Racism is alive and well in America. Instead of implementation of programs to repair contemporary descendents of slaves, the nation is in turmoil amid claims that political racism is affecting the running of the country. The country is divided on whether attacks on the Obama’s policies have been based upon elements other than the policies themselves. President Jimmy Carter got his comeuppance from Americans after saying “a number of the hard-line attacks on President Obama are based upon racism.”
Historically, racism is belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial difference produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. Now that is in question, and mainstream media and social networks now lead hyperbole as to whether racism is, or is not. Despite Obama’s hope that race would play no role in his tenure, every minority from Wall Street to MLK Drive knows the issue for what it is. Yet, lines of conservative and evangelical Blacks queue for the chance to defend America’s status quo values. In his statement to absolving the nation of its pervasive racism Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said: "President Carter is flat out wrong.”
Bottom line is Blacks have suffered 400 years of exploitation and racial animus in America with little returns. Black pundits and political party partisans take a “fool’s choice” to support recent outrageous “White Power” actions. Steele’s, et al, operate under an illusion of inclusion and are out of their skins if they think America is in any way “post-racial”. Steele & company seem all too ready to ignore that racism is embedded in the culture and been a dominate force since America’s colonial era. Historically, the country has been dominated by religiously and ethnically diverse Whites who started the culture and establishment structure. Throughout the centuries the heaviest burdens of structural racism have fallen upon Native, Asian, African and Hispanic Americans. White Americans occasionally do experience racial discrimination; in general, since other groups have less economic and social power, it is uncommon that such discrimination has the power to seriously harm Whites.
We all know it when we see it; race and economics are woven into the American fabric. But, it seems that whether it gets acknowledged it for what it is has a lot to do with getting paid. Economics is the root cause of racism and the underlying force that keeps it in place. Whenever a Black man or woman publicly questions “in your face” and pervasive American racism, he or she, enables the process. Blacks are not alone; every American ethnic group has perceived racism in dealing with an entrenched White Establishment. America’s racially structured institutions include slavery, Indian reservations and residential schools, segregation, internment camps and affirmative action. Racial stratification continues in employment, housing, education, justice and government. Formal racial discrimination was largely banned in the mid-20th century, yet racial politics remain.
There is no evidence that America’s established order is committed to social integration and economic parity. Yet, to feed cable and social networks’ news Blacks engage in farces directed to mainstream-audiences and downplay racism and its effects. They engage to curry favor, all at the expense of addressing very real structural economic and social challenges Blacks face. The rate of unemployment among Blacks is generally twice as high as among Whites. Layoffs and recessions hit Blacks with twice the impact they hit Whites, and the ratio of average White to Black incomes and wealth is 4 to 1. Blacks pay higher rents for inferior housing, higher prices in ghetto stores, higher insurance premiums, higher interest rates in banks and lending companies and travel longer distances at greater expense to their jobs.
As President Obama too plays down the issue of racism there is no doubt the subject will run on and on and could impact on the US economy and the world. At the same time, America’s economic infrastructure was built by free labor and it still owes its descendents of slaves. Let’s see how the subject of reparations gets handled by both the left and right-wing press.
(William Reed – www.BlacPressInternational.com)