Racism Refusing to Go Away
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/07/2014
Year Published: 2014
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20780
Miah analyzes the position of race and racism within American culture, history, and politics and how it has been continuously central in society from the beginning of Europe's colonial agenda to the present day, though it has taken on different manifestations.
"The early American economy was built on slave labor. The Capitol and the White House were built by slaves. President James K. Polk traded slaves from the Oval Office. The laments about 'black pathology,' the criticism of black family structures by pundits and intellectuals, ring hollow in a country whose existence was predicated on the torture of black fathers, on the rape of black mothers, on the sale of black children. An honest assessment of America's relationship to the black family reveals the country to be not its nurturer but its destroyer.
"And this destruction did not end with slavery. Discriminatory laws joined the equal burden of citizenship to unequal distribution of its bounty. These laws reached their apex in the mid-20th century, when the federal government -- through housing policies -- engineered the wealth gap, which remains with us to this day. When we think of white supremacy, we picture COLORED ONLY signs, but we should picture pirate flags."
The relentless conservative drive to turn back the clock on racial (and class) relations)requires a true reading of American history. African American leaders too who have "made it" into the middle and upper class refuse to lead a fight back to broad-based discrimination because they believe they can survive a white backlash.
It is delusional to believe that a version of the past cannot recur. (One example in California; since affirmative action in college admissions was banned in 1996 there has been a double digit drop in African American admissions.)
Institutional discrimination must be rooted out, using affirmative action for African Americans not only in hiring and admissions but granting full access to government backed loans/grants for home and land ownership.
For the vast majority of working class and extremely poor Blacks the race issue is their daily life. The fear that one's son or brother could be the next Trayvon Martin or as a Black male you could be sent to prison and denied all your rights is real.