Friday, January 31, 2014

The "White Ghetto" is International: Poor Whites in South Africa are an Example of Justice and How the Chickens Do Indeed Come Home to Roost

In our earlier conversation regarding The National Review's story about poor whites in Appalachia, there were some very useful and insightful references to Apartheid era South Africa. Americans are obsessed with race; Americans often forget to locate the dynamics of white supremacy in their own country within a broader global context. The color line was not national. It was global.

There was a South African Apartheid State. There was (and remains, although modified, massaged, and evolved) an American Apartheid State as well. Thus the obvious irony: a president who happens to be black leads a country that remains in many ways racially segregated--by habit and history's legacy--as opposed to present law. A second irony, the United States' first president who happens to be black reigns over white American Empire:

The "white ghetto" in America is both sad and pathetic. South Africa also has a "white ghetto". Perhaps it is nationalism and a belief in American exceptionalism applied in a counter-intuitive manner, but I have some sympathy for the poor white rural folk in this country--even while I condemn their (assumed) bigotry towards people of color.

The poor whites of South Africa? A group who until several years ago benefited directly from, and were directly subsidized by the racial terrorism of a white minority against a black majority, and now complain about racial democracy? I do believe that they are getting their comeuppance.

The wages of sin are death. Moreover, the white poor in South Africa are now having their balance sheet called in and the butcher's bill paid. The white poor in South Africa have reaped what they have sowed. Is that not justice?

Alternatively, am I letting the white poor in America off too easy for their being complicit as a group with American Apartheid?


kokanee said...

CDV —I see you are really conflicted about white poverty. Here's the thing: if we want racial harmony, we have to fight poverty no matter what the color of their skin is, no matter what their beliefs are and no matter what political party they support. Take care of the poor and whites blaming blacks or blacks blaming whites simply dissolves away. MLK had it right: racism, poverty and war are all connected.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

"am I letting the white poor in America off too easy for their being complicit as a group with American Apartheid?"

It's tough. I think as long as whites are not examining their prejudices, then stay hard on them. I can only speak about American Apartheid and would just like to say there were possibly a number of whites, poor middle and upper class, who were not in favor of much of the racial terror, but were unwilling to challenge it in any meaningful way. Reading stories about it and just as often as police were complicit in terrorizing black families, police were also helpful to them in any way they could be.

Even if it was twenty-some men and their families setting fire to a black home, there were likely more than twenty other families who were terrified by something like that yet weren't willing to bring it back on those whites who did that.

Indict them on all fronts, that's the only way to win. Often black folk couldn't retaliate because they had no recognized legal rights, they couldn't testify against whites in court.

I think today, conservatives want state governments to take over welfare policies. The conversation I hear from them is let states decide how best to deal with their poverty problems. I think California is the only state with a minority white population. After the Civil War, several states in the South had majority or near majority African American populations. The racial terror and disfranchisement caused the Great Migration and this changed the racial demographics of those states completely. Urban areas still find they have a lot of power in national elections, and conservative voters are aware of this (I remember seeing outrage at the voting results in Pennsylvania, with Philly swaying the state democratic while the rural majority voted republican) and they don't like it.

chauncey devega said...

There were poor whites on the right side of history for sure. But the wages of whiteness are so intoxicating and helped to destroy some great experiments such as populism and Reconstruction. Many missed opportunities.

chauncey devega said...

I like your utopian strivings :) If we believe that racism is a means of advancing classism and the plutocrats power, then yes. But, if racism and white supremacy are about something deeper like group position and psychology then I am more suspicious.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

Many missed opportunities, definitely. It seems that many are getting active. In West Virginia there is a pressing concern about industrial waste, especially in the wake of that chemical spill in the Elk River. Today there was another chemical leak the next county over from me and their residents are being evacuated within a half mile radius.

If we can get unity on environmental problems, food justice, and the prison industrial complex, then we may start getting at why so many are poor or unhealthy and start to solve those problems together, nationally.

chicano2nd said...

I don't care if crooks and liars bans me, oh wait they did, whites (and you know who you are) are the cancer of the earth. Susan Sontag was right! And my white grandchildren will create a new white reality!

chauncey devega said...

Race essentialism is a dead end. Bigotry against white folks as opposed to understanding how Whiteness as a social construct is immoral and hurts both white people and people of color.

I am not sure if you are baiting folks as a troll playing a cloak and dagger impersonation game, but I will let this stand for now with the hope that folks will help reorient and engage you.

Do be mindful of my view on bigotry and prejudice going forward.

kokanee said...

I like your utopian strivings :)

I may be an ideologue but I'm no utopian. ;)

If we believe that racism is a means of advancing classism and the plutocrats power, then yes.

exactly what I'm talking about: institutional racism. Government says
it's going to take from group A and give it to group B. Group A is going
to be against it. Group B is going to be for it. Self-interest trumps
morality every time. But what's really going on is that the government
takes a lot from group A and a little from group B and gives it all to
its friends in group C. People are pretty simple: if they're
incentivized to be racist then they will be racist.

may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him
from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important. —Martin Luther
King Jr.

