Jump to content

Some Working Class Whites See Race and Class


kfbvoice
 Share

Recommended Posts

I found an article by activist Rahula Janowski at http://www.classism.org/beyond-trump-creating-class-race-alliances/ . Janowski who grew up poor and white in rural northern Vermont says poor whites know the system doesn't work. She points out that throughout American history from Slavery and the Colonial Eras onward ruling elites have divided poor whites and blacks by giving poor whites just enough privilege to keep them supporting a corrupt system. Janowski notes that fear is the basis for organizing economically insecure white men against women, immigrants, Muslims, and people of color. She says however that the resulting solutions never improve things for poor whites. Poor whites are privileged and oppressed at the same time being undermined by economic inequality but treated better on the basis of race unlike blacks regardless of class. Yet that privilege never makes up for being on the bottom of what Janowski calls the " economic pyramid. " She concludes saying it's important to understand the differences in power and oppression and the connections between poor whites and people of color in order to resist divide and conquer tactics.

 

We have to work for understanding and build coalitions across racial and ethnic lines to advance economic and social equality. To the extent more working class whites think like Rahula Janowski such a coalition will become a reality.

  • bullshit 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found an article by activist Rahula Janowski at http://www.classism.org/beyond-trump-creating-class-race-alliances/ . Janowski who grew up poor and white in rural northern Vermont says poor whites know the system doesn't work. She points out that throughout American history from Slavery and the Colonial Eras onward ruling elites have divided poor whites and blacks by giving poor whites just enough privilege to keep them supporting a corrupt system. Janowski notes that fear is the basis for organizing economically insecure white men against women, immigrants, Muslims, and people of color. She says however that the resulting solutions never improve things for poor whites. Poor whites are privileged and oppressed at the same time being undermined by economic inequality but treated better on the basis of race unlike blacks regardless of class. Yet that privilege never makes up for being on the bottom of what Janowski calls the " economic pyramid. " She concludes saying it's important to understand the differences in power and oppression and the connections between poor whites and people of color in order to resist divide and conquer tactics.

 

We have to work for understanding and build coalitions across racial and ethnic lines to advance economic and social equality. To the extent more working class whites think like Rahula Janowski such a coalition will become a reality.

Great post as it reflects the true gut feeling people have. I also have seen this division all my life that makes no sense. People always say someone like Bernie Sanders only delivers a populist message that truly can never be met.

But to me, thinking in economic terms only, he is pointing out the truth, and his message is more than a populist one.

 

I am convinced that the system is rigged towards the top 1 percent in the U.S. and globally. And this is unsustainable especially when we consider climate change. The true message should be that we are in fact all in it together. When we don't spend money on education and job training we end up spending more to keep people in prisons.

 

https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/scefy8210.pdf

 

This adds up overtime. I feel like we are slowly losing our best resource, our youth, overtime. There is no way this is sustainable and it should shake people up and force better economic policy, but sadly so far it has not.

Peace!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also should add that I am disturbed by the white working class description as it stated in the media. The vast majority of all U.S. citizens are working class. They use the working class whites as a voting block/ how did Obama do with the white working class / well he did much better with the black working class but fared horribly with the white poor who have no job. So we look at these numbers and who votes for what but it doesn't explain why the poor white have no jobs or try to explain policy measures that could help them all equally. That's not their job I suppose.

 

Peace!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also should add that I am disturbed by the white working class description as it stated in the media. The vast majority of all U.S. citizens are working class. They use the working class whites as a voting block/ how did Obama do with the white working class / well he did much better with the black working class but fared horribly with the white poor who have no job. So we look at these numbers and who votes for what but it doesn't explain why the poor white have no jobs or try to explain policy measures that could help them all equally. That's not their job I suppose.

 

Peace!

 

Here's something to keep in mind most poor people are white even though the percentage of poverty is higher among blacks and Hispanics. White poverty in rural areas like Appalachia is characterized by geographic isolation, underdevelopment, and joblessness. In the suburbs it's the white working poor. Certain things help all poor people and other measures to address poverty due to race. I think both liberals and the left have forgotten poor people in our focus on the middle (or working class). This is a failure of intellect and politics on our part.

