Poor Whites Are The Future of Poor Blacks

For now the Clinton campaign is sticking to the rhetorically strong but intellectually weak argument that 'Make America Great Again' means something like 'Restore Racism as a Guiding Principle.' Sooner or later, however, the machine Democrats backing Clinton over Sanders are going to have to grapple with a reality they are refusing to accept. The Washington Post touches the point without recognizing it.
Gallup asks people to rate their current lives on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is the worst possible life they could be living and 10 is the best. Crucially, they also ask people to imagine what their lives will look like five years in the future.

Among the poor, whites are the demographic group least likely to imagine a better future for themselves, Graham found. Poor Hispanics were about 30 percent more likely to imagine a better future than poor whites. The difference for poor blacks was even larger: They were nearly three times as likely to imagine a better future than poor whites.

The difference in optimism between poor blacks and poor whites is nearly as big as the difference between the poor and the middle class overall: "The average score of poor blacks is large enough to eliminate the difference in optimism about the future between being poor and being middle class (e.g. removing the large negative effect of poverty)," Graham found....

The past 30 or 40 years have seen striking economic and health gains for non-white families -- in part, this is a result of the rolling back of discriminatory policies that kept minorities locked out of middle-class life. But working-class whites may look back and see no similar pattern of gains, in part because they weren't as broadly discriminated against in the first place.

Part of the optimism gap is indeed because of "a shrinking pie of good jobs for low-skill/blue collar workers," Graham said in an email. "Whites used to have real advantages (some via discrimination) that they no longer have ... they are looking at downward mobility or threats of it, while poor blacks and Hispanics are comparing themselves to parents who were worse off than they."
Here's the problem the Post doesn't see. If you look at discrimination in the workplace '30 or 40 years ago' -- that is, reaching all the way back to the mid-70s -- you can see that almost all of the good for poor minorities to be had from ending workplace discrimination has been had. Forty years ago the blue-collar economy was strong enough that it was willing to pay a premium for its racism. Today, it's quite common here in Georgia for me to see 'help wanted' signs printed only in Spanish. Corporations have learned to compete with each other through globalization, importing foreign workers, and yes, through hiring American minorities who live in poorer neighborhoods (and who thus have lower income requirements, and can take lower wages).

This 'ending of racism' is something corporations have congratulated themselves about quite loudly, preferring to see it as a kind of personal enlightenment. Some of it was that: Coca-Cola markets its role in making Atlanta 'the City too Busy to Hate' back in the Civil Rights era, and they deserve the credit. But much of what has happened since the mid-70s has been done not for moral reasons but because the end of corporate racism meant the opening of whole new fields of action for depressing blue-collar wages.

For now it looks like poor blacks and poor Latinos are on the way up, but the truth is that workers of their class are on the way down. It used to be a worker could raise a family. Then it was true that a married couple could raise families if they both worked. Then it was true that probably only one of them could find work, so it was better if it was the mother raising the kids alone -- then she could at least draw welfare. Now it's lucky, in much of what used to be blue-collar American communities, if either of them can find work.

What all that means is that the despair in poor white communities today is the despair of poor black, Latino, and Asian communities tomorrow. For now it looks rosy only because the last 40 years have been a wealth transfer from poor whites to poor minorities. But the game is grinding to a close: poor whites don't have much left to lose. Over time, the same forces that have been spiritually crushing the poor white community will destroy the hopes of other American poor as well.

This is something that Trump and Sanders both seem to grasp, although they have very different plans for approaching it. Maybe neither plan was much good, or was much of a plan, but they were both at least aware of the problem. The Clinton camp denies that the problem exists.

And no wonder. As proven by her actions while Secretary of State with regard to donations to her foundation, the Clinton camp is government for the highest bidder. The highest bidder can be Russian as readily as American. She is the favorite of the Davos crowd, not just the candidate of Wall Street. She personally negotiated the TPP that she now pretends to oppose, just as her husband is the #1 name associated with NAFTA.

For now, the Democratic machine's racially coded language is masking this reality. The coming pain is the dashing of the rising hopes of American minorities. They will be leveled with poor white Americans in a way they didn't expect: by seeing their hopes and dreams equally diminished.

Clinton gave a speech about the inequality between rich and poor the other day, while wearing a twelve-thousand dollar jacket.

This last week, I've read tons about how big a racist Donald Trump is. Maybe he is. But he's not the one profiting from racism. These racially coded appeals are helping a band of thieves swipe an election, so they can sell the power of their office to the highest bidders.


raven said...