The law must go much further.
The law must empower disenfranchised groups by providing them with
education, good careers and a robust social safety net. If old white
boys clubs can't be cracked open then we'll be able to create our own
all inclusive networks. Professions like doctors, lawyers, architects
and accountants have to be opened up to everyone that meet the standards
for that profession.

Instead, we get:
Black Man Is Killed Every 28 Hours by Police or Vigilantes: America Is
Perpetually at War with Its Own People (link)

Man Shot And Killed By Houston Cop For Wearing A Hoodie While Black

But, if racism and white
supremacy are about something deeper like group position and psychology
then I am more suspicious.

Indeed. Racism is learned and cultural. It needs to be exposed and attacked as well. This is your domain which you do so well.

friend's son of ours was getting ill treated by the school. When the
mother called the school she was then ill treated on the phone. When the
mother showed up at the school to complain they were scared shitless.
You see, the son has a Spanish last name and the school assumed that the
mother was Spanish. The mother is pasty-white. So, would you describe
that as discrimination against someone assumed to be Spanish or white

It goes back to what I wrote before: bring
everyone up so all can partake in the "American dream." There's a lot
less racism in the middle class on up (affluent, rich) — especially when
we live and work together.

A word of warning: as economic
inequality gets wider, racism is going to get worse. It's on the rise
already. And that's exactly what the plutocrats want.



I hope you have great things planned for Black History Month!


Don't know if you saw this in the news:
Skin Genes Evolved More Recently Than Previously Thought, DNA Study

Europeans had dark skin 7,000 years ago. That's roughly only 350 generations ago. The world keeps getting smaller and smaller.

chicano2nd said...

Maybe I am baiting folks, if you mean the ones that incessantly and without forethought attack and label in knee jerk fashion! First time I have been referred to as a troll! I will file that one for sure. Be that as it may, I am looking at the perspective of white privilege, which you know well! Please initiate the reorientation (?) Mr. DeVega!

chauncey devega said...

The White Right is engaged in a very sophisticated and concerted effort where they use sock puppets, paid commenters, and yes "trolls" who pretend to be anti-racists, people of color, etc. just to gin up controversy and play to stereotypes.

Others will engage you if they choose. Just be mindful that racial essentialism is a path to the dark side of the Force--to borrow from my beloved Star War mythos.

chicano2nd said...

Do you think you or those you apparently appeal to a are the only ones that can describe a world of white by he perspective of not being white in articulate terms? Do you think you are the only ones that can describe the other side? I would expect better of emphatic humans on ostensibly the same course!
By the way, what is your definition of racial essentialism! And Dark Forces? I threw off the cloak of mysticism a long, long time ago!

j.ottopohl said...

I had a comment here that didn't make it through because a rain storm cut off the university's internet. But, I will rephrase it here. Yes, a lot of poor South African Whites supported and benefited from apartheid. However, they were not in charge of the system and a lot of rich Whites who were are even wealthier today than they were then and have never been punished in anyway. South Africa has made a lot of changes for the better, but it is still a very unequal society. Not only is White poverty again a problem, but Black poverty remains a much, much greater problem. Despite the reappearance of White poverty and the fact that there are now some rich Black people South Africa remains like Brazil a society where wealth is largely correlated with Whiteness and poverty with Blackness.

The Sanity Inspector said...

The best outcome would have for South Africa to shift away from apartheid during heyday of African independence, in the early 60s. (I'm too lazy to research it, but I think there was one candidate for Prime Minister in those days who wanted to do just that. He lost, needless to say.) The more the regime dug in, the more extreme and violent the opposition became--and the more habit-forming violence and thus crime became. Now poor people of all ethnicities are brutalized by South Africa's runaway crime, caused by massive political events far beyond their control. When the elephants fight, it's the grass that gets trampled.

kokanee said...

Excellent selection of videos. "Racism: A History" is disturbing in the extreme. But it captured the horror and tyranny of slavery and the Jim Crow laws (American Apartheid). It's a must watch.

James Spader said...

All the Afrikaners I've met in America, skilled labor types usually, have been likable, mild and self-effacing people. Of course they're the ones who had the resources to flee. Justice? No such thing.

die said...

Haha, fuck those white poors because at one time their parents did some shitty stuff. Lets shit on them some.

Kill yourself, shitheel.

Götterdammerung said...

Maybe you should get more informed about what Apartheid really was - not the useful idiot propaganda fed to you by overbearing white liberals, Marxists in the shape of the ANC and the SA Communist Party or MSM looking for the next piece of income generating hysterics. Until such time as you understand - and I mean really understand, not parrot something you heard somewhere in the MSM - African history and the dynamic of the different people living there you are just making pseudo-intellectual noise. It always tickles my funny bone that American and Europeans of all varieties think they know what Africa is all about whilst clearly being as clueless as they come

Adam H said...

"am I letting the white poor in America off too easy for their being complicit as a group with American Apartheid?"
I would never let poor white America get off about their complicity in things, but I would also never stop feeling for the poor. Poverty is a disease I would never wish on anyone.