for a real wake-up call, you should go to the comments to this article where it was originally published at Truthdig.org!
And what the hell, for crying out loud, is this repeated meme that: “Discussion of racism (like this article) is just a device by the capitalist elites to divide the working class!” nonsense? WTF??? If that is the case, then we better stop talking about global warming and all other environmental issues, social programs, single-payer healthcare, etc… Becasue, down here in rust-belt-coal country, those issues are “dividing the working class” (or more accurately, dividing the white working class from the Pittsburgh liberal elites") to a far greater extent.
The US radical left (“radical” meaning "one who seeks the roots of things - in the manner of Thoreau) - a people I once was proud to be a member of, have gone off the deep end and are done for. They are effectively adopting racist, nativist, “national socialist” thinking. It is very frightening.
Look it up yourself. You need to be spoon fed?
Ignorance is not a defense.