Thursday, September 22, 2016

Class Warfare Under the Guise of Racism

Over the past decade, I have increasingly become concerned about a societal trend that seems like it's becoming increasingly pervasive.  I have the feeling that, with each passing day, we increasingly hear more about racism and racially motivated injustice.  There seems to be countless occasion to point our fingers at discrete events in time that support the existence and/or proliferation of significant pockets of (or even systemic) racism in our society.  One might even make the argument, based on the media reporting, that the ugly problem of racism is getting progressively worse, although I am not convinced that the media hasn't played an aggrandizement role here.

The problem, of course, is that when you go outside of the black community to the Latino community, you hear the same complaint.  And, although it seems that the more mainstream parts of society still get away with discriminating against Asian cultures, there is budding evidence of discontentment in that corner of our culture, as well.  Perhaps more to the point -- the fact that the poor white working class seems to have rallied around Donald Trump's message of isolationism, hatred and cultural segregation, suggests to me that the poorer Caucasian class of people in this country are also equally disenchanted.

Which brings me to the point that I want to make.  Affluent black families don't have many issues in this country.  Nor do affluent Latino families or affluent Asian families.  And we don't need to mention affluent white families, do we Mr. Trump?  Indeed, within every racial faction, there exists a class of people who generally seem to fail to contribute to our society in a significant way.  Of course, we can talk for days about the many mechanisms that explain why this situation exists.  But it's difficult to argue that the situation does not exist.  And this malady is fully independent of the color of one's skin.

I think all of these groups and our society, in general, are making a grave mistake in banging the "racism drum." With rare exceptions, this war isn't about racism.  I don't believe that it's about black or white or any other color.  What's happening in our society is purely and disconcertingly about class warfare. It's about the "haves and the have-nots."

This war is about how and indeed, if, we assimilate the poor -- and while the individual battles in this war may feature people of a particular ethnicity -- the war itself is about the rich and the poor, not about the color of one's skin. I'm thinking that we need to find a way to stop drawing lines between the races and start thinking more about the oppression that class warfare is enjoining on our society. This war is essentially color-blind.  The intense concentration and laser-focus on racism, per se, as a root-cause problem is not helping our society to find a path through this evolutionary change. It's hurting it. Lives matter, regardless of race.  The endless acts of aggressive action and reaction on the basis of perceived racial issues are dividing the predominantly poorer classes in this country into warring factions -- the poorer class African Americans against Mr. Trump's poorer class white Americans, for example. If we continue to let race be a burning point in our society, we will jump onto the slippery slope in which the proletariat will cede the war to the bourgeoisie for all time.  Of course, this is precisely what they want -- the ultra-rich have a fundamental interest in keeping everyone's eye off the bubble as it relates to monitoring all of the insidious acts they engage in.  And driving increasing separation between the poorer classes of Americans, based on racial themes, is a great way to do that.