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Happy New Year Blabber, by Ray Zwarich

To all the Really Good Ones, and to all in peril on land or sea:

This is a long read, but these are very important matters. Again, as I've said numerous times, I only feel compelled to impose myself so insistently, because I think we are in danger, more immediate even that many, or most, seem to realize, and I just don't hear anyone saying what needs to be said.

"Someone has to DO something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it should have to be us."            --J Garcia 

Considering the Truthout article by Megan L. Jordan, Joshua Murray, Michael Schwartz & Kevin A. Young, entitled 'When Black Movements Win, Everybody But the 1 Percent Wins'.  

In 'sales' parlance, this article does not 'make the sale' because it does not 'overcome objections'. (If the person being sold something says 'no', 'sales training' teaches people to dig in to find out why, and then to address and overcome their objections). 

Does this article show that the writers made ANY genuine effort to understand the objections that white people might have to its contentions? The article's entire structure is rooted in winning white people over to 'see' that they will gain from black people's success, so it is definitely going in the right direction, (I whole-heatedly AGREE with that contention), but it does not go NEARLY far enough, and worse it is disingenuous in many of the steps it does take. 

The new CUNY 'open enrollment' policy in the early 70s, (cited in the article), for example, did not 'threaten' the interests of white students because it was 'open enrollment', (duh), so the point made is completely irrelevant to the problem of the effect of affirmative action on white students in college admissions that are limited and therefore competitive, and therefore are, indeed, a classic 'zero sum game'. 

The disingenuous CUNY example cited by the article, cited to disprove the existence of a 'zero sum game' affirmative action dynamic, is going to be seen as 'ridiculous', (as it obviously is), by those the article is trying to convince. White people will easily recognize it as a dishonest polemic trick, and that will tell them that the article is not honest/sincere.

Such intellectual/polemic 'dishonesty' does NOT win people's trust. It does not even ADDRESS people's objections, and therefore is not going to overcome those objections. Articles like this will NEVER 'make the sale'.

This article is NOT going to accomplish its purported purpose. Using specious arguments, as polemic devices, just to 'win the argument', doesn't work, if the objective is to 'reach across' divisions, as this article at least pretends its objective is.  

African Americans will NEVER make 'progress' until they take responsibility for being HONEST in their aspirations. Once people 'see' that a salesperson is dishonest, that she or he will just say anything, true or not, to make the sale, many people, perhaps most people, will no longer even listen. 

What are these writers' motives? Why did they write this article? What did they hope this article would accomplish? I know nothing about these four people personally, (never heard of any of them), or about their work. So all I have to go on to ascertain their motives, is the article itself. 

I believe the article is basically well-motivated. It at least TRIES to reach across divisions. But it fails in its purpose because in making that attempt it does not show either any significant degree of self-awareness, or any real attention to genuinely understanding and respecting its audience. "Know the enemy, and know thyself" was ole Sun Tzu's oft-quoted advice for people engaged in 'struggle'. I don't think these writers can claim to have even tried to accomplish EITHER in any way that could actually succeed in accomplishing their article's purportedly intended purpose.

Do these writers really think that ANYTHING they say here addresses the concerns of a white high school student who sees a LESS QUALIFIED black student  admitted to a competitive 'dream-choice' college, which sent the white student a rejection letter, when the black student is the son or daughter of a prosperous family, whose father is perhaps a lawyer or judge, and whose mother is a corporate sales executive, while the white student's father is an unemployed alcoholic roofer who lost his job to Spanish speaking people, and her or his aging mother still does lap-dances in a titty bar to pay the rent and put food on the table?

You 'see'?

The 'Black Movement', (these authors' term), is built on a LIE. African Americans are NEVER going to 'sell' this lie. Even trying to, and especially trying to FORCE people to believe the lie, as the Black Movement now seems intent on thinking it can do, is entirely counterproductive to African Americans' genuinely noble aspirations. (We could be kinder, and call it a 'misconception', rather than a 'lie', but that's not really accurate. Is it?) 

Can we look at 'the facts'?

Most African Americans are NOT poor, and most poor people are NOT African Americans. 

Over HALF of African Americans, (about 21.8 million out of about 42 million), are more prosperous than about  27% of white Americans, (almost 55 million out of about 200 million).  

And ... There are MANY prosperous African Americans who we can ALL 'see' are in the Racism Bid'ness. Jesse Jackson's net worth is estimated at $9 million. Gee ... The Racism Bid'ness has sure been awful good to the good reverend and his family, hasn't it? Hasn't 'racism' become a profitable/lucrative 'industry' for many black people? Promoting the existence of racism in every corner of reality makes some black Americans richer, does it not? 

