Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Race , money, and other articles of faith

To argue that racism does or doesn't exist is like arguing the existence of bullion to back up our money supply. Evidence of institutionalized racism still pervades in financial institutions (see: race-based banking practices) but putting your finger on the racists themselves is as elusive as finding out who really controls our money supply.

It stands to reason, then, that "race" is a fiction created by those seeking to gain economically from it. "Money" is a figment that we choose to believe, for if we don't, our entire tenuous economic system would collapse. Both are articles of faith. That people of color tend to have less money can be backed by statistics, but that does not necessarily imply that their "race" has anything to do with it.

Every identifiable group of people maintains power by identifying the groups that represent a threat to their establishment and shrewdly manipulating them, depending on their perceived ability to maintain group solidarity. Whether by "divide and conquer," legalistic maneuvering, media discrediting, or simply ignoring their existence, the various groups are marginalized, usually with their complicity, into non-relevance. Only when political/economical equality is achieved can a group merge with the existing power structure, thereby creating a larger one, but only slightly altering the dominant culture.

If that doesn't work, the best and the brightest individuals are co-opted, thus reducing the movement to perpetual insignificance. Once employed by their heretofore "enemies" the most vociferous of rebels find out how intractable the system can be, impervious to outside change.

The entire concept of "negro" didn't even enter into the conversation until the the early 1700s. Explorers in Africa pushed it as a justification for poaching the continent.

"Academic racism was pushed by white supremacists during the period when white people garnered great profits from slavery and colonialism. Academic racism had the effect of attempting to deny the culture, history and ancestry from the victims of the profitable slave and colonial systems."

The advantage that this set of racial characteristics provided for workers in the heat of the Americas were gradually discovered, therefore economic considerations and the fragmentary nature of African slave culture allowed the concept to take hold. Indeed, some of Jefferson's early writings provide a startling portrait of an educated bigot.

A view of history rarely taught in public schools provides that this country was founded on weak idealistic propaganda provided by a self-serving plutocracy. Those "Forefathers" were often slave-owners, and only allowed those males who owned property to vote. I did not get that complete message until college.

Once the British aristocracy was supplanted, the war-mongering moneyed American ruling class had to label and disparage every definable group vying for power, the earlier, the better. Racism, xenophobia, and sexism were an accepted means to bully the less privileged into compliance.

The only good injun is a dead injun!

The acceptance of inferiority status among blacks depended on the deviousness of those within the clergy to convince the Southern ignoramuses that Africans were not humans, therefore not subject to Locke's Natural Rights. To do so, Southern schools had to exclude blacks, particularly those who would eventually be able to challenge the basic assumptions with which the racial caste system was maintained.

That exclusion led toward the type of race-based segregation that could not have occurred had authoritarian churches not held so much sway. Certainly, underfunding would perpetuate the progation of ignorance through hatred, and those educated blacks who hold such debilitating attitudes are perhaps more likely now to be the products of the disadvantaged schools and the scurrilous caste system partly initiated by the "house slave" class and maintained throughout Jim Crow as these were the lightest and first to be educated (some were already, albeit furtively).

That a class of blacks would accept this secondary role, thus creating a segregated, stratified black bourgeoisie is both cause for celebration and contempt. Many history books deny there ever existed such a class of educated, exclusionary blacks. The dissolution of the Washington D.C. "strivers" was partly a result of the success of Civil Rights in achieving integration, thus depriving them of their exclusive power base.

It's always been about money in this country, and Booker T. Washington noted that successful black businessmen were typically treated with the same deference as their white counterparts, thus buttressing his argument that only through education and hard work could black make lasting inroads into the ruling elite. One thing that always blocked black economic growth, however, has been a lack of access to banking.

Certainly, the Tulsa race riots proved Washington's position not entirely tenable, but the abject failure of the subculture that grew up from slavery's field slaves to embrace education as a means to shed the political shackles created a society where far too few controlled the fate of too many.

Democracy can only work when there is group participation, and the historical tendency of blacks as a group to base their political persuasion on the oral abilities of their Baptist clergy gives us the Reverend Poverty Pimps we have now.

Urban blacks from impoverished backgorunds are overtly more racist than whites, but white bigotry uses "code" words that lead to de facto segregation, suggesting a degree of complicity that still exists to maintain status quo both black and white), thereby perpetuating an undereducated class of citizens. Since this class can be any color, "race" no longer accurately describes it; instead, class conflict might be more accurate.

It's not going to all go away until we start telling more truth, first to ourselves, then to each other. An open society reduces the deviousness necessary for political machinations to remain effective. If the total truth was known about our morally bankrupt banking system, the country would plunge into Depression as it did when Wall Street financiers panicked over this fact in the late 20s. Banks create the paper that lenders accept as "money," but have to pay back with earned green stuff.

An educated, participatory populace reduces the ability of corporate America to deceive the lower classes through carefully chosen wordplay and racist demographics. That education needs to extend into our ability to manage money, yet the average American has no savings and a sizable credit card debt which turns him/her into a "wage slave."

Anyone with an awareness of this country's banking policy knows how the laws are tilted to protect credit card issuers over consumers. That we continue arguing over an agenda set by those seeking to maintain power rather than those seeking to share it assures the success of the red herring tossers.

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