I hope that you are having a restful Labor Day as you eat your lips, anuses, and other innards filled stomach linings, meat patties made from feeding the bodies of the dead to the living, and drinking ethanol based cool and refreshing beverages.
Labor Day was founded in order to honor the working people of the world. As happens with most remembrances and days of honor, Labor Day has been stripped of contemplation and meditation as it was baptized and transformed into an American public holiday.
W.E.B. DuBois, titan of American letters, history, and philosophy wrote extensively about labor and the color line. DuBois was writing about the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the first two decades of the 21st century, Americans have been witness to an increase in racial animus, the public union of white supremacy and the Republican Party, state sponsored violence against people of color, the politics of white rage in Ferguson and elsewhere, the subversion of democracy by the Supreme Court and decisions such as Citizens United and Hobby Lobby, herrenvolk politics, Republican efforts to reinstate Jim and Jane Crow, summary executions and neo-lynchings by white vigilantes acting under wicked "stand your ground laws", the continued assault on the poor and working classes, and the triumph of neoliberalism and the corporate state.
Almost one hundred years ago, W.E.B. DuBois made the following observations in The Negro Mind Reaches Out about the relationship between labor and race. His insights were prescient; in many ways, they accurately describe America in the Age of Obama.
The emphases are mine:
The attitude of the white laborer toward colored folk is largely a matter of long continued propaganda and gossip. The white laborers can read and write, but beyond this their education and experience are limited and they live in a world of color prejudice. The curious, most childish propaganda dominates us, by which good, earnest, and even intelligent men have come by millions to believe almost religiously that white folk are a peculiar and chosen people whose one great accomplishment is civilization and that civilization must be protected from the rest of the world by cheating, stealing, lying, and murder.
The propaganda, the terrible, ceaseless propaganda that buttresses this belief day by day—the propaganda of poet and novelist, the uncanny welter of romance, the half knowledge of scientists, the pseudo-science of statesmen-all these, united in the myth of mass inferiority of most men, have built a wall which many centuries will not break down. Born into such a spiritual world, the average white worker is absolutely at the mercy of its beliefs and prejudices.
Color hate easily assumes the form of a religion and the laborer becomes the blind executive of the decrees of the masters of the white world; he votes armies and navies for "punitive" expeditions; he sends his sons as soldiers and sailors; he composes the Negro-hating mob, demands Japanese exclusion and lynches untried prisoners. What hope is there that such a mass of dimly thinking and misled men will ever demand universal democracy for all men?