The country that Used to be America (UTBA) gave this person a good life, and a chance to build a home and family, after leaving school at 15. I don't think I could make it today, under the same circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Full Speech: Donald Trump San Diego, CA (5-27-16)

Excerpt about the lawsuit:


at 4:28

“the judge, who, we believe, happens to be Mexican, which is great, I think that’s fine. You know what, I think the Mexicans are gonna end up loving Donald Trump, when I give all these jobs. OK? I think they are gonna end up, I think they’re gonna love. I think they’re gonna love me."

The above quote is the basis for all the kerffluffel and claims of racism. What truly frosts my cookies is that nobody, including the Republicans in high public office mouthing off about it, has bothered to find out what he actually said, and notice that this is in no way a racist statement.

He does rake the judge over the coals for his actions, and, in layman's terms, he makes a cognizable case for recusal. The judge, in fact, is a member of La Raza, and an affiliate of La Raza has called for a boycott of all Trump businesses.

There are some people who have been saying that La Raza is an innocent name, but it is a plainly racist organization in at least Texas and California, and has been famous for it, for years.

I don't mind criticizing a candidate for things the candidate has actually done. Our media has been making it up as they go along, and the stupid Republicans have been trusting the media to tell the truth.


Grim said...

You have to understand, from the perspective of Establishment Republicans what he said was racism -- the very definition, as they've been taught to understand it. And they've been taught to understand it by being beaten with it. To suggest that someone can't or won't do his job for racial reasons is to invite a "racist!" firestorm. They can't believe he did this because they've all spent decades having this particular lesson hammered into them.

This is a long way removed from the definition a philosopher would use, but it makes sense given the specific way it has been taught and reinforced to these professional politicians. Vox, which is also a political site, has what they describe as a "thought experiment" to show how racist it was. Now, philosophers do thought experiments. So let's hear theirs:

"Let's imagine, for instance, that a black presidential candidate, Barry Cooker, suggests that a white judge couldn't oversee a lawsuit against him. Here's how that might look, with the wording taken from the Wall Street Journal's report on Trump's racial and ethnic test for a Hispanic judge, except with names and some identifiers switched out:

Mr. Cooker said US District Judge Bob Stevens had "an absolute conflict" in presiding over the litigation given that he was "of white heritage" and a member of a predominantly white lawyers' association. Mr. Cooker said the background of the judge, who was born in Indiana to white Americans, was relevant because of his campaign stance against police brutality against black Americans and support for financial reparations to compensate for centuries of anti-black policies like slavery and segregated housing. "I want him to pay reparations. It's an inherent conflict of interest," Mr. Cooker said."

So, what you probably notice is what I immediately notice: there's no such thing as a white lawyer's association with an equivalent name to "La Raza." "La Raza" means "the Race." It refers specifically to the fake "Race" that Mexican politicians have been trying to cook up for decades as a way of papering over their own internal diversity issues. There is no "White People's Lawyer's Ass'n" existing to convince people of German and Irish descent that they were really part of a master race, and if there were it would be declared illegitimate and discriminatory by the courts.

I think to be genuinely racist, you have to believe that something called 'race' is real, and that it refers to some biological fact about a person, and that this biological fact at least partially determines their character or abilities. To believe that someone belongs to a culture, or that a member of an ethnic group is likely to have had certain experiences that will incline them to think in a given way, that's not really racist. It's not really racist when Sotomayor did it, or when Trump does it. It's ethno-centrist, maybe. But that's a distinction we don't bother to make in politics. We just make a version of Ann Althouse's arguments about science and women: it's fine to say that women are different from men, as long as the difference always proves that they're better. You have to talk about diversity in the same way: any differences that ethnicity might make must be ways in which the 'diverse' groups are superior.

Grim said...

I also think that, though these statements by Sotomayor and Trump are not necessarily racist -- it would be fair to say that their sentiments are about equally "racist" in the political sense of the term. Sotomayor was relying on the experiences of members of her ethnic group in claiming that 'a wise Latina woman' would usually make a better decision than a white man. Trump is saying, "Well, this guy's a Mexican," and clearly he means ethnically since the guy is an American citizen by birth. (Although he may also be a Mexican citizen by birth -- their law assigns it differently -- but he's clearly made his life in America if he's a Federal judge.)

Ultimately it doesn't matter. The politicians are right about the field of battle. This isn't a philosophical dispute, and in our politics Republicans who talk this way are racists. He broke the rules, and didn't talk about a diversity issue in a way that made the diverse side sound wiser, better, more likely to make a good ruling.

Ymar Sakar said...

People were warned that the Demoncrat party was for evil and not for good. It wasn't somebody else's fault people refused to listen. They reap what they sow. Promote evil, get evil. Pretty simple, even those who graduated Yale and Harvard can figure that out if they give it a try.