  • bullshit 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"In the treatment of poverty nationally, one fact stands out: there are twice as many white poor as Negro poor in the United States. Therefore I will not dwell on the experiences of poverty that derive from racial discrimination, but will discuss the poverty that affects white and Negro alike."

 

​The words of Martin Luther King Jr. http://shetterly.blogspot.com/p/martin-luther-king-quotes_4.html

  • bullshit 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are really only two meaningful divisions among people. The exploiters VS the rest of us.

 

If the rest of us could only unite, we could easily end the abuses of exploitation ... And prevent its re-occurrence. Unfortunately, the exploiters have done a marvelous job of dividing groups, by appearance, ethnicity and ideology. They have successfully encouraged tribalism and hate between groups to such an extent, that the exploiters themselves, largely escape notice.

 

One of the first steps to end this sorry state of affairs, would be to re-establish and enforce the fairness doctrine, which would largely end the domination of the airways by the Right Wing Noise Machine. The divisive propaganda spread by a small army of Right Wing talking heads reinforces hate in the USA, every day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are really only two meaningful divisions among people. The exploiters VS the rest of us.

 

If the rest of us could only unite, we could easily end the abuses of exploitation ... And prevent its re-occurrence. Unfortunately, the exploiters have done a marvelous job of dividing groups, by appearance, ethnicity and ideology. They have successfully encouraged tribalism and hate between groups to such an extent, that the exploiters themselves, largely escape notice.

 

One of the first steps to end this sorry state of affairs, would be to re-establish and enforce the fairness doctrine, which would largely end the domination of the airways by the Right Wing Noise Machine. The divisive propaganda spread by a small army of Right Wing talking heads reinforces hate in the USA, every day.

 

How do you define exploiters? Is anyone who's wealthy an exploiter by definition?

 

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is entirely dependent on the individual. For instance, people like Elon Musk, Bill Gates and innumerable other wealthy people have got where they are with minimal exploitation of others. Without people like them and others (the list would be very long), there would be far less progress in the world. Their positive contributions have been rightfully acclaimed. They have helped make society better. And in so doing, they got rich.

 

The exploiters include people like Donald Trump and the Koch Brothers. In the case of Trump:-- He has scammed his workers, brought hundreds of frivolous lawsuits against those who could not fight back and launched a fraudulent "University" for profit. At the same time, he promotes division between ethnic, religious and racial groups. The Koch brothers, worth far more than Trump, are heavily into exploitation; suppress their workers and support efforts to divide people by groups. Similarly, they do their best to influence government along exploitative lines.

 

Unfortunately, people like the Koch brothers and Trump have had huge success in re-enforcing tribalism and inter-group hate. And their corrupt, elected lackeys legislate policies that enforce exploitation. If the exploited could unite, as one voting bloc, they could vote out the politics of exploitation, once and for all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is a person who has a degree from an elite university, a good mind, strong health and no issues preventing him or her from getting gainful employment, an exploiter if he or she determines not to work and instead lives on the public dole?

 

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

It is entirely dependent on the individual. For instance, people like Elon Musk, Bill Gates and innumerable other wealthy people have got where they are with minimal exploitation of others. Without people like them and others (the list would be very long), there would be far less progress in the world. Their positive contributions have been rightfully acclaimed. They have helped make society better. And in so doing, they got rich.

 

The exploiters include people like Donald Trump and the Koch Brothers. In the case of Trump:-- He has scammed his workers, brought hundreds of frivolous lawsuits against those who could not fight back and launched a fraudulent "University" for profit. At the same time, he promotes division between ethnic, religious and racial groups. The Koch brothers, worth far more than Trump, are heavily into exploitation; suppress their workers and support efforts to divide people by groups. Similarly, they do their best to influence government along exploitative lines.

 

Unfortunately, people like the Koch brothers and Trump have had huge success in re-enforcing tribalism and inter-group hate.

So it would be wrong to rabble-rouse against millionaires and billionaires when among these classes there are those who advance progress in the world and who make society better?

 

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A very petty exploiter at best.

But in the only meaningful division of people (as you see it) of exploiters vs the rest of us, those "very petty exploiters" would be included in the class of exploiters, yes?

 

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So it would be wrong to rabble-rouse against millionaires and billionaires when among these classes there are those who advance progress in the world and who make society better?

 

Rabble rousing against the ultra-rich as a cohesive group would be gross folly. As I said, only some are exploiters. But if the different groups who have been divided, largely by Right Wing propaganda could unite as one voting bloc, they could vote out exploitation and vote fairness in. Not that I expect this to happen in the near future.

 

But in the only meaningful division of people (as you see it) of exploiters vs the rest of us, those "very petty exploiters" would be included in the class of exploiters, yes?

 

Bill

 

Ordinary people should not be allowed to game the system either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Rabble rousing against the ultra-rich as a cohesive group would be gross folly. As I said, only some are exploiters. But if the different groups who have been divided, largely by Right Wing propaganda could unite as one voting bloc, they could vote out exploitation and vote fairness in. Not that I expect this to happen in the near future.

 

 

Ordinary people should not be allowed to game the system either.

 

Would it be wrong to accuse those very wealthy people who have made great contributions to human progress and made society better (while being minimal exploiters) of having derived their wealth by rigging the rules to redistribute wealth and income to the wealthiest and most powerful people of this country?

 

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Would it be wrong to accuse those very wealthy people who have made great contributions to human progress and made society better (while being minimal exploiters) of having derived their wealth by rigging the rules to redistribute wealth and income to the wealthiest and most powerful people of this country?

 

Bill

 

This is not a trial. The cross examination is over. In post #8, you may find the answer to your question. Didn't you read it?

 

Dividing the electorate by appearance, ethnicity and ideology is a time-worn strategy by exploiters to prevent people from voting in their best interests and recently, to divert attention to the growing wealth gap. The only meaningful difference between groups is the exploiters VS the exploited.

 

The exploiters control government, now more than ever. They have a vested interest in keeping the electorate divided along artificial lines; wedge issues and tribalism. When people ignore the economic well-being of themselves and those they love in favor of issues like gun freedom, abortion or racial/ethnic identity, they play into the hands of the exploiters.

 

When people finally realize who the real source of their problems, instead of propaganda meant to divide them, they will be able to unite against corrupt, exploiting government and bring back equilibrium and prosperity to the USA.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is a person who has a degree from an elite university, a good mind, strong health and no issues preventing him or her from getting gainful employment, an exploiter if he or she determines not to work and instead lives on the public dole?

 

Bill

 

SpyCar , you are use that word the public dole and I noticed in another thread you said Bernie Sanders never had a real job. In 1996 AFDC was replaced with TANF and the number of able bodied people getting cash assistance not to work went from around 12 million to 4 million or less today. That problem being solved what is the public dole now ? Do you think something is wrong with Unemployment or Disability Insurance ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

This is not a trial. The cross examination is over. In post #8, you may find the answer to your question. Didn't you read it?

 

Dividing the electorate by appearance, ethnicity and ideology is a time-worn strategy by exploiters to prevent people from voting in their best interests and recently, to divert attention to the growing wealth gap. The only meaningful difference between groups is the exploiters VS the exploited.

 

The exploiters control government, now more than ever. They have a vested interest in keeping the electorate divided along artificial lines; wedge issues and tribalism. When people ignore the economic well-being of themselves and those they love in favor of issues like gun freedom, abortion or racial/ethnic identity, they play into the hands of the exploiters.

 

When people finally realize who the real source of their problems, instead of propaganda meant to divide them, they will be able to unite against corrupt, exploiting government and bring back equilibrium and prosperity to the USA.

 

But wouldn't dividing them by class, when as you say some wealthy people are non-exploiters (or, in your words "minimal exploiters") who advance progress and some poor freeloaders (aka very petty exploiters) who could work (but choose not to), when the only division that matters is "exploiters vs the rest" (and not class) is the only one that matters?

