Sunday, July 31, 2005
Shem Hotep ("I go in peace").
Classism is worst than Racism for Black`s in America. (The Unspoken ISM)
We live in the wealthiest country in the world, but the greatest percentage of that wealth is in the hands of a tiny percentage of the population. It is environmentally and technically possible for everyone to enjoy a good standard of living if wealth were redistributed, exploitation ceased and the arms race abandoned. The inequitable distribution of wealth prevents the whole society from enjoying the full benefits of people`s labor, intelligence and creativity and causes great misery for working class and poor people.
We have all heard of and discussed racism, sexism, homophobia and many other forms of bigotry, but one thing we have left out of the discussion is the poor. Why are the poor getting poorer while the rich are getting richer? This appears to be a fundamental problem in America today for a number of reasons all of which hinge on the simple question, "If we are the land of opportunity, then why don`t the poor get opportunities?" This is a question of education, families, community involvement, job placement, and much more.
To look closer at this problem we notice that the inner city schools are consistently lower standardized test scores than the private or suburban public schools. With just this one indicator we have a number of problems we must face. Maybe the quality of education is lower. If this is the case we have to ask why. In many areas of America, only a small portion of the schools funding comes from the federal government, most comes from local property taxes. This makes it clear how the inner city school would have fewer resources. The poorer neighborhoods have lower property values, so they collect fewer taxes and have fewer resources. Inner city students also face problems of gang violence and drugs at a completely different level than any other type of school. For example, take the existence of metal detectors at the junior high schools so that kids don`t enter school with knives and guns. Another common rule at inner city schools that are prone to violence is the abolition of book bags because you can conceal a great many things in a book bag. These are all little things that point toward a larger more menacing problem. What is happening to the poor?
Classism: Can be a term formed by analogy with racism is any form of prejudice or oppression against people who are in, or who are perceived as being like those who are in, a lower social class (especially in the form of lower socioeconomic status) within a class society. Classism also refers to the ideology behind class conscious peoples. Often time’s anarchists and communists refer to themselves as classists. The classism carried by the ruling class is that of prejudice, and is often seeded in capitalists. Capitalists regard members of the working class to be lower than those people who are members of the ruling class. Classism is also found consistently in most areas of bourgeois culture.
Racism: Refers to beliefs, practices, and institutions that negatively discriminate against people based on their perceived or ascribed race. Sometimes the term is also used to describe the belief that race is the primarydeterminant of human capacities, or that individuals should be treated differently based on their ascribed race. There is a growing, but controversial, tendency to state that racism is a system of oppression that combines racist beliefs - whether they be explicit, tacit or unconscious - with the power to have a negative impact on those discriminated against on a societal level.
AN HISTORICAL DEFINITION OF “WHITE”
The term white as applied to people was first used by slave—owning colonialists in 17th century Maryland and Virginia to describe poor indentured servants who came from Europe. Originally, these servants had been called “Englishmen,” “Irishmen” or “Christians,” but the colonial ruling class began to use the term “white” to distinguish European servants from African ones, who were often called “Negro,” which means “black” in Spanish. The Virginia legislature made the term “white” a legal distinction in 1791, after a series of joint rebellions by European and African servants, culminating in Bacon’s Rebellion of 1676, nearly brought down the colonial rulingpowers.
Some examples of specific types of alleged racism.
Eurocentrism - the sometimes unconscious practice of historically and culturally focusing on white Europeans, to the exclusion of study, or even mention of, significant achievements of other groups of people.
White flight - the practice of white residents abandoning a neighborhood or area due to the arrival of black or other residents, often decimating the tax base and reducing public services. The practice is also known as the tipping point.
White supremacy - the belief that Caucasians are, as a race, superior or worthy of supremacy, even called by some the "master race". Attitudes of suburb and gated community developers, who are often accused of pandering to racist views by emphasizing "crime risk" in more racially diverse downtown’s, especially in North America.
Aryan Nations - a group of militant white supremacists.
Ku Klux Klan - a group of American white supremacists, founded after the Civil War.
Posted by Sawaad Amen Ra at 5:35 PM