Well ... Those people are then obviously highly motivated to find racism even where there is none, aren't they?

For a while, Jesse Jackson was running a lucrative 'shakedown bid'ness'. All he'd have to do is threaten corporations that he'd make trouble for them, (he'd get their workers all riled up over racism), or else they could give him money for his Rainbow Coalition, (which has obviously been $9 mil to the good reverend's good, eh?).

I know that's a harsh way of putting it, but is it not 'true'? If seen through a different perspective than your own, which requires self-awareness, much truth is revealed. If one can 'see' through one's enemy's eyes, only then can one understand that enemy's motivations.

"I'm going to start screaming "Racism at XYZ Corporation" on national TV, at the top of my lungs, over this such-and-such a case, (any work issue/incident involving a black person), unless you donate to the black community", the good Reverend Jackson would say to the CEO. Well ... Wouldn't most CEOs look for the least expensive option? And the good reverend would apparently then generously 'wet his beak', (at least to the cumulative tune of $9 mil), as the money flowed from palm to palm, through the mythical 'black community'.

It's a classic 'shake-down'. "Give me money, or else I'll do something to hurt you".

We can surely ALL 'see' that many politicians are in the Racism Bid'ness as well. So many, in fact, that the Black City Official (or state, or national), with his palm out to be 'greased', is a widely perceived cultural archetype. I hear Obama's making a killing in South Side Chicago real estate, by kicking old black ladies out of homes they've lived in for decades, as ole Barry and his buddies gentrify the neighborhoods around the brand new taxpayer funded Obama Palace/Library. Do we think great profits aren't being made by somebody, who maybe had the 'foresight' to buy up run-down properties around the Obama Palace, before Obama decided to build it there, smak in the middle of one of the poorest (and meanest) residential ghettos in the nation?  

There is an entire industry of black people who are widely perceived, even by other black people, as charlatans, who profit handsomely in the Racism Bid'ness. Those people are either very highly motivated to find racism wherever and whether it even exists, or else they are claiming to be so 'supra-human' that mere human nature itself has no effect on their behavior. When you're in the Racism Bid'ness, finding racism everywhere, wherever you can, is good for business.

Isn't it?

You want to make ole Mr. Tzu happy? You wanna 'understand the enemy'? (Symbolically speaking, of course). You wanna 'understand yourself'? What do you think all those Racism Bid'ness grifters and con men, (and increasingly con women), look like to white people? What do we think all those preachers and politicians, who hold their noses high as they plot to wet their beaks in any racism mess they can make or find, cause white people to think about 'the black movement'?  What do we think those people in the Racism Bid'ness cause many white people to think about ALL this?

What? ... Does Critical Race Theory require white people to make ourselves stupid and blind? Does such a requirement REALLY sound like a 'winning strategy'? Really?? 

And aren't many black people inclined to blame their personal failures on racism? Isn't wanting to 'foist blame' a characteristic of human nature itself that is universal to all people? Gee ... How 'handy' it must be, when nothing's EVER your fault, when you can blame your own personal failures on white supremacy.

Yea ... Well ... We're 'being honest'. Right? Black folks are certainly 'advantaged' in their capacity to blame their own personal failures on racism. We white folks can't blame our personal failures on racism. It's not that we're morally 'above' doing so. Not at all. We're just forced to find other agencies/things/people to blame in order to shirk personal responsibility for our own mistakes and/or failures. The proclivity to want to shirk responsibility for personal failure by blaming someone or something else, is a UNIVERSAL human trait. 

It's not that black folks and white folks aren't 'equal' in our proclivity to want to 'cast blame' to shirk responsibility for personal failure, it's just that black folks are maybe just a bit 'more equal', (as Orwell put it), since they have such a handy universal boogeyman, Whitey the Evil White Man, to blame. Eh?

Well ... I don't know how other folks do, but when I learn that a salesperson is selling snake oil, I just want them to shut the frack up, and get themselves away from me. 

And honestly, well ... it's probably not a good idea to be TOO honest here. Right? Oppressed people's tender emotions might be bruised? Well ... Caliban believes that we MUST be honest in order to achieve this article's purported purpose of reaching across divisions, which is, in Caliban's estimation, THE most important task that challenges us as a nation, (if we aspire to create a truly democractic, just and peaceful nation out of the mess we're in now).

How many African Americans grow up in 'advantaged' middle class (or higher) black families, and obtain the advantage of a good education, but then fail to achieve career success due to personal failures, but then use 'racism' as an 'excuse'? Isn't that the PRIMARY appeal of a cult of victimhood? Do our good African American fellow citizens think that white citizens cannot 'see' black people act that way? I think most ALL white people certainly can 'see' that most all black people act that way. 

