Saturday, July 19, 2008

Identifying economic justice with "white" a way that Obama supporters dismiss economic Justice as an issue

Notice, Obama himself hasn't done this. The legion of Obama supporters who are bloggers and writers, on the other hand, have pinned questions of economic justice with regards to the campaign to defending a stereotype that has people flying the rebel flag on the weekends and wearing Klan robes on a monthly basis. If you raise class and Obama's failings with addressing class issues, you're automatically being ignorant of racial issues and are maybe secretly hostile to blacks and other minorities. The possibility that class issues are also race issues is never raised.

In the matrix of oppression people sometimes picture class and racial discrimination as being mutually exclusive, but I would argue that they compound each other, so that if you're black and not part of the professional class, working a working class job, you experience both class oppression and race oppression. You're working class in one phase of your life but that identity is modified considerably by being a black worker. Both race and class issues intersect, possibly with no one identity covering everything, although it may be presumptuous for me to say that. What I do know is that the issue is more complex than blacks suffering from extreme poverty on the one hand and white society as a whole on the other. There's how people work and how work effects their life.

Nobody likes to think of their kids ending up in a dead end job that's not very satisfying, particularly if you're a member of a group that was brought here in chains and has been forcefully kept in those jobs for generations, but for the present, for the people who actually are in those jobs, union organizing could significantly improve their standard of living.

But the more working class is identified with worse and worse stereotypes about white workers and about poor whites in general the farther a multi-racial understanding of what working class means in America recedes into the background, and Obama supporters who put forward these stereotypes are the main force doing the pushing right now.

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