 

I read Post #8 and it makes sense to me. I agree.

 

It just seems from what you write that there are exploiters (and the rest) on both sides of the wealth gap.

 

There are rich exploiters and poor ("very petty") exploiters). And there are also rich people who are not exploiters (those who contribute to bettering society) and just regular folks?

 

So dividing people into rich and poor and perpetuating class warfare (as opposed to the only division that matters, exploiter vs the rest) I take it that you'd think that this was one of those mistaken strategies that divides people improperly, yes?

 

I'm liking this line of thinking. Maybe we should not fall prey to politicians who seek to drive wedges between us and who spread propaganda meant to divide people based on how much money they have as opposed to how they live their lives?

 

I agree.

 

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

SpyCar , you are use that word the public dole and I noticed in another thread you said Bernie Sanders never had a real job. In 1996 AFDC was replaced with TANF and the number of able bodied people getting cash assistance not to work went from around 12 million to 4 million or less today. That problem being solved what is the public dole now ? Do you think something is wrong with Unemployment or Disability Insurance ?

 

I believe that in a decent society (and especially in one with the wealth of the United States) we should look after those who are sick, or disabled, or otherwise unable to work. I strongly support this sort of communitarianism. Same with unemployment insurance for those who lose their jobs to economic factors beyond their control.

 

But were a person, say a man, to decide not to work when he was of able mind and able body, but he chose instead to live off social programs, charities, or by freeloading on others, I think I'd have to agree with Bludog that such a man would by necessarily be classed as an explorer. I'd agree with calling him a very petty exploiter.

 

And if that same man fathered a child (out of wedlock, or not) and then he still refused to work to support his child (when there was nothing stopping him) and he left it up to the child's mother and the state to provide, then I'd say that person was definitely an exploiter.

 

Do you agree?

 

I really think BD is on to something here.

 

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As to the power to influence elections:-- There is no comparison between people who game the system by collecting illicit benefits and those ultra-rich, unelected exploiters, like the Koch Brothers, who exercise vast powers of political manipulation.

 

People, down on their luck, who use government benefits far outnumber those who abuse the system. Moreover, there are laws against those few unprincipled people who collect government benefits illicitly.

 

They have virtually no power compared to Trump or the vastly rich and powerful Koch brothers, who are constrained by no law against their predatory exploitation and wrongful manipulation of others for the sole purpose of increasing their already bloated fortunes.

 

Just to reiterate, in case of likely misinterpretation, many of the ultra-rich have contributed to society far more than they have taken away. And many make no attempt to divide others.

 

But, those of the ultra-rich that do try to influence politics to increase their wealth even more, have power, because of that enormous wealth and power, to do great social harm. An ordinary person, on public support, cannot be considered in the same category.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, to reiterate, wealth alone is a bad dividing line for attacking individuals as exploiters.

 

Indeed, rabble rousing against millionaires and billionaires, when many are people who advance society, is one of those harsh and divisive tactics that separates (as opposed to uniting) good people.

 

And those who engage in such divisive tactics are acting like demagogues when they do so. Right?

 

Liking this thread more and more.

 

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I believe that in a decent society (and especially in one with the wealth of the United States) we should look after those who are sick, or disabled, or otherwise unable to work. I strongly support this sort of communitarianism. Same with unemployment insurance for those who lose their jobs to economic factors beyond their control.

 

But were a person, say a man, to decide not to work when he was of able mind and able body, but he chose instead to live off social programs, charities, or by freeloading on others, I think I'd have to agree with Bludog that such a man would by necessarily be classed as an explorer. I'd agree with calling him a very petty exploiter.

 

And if that same man fathered a child (out of wedlock, or not) and then he still refused to work to support his child (when there was nothing stopping him) and he left it up to the child's mother and the state to provide, then I'd say that person was definitely an exploiter.

 

Do you agree?

 

I really think BD is on to something here.