Most African Americans are NOT poor. Most Black Americans, (52%, according to some estimates I've seen), are either middle class, upper middle class, or wealthy, (with success in the entertainment/sports industry, and all its ancillary opportunities, rapidly swelling the ranks of the latter).

The official 'poverty line' is pretty much universally recognized as falling FAR short of measuring actual poverty. A more useful measure of poverty is perhaps how many people live 'sub-middle class' lives, if we define 'middle-class' as people who have sufficient income to live in a 'dignified' standard of living, in good housing, in safe neighborhoods, with good schools for their children to attend. 

The entire Black Movement is built on a false assumption, that white people, not being stupid, can instinctively 'see'. It is simply false that most Black People suffer in 'oppression', (depending on how that word is defined, of course, as some leftists do claim, with actual straight faces, that a wealthy white woman is oppressed simply because she is female, etc, etc, ad absurdum).

In actual FACT, most African Ameticans are not economically 'oppressed', any more or less than many other Americans, including white people, are. Most black Americans are leading relatively prosperous middle class lives. 

(52% is the figure I've found, but if people want to quibble over the percentage, that's fine, what do you contend the percentage is?). Point being, a significantly large percentage of African Americans are either middle class, or upper middle class, or wealthy. About 21.8 million African Americans, out of a total of about 42 million, are MORE prosperous than about 55 million white Americans, out of about 200 million, who live sub-middle class lives. Over half of all black Americans are MORE prosperous than about 27% of white Americans.

How many of us even know that? 

(If any dispute these numbers, please don't hesitate to cite whatever numbers you believe are 'true', so we can get the actual 'facts' sorted out to everyone's satisfaction).

African American's entire argument of African Americans being more 'oppressed' is built on 'disproportionality'. As a ratio of poor people to the total population, African Americans are more 'oppressed'. We all know that's true, (and tragically so, and urgently needs to change). If you picked the name of one black American and one white, completely at random, and were going to place a wager on which was poorer, only a fool would not bet on the black person. The odds of a randomly chosen black person being poor, (sub-middle class), are pretty close to 50-50. The odds of a white person being sub-middle class are about 27%. The odds of a randomly selected black person being poor are 'even money', but almost 3-1 against a white person being poor, since just over 1 out of 4 white people are poor. (Remember I'm using 'sub-middle class' as the definition of 'poor' here, not the so-called 'official poverty line').  

In terms of the percent of people who are poor, compared to their percent of the population, African Americans are, as a group, 'disproportionately' poor. But over half of African Americans, almost 22 million, are 'richer', have higher family incomes, than about 27% (55 million) of white Americans.

In gross numbers of people who are 'oppressed', there are over 2 and 1/2 TIMES as many white people in America living sub-middle class lives, living lives of oppression into the crushing anxieties of economic uncertainty, as black people.

It is my impression, (with no facts to support it, it's just an 'impression'), that most people in America, regardless of what race they are, think that most ALL African Americans are poor, and that very few white Americans are poor. 

55 million white Americans are living sub-middle class lives. That is greater than the entire population of Spain, (47 million), and is 92% of the population of Italy, (60 mil), and 85% of the entire population of France. (65 mil). More white Americans are 'poor', (using 'sub-middle class' as a working definition of 'poor'), than the entire populations of the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway combined. 

The ratio is 5:2. There are 5 poor white people in America for every 2 poor black people.

In the past I have asked our good African American citizens to consider 'set theory', which belies the entire argument of White Supremacy. It is true that the 'set of the oppressors', is almost exclusively white, but only a relatively small percentage of white people are included in that 'set'. The Ruling Class is mostly white, (although that is changing significantly, and fairly rapidly), but VERY few white people are IN the Ruling Class, or EVER have been. 

Therefore, the very notion of 'white supremacy' is not merely problematic, it greatly angers a large number of those white people who are suffering oppression TODAY, as they 'see' so many black people who are so much better off than them hating them for a mythical concept, white supremacy, that makes no sense to them, to the 55 fracking MILLION poor white people.  

The very term 'white supremacy' is racist, because it 'lumps' people into a group to which they do NOT belong, based SOLELY on their race. 

22 million black people are accusing 55 million white people poorer than them of being their oppressors. Another 20 million black people are accusing 55 million white people just as poor as them of being their oppressors. 

This clearly seems to make sense to the Black Movement. Do people REALLY think it is EVER going to make sense to most white people, especially to those 55 million poor white people?   

