The struggle for women’s
suffrage was long and admirable but it wasn’t without serious flaws. For the
most part, it did not overcome racism or fear of foreigners or recognize the
class basis of sexism. Despite universal suffrage today, white women workers still
earn about 77% of the wages of white men, and black women workers earn about
61% of the wages of white men. All women suffer sexism on the job, and black
women also suffer racism. We will examine the history of the women’s suffrage
movement in detail and discuss what has been won, how the movement could have
been stronger, and whether true equality is possible under U.S. capitalism.
Although no form of racism in the US can compare to the barbarism of black chattel slavery and its consequences that persist to the present, racist practices and ideas have cruelly affected other groups. One such is Asians, whose immigrant history is little known today. Moreover, there is a prevalent notion that Asian-Americans no longer suffer discrimination, and that they in fact fare better than many whites.
We live in a nation totally beholden to racism. Founded on racism, built on racism, surviving by virtue of racism. From the near total eradication of Native Americans by disease, slaughter, and death marches; to the enslavement of 12 million Africans and the continued oppression, imprisonment, impoverishment and wanton killing of their descendants; to the exploitation and deportation of immigrants; to the Jews and Irish and Italians being eventually admitted into invented whiteness in order to turn them anti-black, but still maligned; to the wars fought against “gooks” and “ragheads” to increase rich men’s profits – US capitalism survives on racism. And the US that survives this way is not beneficial to any of its working people, tearing us apart from each other, impoverishing our souls and our pocketbooks, depriving us of health and learning and peace needed by all and the strength we could have in our oneness. Separated, we are likely to be led down the road to fascism. Continue reading “MORE RACIST MURDERS, IN A SYSTEM THAT SURVIVES ON RACISM”
As we write, thousands of men, women and children are traveling to the southern U.S. border with Mexico. The largest group of the migrants who make up the “caravan” are from Honduras. They are fleeing poverty, corruption and violence that is largely the result of over 100 years of US domination, beginning with massive banana plantations. This American business took over most of the best land, and later the US came to dominate mining, coffee and banking as well. To keep its interests safe and also play a role in fighting the Sandanista rebels in neighboring Nicaragua in the 1970s, the US developed and dominated the military. Although a liberal reformer, Zelaya was elected in 2006, the military, with US support, overthrew him in 2009. Since then, poverty, crime, drug trafficking and police violence have driven ever more people to flee. Continue reading “How We Can Support the Caravan and Fight Racist Terror”
Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram Kendi is indeed, as it claims to be, a very complete history of the origin and practice of anti-black racism in the United States. The story begins with the development of racist ideas of African inferiority as the rationale for the capture and brutalization of Africans for enslavement by the Portugese in the 1400s. The author then traces the history of the importation of these racist ideas to the Americas to justify slavery and the continuation of discrimination to this day. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING”