It's Not Race or Class -- It's Race and Class

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Ezili Danto
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 11:57 pm

Significant pieces of information

Post by Ezili Danto » Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:48 am


Indeed the manufactured black/white race designation is inextricably intwined with class and inseparable from it. This race ideology fuels and maintains historical capitalism. [quote]"Because the African slave trade and the displacement of the Native Americans was foundational in the establishment of the capitalist system and the geoculture or commonsense in which people understand their relationship to one another. This means the development and elaboration of a set of stratification processes based on race, with Blacks on the bottom and Native Americans (or indigenous people) next. This stratification order was elaborated into a system of world white supremacy, which replaced the religious-based competition of the pre-capitalist world."[/quote]

Moreover, as you duly emphasize:[quote]White radicals have mostly sympathized with the anti-racist struggles of Blacks, but have often worried about the potential for divisiveness within the larger social class struggles defined by the nature of the capitalist system. Racism was seen as a product of capitalism, therefore the struggle against racism must ultimately target the capitalist system, thus there is a danger in focusing too much on the particularity of Black oppression.

Thing is, in the current discourse, as Harrison found, Black patriarchy (what I call the Black nationalist messiah syndrome or, alternatively group solidarity based solely on historical identity - Black skin hue, ethnicity and shared history) may seem uncomfortably similar to white supremacy (Monarchy in its various forms including white privilege based on bloodlines and biology), but though universalism may be the ideal, that's not the reality we face. Race does matter. And as long as it matters, Pan-Africanism is its counter.

I just go further than the article above, to say that a Haitian may be both Pan-Africanists and Pan-Americanists, simultaneously and without contradiction. Especially when Black is used in the larger sense of "lovers of liberty."

At the end of the day, our intra-race solidarity is a matter of self-defense. We must be "for ourselves" faced with the overwhelming experience of the African holocaust and current genocide and current transportation of Eastern other Europeans, and less "antogonistic immigrants" workforces to the Americas to bolster up white supremacy and dilute the various freedom struggles of people of color here. (Remember the Ottawa Initiative and its reference to reduce Haiti's population.) Except, as Haitians counter the intended genocide and containment-in-poverty, as we try to stop the slaughter going on in Haiti, right now, racism makes any notion of a group of Black Haitians looking outwards together frightening to the white liberals who then feel left out of our struggle for life and must intrude with academic gibberish talk of "class," "global commonalities" and how their solidarity, how unity with them is precious while simultaneously insisting "Both "white rules black" (white supremacism) and "male rules female" (patrarchy) falls under the category of NATURAL ORDER!!!!. "

It's a vicious circle altogether. Much like this threads idea that one may separate politics from human rights. They are so inextricably intwined. Like cause and effect. like the race ideology that fuels the policy in the US which places poor white immigrants, whether from the wave of immigration after the civil war or after the civil rights movement, in more favorably positions than African-Americans who were born in the US and have been here since antebellum times.

I found this a significant piece of information to ponder from the Rod Bush interview above:[quote]"...Here Stephen Steinberg throws down the gauntlet on immigration, insisting on a standard of social justice consistency as few on the Left have been willing to do. At the end of the civil war, he argues, there were 4 million emancipated slaves who were in theory free to meet the great demand of labor in the North and the West. Why did they not have a fair opportunity for those jobs? He is not the first to point out the dubious practice of social scientists in the U.S. who thought this a great mystery. But for Steinberg the answer to the mystery is simple: the immigration of some 25 million Europeans to the United States between 1880 and 1924. When immigration was cut off by the First World War, it triggered a massive migration of Blacks to cities in the North and the West, resulting in the most significant economic advance for Blacks since the abolition of slavery. He then quotes from an editorial in a 1916 issue of the New Republic to the effect that "The average Pole or Italian arriving at Ellis Island does not realize that he is the deadly foe of the native Negro. . . . It is a silent conflict on a gigantic scale."

He then asks if history is being repeated with the influx of 25 million legal immigrants since 1965, which have made African Americans superfluous at the very moment of their victory of Jim Crow racism and segregation. Here, he argues, is another missed opportunity to integrate Blacks into the economic mainstream. Instead of dealing with this longstanding promissory note, immigrant virtues are extolled and invidious comparisons are made to Blacks who are portrayed as culturally deficient and lacking the pluck that has allowed immigrants to pursue opportunity. And too, the immigrants are friendly and deferential unlike the unruly, abrasive Blacks, whose attitudes antagonize whites. [/quote]

As I read the piece, I was also reminded of the relatively accommodationist sectors down the anals of the Black trajectory (Category Zeros) - the Petions, Boyers, the freedmen of old/Affranchis…Powell, Rice, Anan, Hirsi Ali, Apaid, Boulos, Latortue, as the “local cadres managing the capitalists system hierarchy” as President M'beki says of most of Africa's current rulers, including himself, as being “the feudal lords” for the Euro/US crowns. Not really independent at all. Pepe education westernizes, creates, socializes, and reproduces theses black middle men and women of various black shades. It Westernizes them, separates them from the ‘riff-raff' Black masses, comforts them with corporate media's and even academia's constant pumping up of images of “class cohesion,” being "successful" or rather more aptly put as, the bourgeois “gang validation” and rewards them to deride, scorn, marginalize and eliminate other competing cultural norms and human values, especially the African and non-Anglo-Saxon based cultures. “The irrationality of the endless accumulation of capital” is obfuscated, peripheralized within the backdrop of the constant elevation of the right for individual mobility and self-preservation. For Blacks, said mobility is mostly always conditioned on how Westernized or accommodationists one remains.


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