A white person living in poverty might be a racist, sure. Many certainly are. She or he might hate black people, due to her or his primitive tribal instincts, and to her or his perception of them as economic rivals, but she or he is not in any way 'oppressing' black people. We surely are not proposing that we should legislate human emotions? People have a right to feel however they do. Poor white people have no more power than poor black people. They have no power to 'oppress' other people. It is a relatively small class of Ruling Elites, (most of whom ARE white), who are oppressing poor people of EVERY race. Poor white people, outnumbering poor black people 5 to 2, 55 million to a bit over 20 million, are every bit as oppressed as poor black people.  

Over half of African Americans are LESS oppressed than over 25% of white Americans. There are over 2.5 TIMES as many poor white Americans as poor black Americans. almost 55 million to less than 21 million.  

(I know I am being repetitive here, in wanting to drive this point home). 

Again, statistics can be hard to 'digest' correctly, and I hope people will correct any statistical errors I have made, but I think people will find that the numbers I cite here are substantially accurate, and support the points I am trying to make. Half, (actually slightly over half), of African Americans are RICHER than about 27% of white Americans.

How do we think many of those 55 million poor white people feel when they are not just blamed, but demonized, for 'white supremacy', when every 2nd black person they see is visibly richer than them? Do black folks think poor white folks aren't discriminated against? Do black folks think poor white folks are NOT looked down upon, and treated as dangerous second class citizens, by middle class people, whether those middle class people are white or black or any other race?

Do people think middle class white people don't fear poor white people as much as they fear poor black people? Do people think middle class black people don't fear poor black people as much as they fear poor white people?  

I heard Jesse Jackson say, must be 35 years ago, that if he was walking alone in a deserted parking garage late at night, and suddenly heard footsteps behind him, when he turned to look, he'd be alarmed if he saw a black young man, OR a white young man, in blue jeans and a hoodie, with tattoos visible, etc, and he'd be relieved if he saw a man, of any race, in a suit carrying a briefcase.

The Black Movement is NOT presenting any coherent 'plan' for solving our nation's problems. Critical Race Theory is a non-starter. It doesn't make sense. It is rooted in a mythology that is just not true.

The institution of slavery existed for 10,000 years, but was abolished by descedants of white Europeans within 74 years of the time the US was established as a nation. 

Particularly cruel forms of slavery existed in the Americas before white Europeans came here. Among the Maya and Aztec civilizations, human sacrifice was practiced, sometimes involving tens of thousands of people in short periods of time, such as this account of ritual sacrificial mass slaughter in pre-Columbian North America). "When the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan was consecrated in 1487 the Aztecs recorded that 84,000 people were slaughtered in four days".

Most of the entire population of Europe lived lives of indentured servitude to a class of Elite masters, for thousands of years. Here's Caesar writing about Gaul (modern day France) in about 55 BC: 

"The common people, regarded virtually as slaves, never venture to act on their own initiative, and are never consulted about anything. Most of them ,crushed down by debt, heavy taxation, or the oppression of more powerful men, enter the service of the nobles, who exercise over them the same rights as masters have over slaves".

That was the norm among white European people until the 18th century. Most of them lived indentured lives. In the entire history of the practice of slavery, many times more white people have been enslaved than black people. (I don't really know the numbers, but it could be hundreds or even possibly thousands of times more). Our very word 'slave' was derived from white Slavic people, who were reputedly considered to make the best slaves, because the men were so physically strong, and the women were so sexually attractive.

Most white immigrants to America came here destitute, fleeing desperate lives of indentured miseries, even starvation. The conditions that many lived in here were as horrific, possibly more so, than those that African slaves lived under in the South. 

Under the Southern chattel slavery, slaves were valuable property. A strong male slave was worth the equivalent of $25,000 in today's dollars. As horrifically immoral as it was to keep people as 'cattle', as 'work beasts', most all farmers were keen to take good care of such valuable property.

The white 'wage slaves' in the north were completely expendable. Employers had no incentive at all to take care of them in any way. When one dropped from exhaustion and/or toxic working conditions, 5 more desperate white immigrants were being unloaded on the docks. (Jack London used the term "work beast" in describing these people's short miserable lives, only nobody owned them so they weren't worth taking care of, as the valuable chattel slaves in the South were). 

Do black folks REALLY think that "my suffering is worse than your suffering" is an effective message to win political power? How do blacks folks think poor white folks feel when black folks tell them poor white folks suffering doesn't matter, or matters less, because they're white? How do you think poor white folks feel when they hear blacks folks RICHER than them tell them that? 

You really think that's an effective message that is going to succeed in 'fighting racism'?

Right now the Black Movement is simply not presenting any plan or vision that has any chance at all of coalescing into the kind of 'movement' we need to build, if our objective is to win political power, and following from that, economic justice, for ALL the Common People, of every race. 

NO ONE, not even the Black Movement, is even yet talking about the real nature of the problems we face. Tens of millions of people have been debilitated by conditions of cultural deprivation caused by multi-generational ravages of poverty. In sheer numbers, the problem is much more a white problem, since white people suffer from cultural deprivation as a result of crushing poverty as much as black people do, but there's a LOT more of the poor white people. 

Many of these people are unemployable. Most of the children prove to be uneducable, despite energetic efforts made to 'reach' them to improve their lives through education.

Poverty does NOT make people 'noble'. Poverty degrades human life into primitive, animal-like 'jungle rule'. Poverty destroys families, thus robbing children of their human birthright to be nurtured by loving parents in a loving family.

That is where civilization itself passes from generation to generation. "Share your toys. Don't hit your sister. How do you like it when she doesn't share with you? Or hits you?" Those basic 'do unto others' rules are passed by the laborious patient loving nurture that parents owe their children.

Tens of millions of our children aren't getting that. They grow up 'wild', deprived of the culture of 'civilized' behavior that only a loving family can provide. 

So ... We have tens of millions of debilitated people, millions of them are 'uneducable' children. You can force them to attend school for 12 years. But you can't make them want to learn. You can give them a diploma after those 12 years, but that doesn't mean they can actually read or write well enough to function well in the modern economy. Nor do they have any other basic job skills, like the ability to not go out and party so they can get out of bed and get to work on time the next day. 

When I ran a work crew, I gave opportunities to many people who had the physical skills to do the job, but they simply lacked the discipline to manage their lives so they could get to work on time a reasonable percentage of the time. THOSE are the skills these people lack. It's a matter of cultural deprivation. Those are the kinds of skills kids learn from loving parents in nurturing families.

Well ... We've got tens of millions of people in that predicament. These are debilitated people. They need intense rehabilitation. 

To achieve a just society, to make the transition from the violent mess we have now is going to be a difficult process. How are we going to rehabilitate these tens of millions of unemployable people and uneducable kids? 

Defund the police? That's just going to make the lives of poor urban black people worse. Black people's biggest immediate danger is other poor urban black people. In our current violent mess of a system, black people NEED the police to protect them, mostly from other black people. 

Advocating for ineffective stop-gap policies, like defunding police, is just massively counterproductive. The massive degree of the problem we face is just not amenable to be favorably affected by stop-gap half measures.

This problem has to be addressed by the energy of the whole society, acting together. We just do not have the capacity to do the kinds of things that need to be done unless the Common People, of all races, can UNITE, so we can seize the political power to actually make the scale of changes we need to make. 

We need to create a massive 'boot camp' type jobs training program to undertake to tear down and clear away all the rot in our nation, to build a gleaming new nation, with gleaming mass transportation systems, the most advanced energy technology possible, massive quantities of affordable new housing stock, etc. etc.

You sign up, it's just like the army, shaved heads and all. You get them in physical shape, with the drug fog cleared away, then you start teaching them job skills.

When they learn skills, you put them to work at a good wage, doing all the stuff we can ALL see needs doing. If every one of us worked furiously for the next two or three generations or more, we could never run out of things we need to do and invent and build to make our nation a better nation for ALL its people.
 
I believe, (as a person with extensive experience running work crews), that only military style discipline can serve to rehabilitate the lives of people who have been severely deprived of the culture of civilization that people get in loving nurturing families.

Anyway ... that's all for future discussion, I only mention it here to illustrate the scale that we need to think in. NO ONE, and especially no one in the Black Movement, seems to me to be thinking realistically on that scale. 

The so-called Black Movement has seemed intent on creating divisive racial strife by fomenting overt and open hatred of white people by black people. 

That's the exact opposite of the direction we need to go. 

I have been a leftist since about 1968. I honestly NEVER expected that I would live to see even the possibility of a revolution 

In my entire lifetime, our Enemy, the Ruling Elites have NEVER even been vulnerable.

Now they ARE!

I never thought I'd see this, but I sure as frack see it now,

If we want to drain the swamp, we've got some alligators we gotta fight. We gotta start THINKING, folks. We can't 'fix' this problem by gradually electing enough AOC 'girls from the block' to pass a Green New Deal. That very notion is absurd.

This problem is a LOT bigger than that, folks. C'mon ... We ALL know it is ... The ONLY way we can 'fix' our problems, so the human race can survive, is to UNITE the Common People behind One Banner, so we can seize that democratic power that is RIGHTFULLY ours.

Happy New Year to all. Sorry to blabber on. Hope all are well.

Caliban

R Zwarich