 

Bill

 

Exploit is often defined as taking unfair advantage or using for selfish benefit. In politics populists and leftists have used it in reference to the wealthy elite and their relationship to workers or small farmers. People who misuse public assistance are generally referred to as cheaters or moochers. Both are wrong but the it's the wealthy elites who have power through capital and government to due more harm. Far too often we focus on those abusing government assistance or simply vilify people who get help because conservatives and much of the public do not approve of the welfare state itself.

  • bullshit 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Exploit is often defined as taking unfair advantage or using for selfish benefit. In politics populists and leftists have used it in reference to the wealthy elite and their relationship to workers or small farmers. People who misuse public assistance are generally referred to as cheaters or moochers. Both are wrong but the it's the wealthy elites who have power through capital and government to due more harm. Far too often we focus on those abusing government assistance or simply vilify people who get help because conservatives and much of the public do not approve of the welfare state itself.

But I thought we've established that many in the so-called wealthy elite actually contribute greatly to advancing civilization?. The mere fact that some people have acquired wealth is not a good reason to politically excoriate the very people without whom there would be less progress in the world, is it?

 

Are we not all in agreement on this point?

 

For populists (or anyone) to paint with an overly broad brush and bash everyone who has amassed wealth as if they are exploiters is wrong-headed. Yes?

 

What message does it send to young people for a political movement to trash the every people who've advanced civilization due to a misguided political ideology?

 

Would it not make such movement and the ideology behind it appear backwards, dogmatic, and antagonistic to progress? I expect you must think so.

 

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But I thought we've established that many in the so-called wealthy elite actually contribute greatly to advancing civilization?. The mere fact that some people have acquired wealth is not a good reason to politically excoriate the very people without whom there would be less progress in the world, is it?

 

Are we not all in agreement on this point?

 

For populists (or anyone) to paint with an overly broad brush and bash everyone who has amassed wealth as if they are exploiters is wrong-headed. Yes?

 

What message does it send to young people for a political movement to trash the every people who've advanced civilization due to a misguided political ideology?

 

Would it not make such movement and the ideology behind it appear backwards, dogmatic, and antagonistic to progress? I expect you must think so.

 

Bill

 

I think working people are as important as wealthy owners or managers in advancing civilization. Moreover we ought to call into question the kind of capitalism that sends so much wealth upward that the middle( or working class ) is not stable and there is not enough social mobility for poor people to become middle class. Furthermore we need to challenge rich people like Trump who use racist and xenophobic appeals to working class whites in order to get elected and prop up predatory capitalism. There's nothing wrong with being rich but we have a systematic problem that must be addressed. Rahula Janowski's article is timely and important because it helps us to understand that race is used to keep whites and blacks from working together to reform the system.

  • bullshit 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are playing a game of poker, and you play by the rules, and you win and collect the pot of money, you are a minor petty exploiter. When you change the rules of the game so that you win, you hire others to distract the other players so you can cheat, you are a major exploiter. I don't care about the minor exploiter, he followed the rules. Many of the rich hire lobbyists to change laws in their favor to steal from the rest of us.

 

The system is rigged and should be changed so that from the government's point of view, all are equal. Now the rich get all the gains and the poor and middle class get poverty. (The poor now, the middle class in a few years.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, to reiterate, wealth alone is a bad dividing line for attacking individuals as exploiters.

 

Indeed, rabble rousing against millionaires and billionaires, when many are people who advance society, is one of those harsh and divisive tactics that separates (as opposed to uniting) good people.

 

And those who engage in such divisive tactics are acting like demagogues when they do so. Right?

 

Liking this thread more and more.

 

Bill

 

 

Mostly wrong. And deliberately twisted.

 

In times of regressive politics, it is of the utmost importance for all peoples to unite and demonstrate, in large numbers against the exploiters. And so, united, vote as one bloc in the best interests of themselves and their loved ones.

 

Rabble rousing is more in the nature of Right Wing politicians throwing red meat to stir up crowds of bigots and divide them, even further into competing groups. Emotionally inflamed bigots are then prone to vote against their own best interests in fear and hate of "the other".

 

Thomas Frank's What's The Matter With Kansas demonstrates very well, how the politics of division are used to get people to vote against their own best interests.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...