It is indeed gratifying to those of us
fighting the illegal Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza to hear the
issue being brought into the open by new members of Congress, stimulating a greater
national debate on the issue. It is heartening that more Americans, including
more Jews, are beginning to question Israel’s extreme racism toward and
oppression of Palestinians and not assume that any criticism of Israel is
anti-Semitic. However, the view of the U.S. relationship to Israel espoused by
Ilhan Omar and her supporters is limited by its over-assessment of Israel’s
power over the U.S. and is associated with a view of American foreign policy in
other realms that is much too sanguine.
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.
The premise of this blog is that US capitalism cannot live without racism, which is also true of many other racialized societies, such as South Africa or Israel, with histories of settler colonialism and large non-European populations. And racism is also basic to imperialist exploitation of the darker nations of the world, be it pre- or post-colonialist, for their resources and markets.
As a new year begins and the 2020 presidential election looms closer,
our political focus will start to narrow around the issues thought to
be most urgent and likely to mobilize voters. One issue surely to be
glossed over, if not completely ignored, is the persistence of racial
segregation. Even writing it feels off-topic, like referring to an
anachronism. We have become so habituated to the ingrained treads of our
racial geography that they are unremarkable. When segregation is
remarked upon, it is almost always in reference to the histories of public policy and private action that were necessary to the invention of “black neighborhoods” or “white suburbs”.
by 70,000 auto plant workers in Matamoros, Mexico is now in its second week.
They just held a “day without workers”, where the plants were idle, and
production was completely halted. The strike has already cost the bosses $100
million and is slowing production at General Motors and Ford assembly plants.
Photos on social media showed deserted factories and union bureaucrats
struggling to keep production lines operating after workers put down their
tools en masse. Over 50 factories have now stopped production as a result of
the strike. The union bureaucrats and the bosses have been shown to be impotent.
There is one thing the now
30 day old government shutdown shows for sure – neither Donald Trump nor his
opponents have any concern for poor U.S. workers, the biggest victims of this
power game between the main wing of the ruling class and the usurpers of the on
the right. 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck (CNBC 1/9), and now
800,000 federal employees and hundreds of thousands of contractors, who are 40%
of government personnel, are without one, whether or not they are being forced
to work. To understand the devastation, we must know that 21.2% of U.S.
families have no savings, including over 32% of Latin and 37% of black
families. 40% of all families have less than $400 in available cash for
emergencies, according to the Federal Reserve. What more proof need there be
that workers cannot afford to live under this capitalist system?