What is racism?

What is racism? 

The Editors

Racism is a system that disadvantages one group over another through economic, political, and ideological practices and policies.  Structural racism reflects the history of US policies that serve those in power in a society.  Those in power who own companies or control financial institutions (the ruling class) need to increase their profits by holding down costs and speeding up production.  From the beginning of US history, the planters looked for the cheapest labor and chose African men and women to work their land.  To justify their choice, they promoted the concept of race-that African people deserved enslavement while European white people could be “free” and earn wages.  The ruling class, the landowners and bankers of that time, structured society to give themselves power and access to wealth while relegating the workers to low or no wages based on what they defined as “race.” Continue reading “What is racism?”

RACISM HURTS ALL WORKERS

workers united into a fist WSPTHE FALLACY OF WHITE SKIN PRIVILEGE

The Editors

The concept of white skin privilege acknowledges the differences in exploitation and oppression faced by blacks and whites; yet it frames the lower levels of exploitation as a benefit for whites.  This either encourages white workers to support the system because they get a bit more, or to believe that they are part of the system that is exploiting blacks, or to feel guilty because they are less exploited. None of these suppositions are true, and all may decrease the motivation of whites to unite with blacks to fight back. Continue reading “RACISM HURTS ALL WORKERS”

Sailors, Slaves, Pirates Revolts in the 16th-17th Centuries

by The Editors

From: The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic by Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker.  Boston: Beacon Press, 2000.

Today, massive unemployment and wars force millions of people to flee their homes.  In the US cities, developers are building luxury residences, pushing people out of their neighborhoods and homes.  In New Orleans, Louisiana State University leveled miles of newly-renovated houses to build its new medical center. Continue reading “Sailors, Slaves, Pirates Revolts in the 16th-17th Centuries”

“Labor: Free and Slave”

Labor, Free and Slave by Bernard Mandel explores the effects of slavery on white workers. It describes how white workers (“free labor”) responded to slavery and the abolition movement. It holds many lessons we can apply to today’s movements against police brutality and xenophobia.

by Karyn Pomerantz

The Unity of “Free” and Enslaved Workers during the Civil War Period

(From Labor, free and slave by Bernard Mandel, 2nd ed, Chicago: U of Illinois Press, 2007

Labor, Free and Slave by Bernard Mandel explores the effects of slavery on white workers.  It describes how white workers (“free labor”) responded to slavery and the abolition movement.  It holds many lessons we can apply to today’s movements against police brutality and xenophobia. Continue reading ““Labor: Free and Slave””