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Proviso Probe

Thursday, August 31, 2006

ETHNICITY, is racism a tool in class struggle?

On Ellen's Illinois Tenth Congressional District Blog Ellen Beth wrote:
It is well documented that racism is just another tool of the wealthy and powerful to stay in power by pitting the poor of different races against each other. First, it was the black slaves against the white indentured servants. Then, it was the black slaves against poor free whites, Later, it was poor black workers against poor white workers. Now, it's the poor blacks and latino immigrants against the white working poor. As much as all of this is discussed, it is still so easy for people to gain power and wealth by race baiting.

I don't think racism is simply explained as a piece of the Marxist analysis of class struggle.

What do you think?


  • W.E.B. DuBois and Howard Zinn have written extensively about this. Don't take my word for it read DuBois Black Reconstruction and Zinn's Peoples History of America. Race baiting a la Reagan and those who came before him kept the lower classes, well, lower classes for decades and more recently vastly helped corporations put down the labor movement.

    By Blogger Ellen Beth, at 7:28 PM, August 31, 2006  

  • I don't dispute that race baiting is used by people to advance their own interests.

    I suspect there are plenty of people who aren't particularly wealthy and powerful who do it too.

    So, I question whether Marxist class struggle is the only or primary reason racism perpetuates itself.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 10:36 AM, September 01, 2006  

  • eb, let's say you're right and the origin of racism is a conspiracy by the ruling class to divide the rest of society.

    Why do people take the bait? Why are they vulnerable to this type of manipulation?

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 11:43 AM, September 01, 2006  

  • It's carrot and stick. The carrot being ascendency to the upper crust. The stick being the reality that regardless of one' willingness to eat the shit, ascendency will never happen.

    End Result, folks earning $100K are the new working poor.

    By Anonymous cynic, at 10:10 PM, September 01, 2006  

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