This is a reply to Max Shields from Dissident Voice, as here. Max’s words are in italics.
“Brian Koontz, I had not read your post before writing mine. I think we’re saying much the same. I would differ somewhat on the extent to which most American blacks have gained from a largely white driven empire.”
I think it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 billion people in the world living (barely and often not for long) on $2 a day or less. Don’t kid yourself – American blacks have benefited tremendously from the American criminal machine. And they know it – which is why they ask the monster for reparations just for them (and maybe also for the 400,000 remaining indigenous Americans) instead of demanding that the monster give out true reparations to all it’s victims. American blacks don’t want justice – they want wealth. They want to move to a higher rung on the criminal ladder. Check out Michael Eric Dyson as he drools over the possibility of “one of his own”, Barack Obama, possibly gaining the high seat of the American throne.
“The voice for the voiceless?” It’s not American blacks who have no voice – it’s the blacks and the “blacks” of the third world who have no voice. American blacks don’t give a shit about them.
Martin Luther King made a critical error when his vision was one of integration. One cannot change the beast from within – it can only be killed from without. It’s the global population – a global democratic movement that will destroy all forms of oppression including the American empire. And you’d better believe that most American blacks will side with the empire instead of with the global democratic movement. The empire has the wealth that American blacks covet. They just want a piece of the pie that was made with blood, sweat, and so many tears.
“Still, on the whole there is great complicity regarding racism. Experiments by Milgram on authoritarianism in the 1960s showed just how universal some of our worst traits. It just takes the right conditions for us to be willing to hate and kill.”
Emotions are derived from social relationships (both real and pursued). That is to say, if you plan to steal and subjugate someone you hate him in order to make the theft, subjugation, and possible murder all the easier (both instrumentally easier and easier on your psyche). This truth is utterly universal.
“Colonialization, as you rightly note, is not something that happens exclusively to external lands, but also within the borders of nations, in this case the USA. There are issues with nation-states which we cannot readily dismiss. A nation the size with the population of the US is nearly impossible to construct without imposing the very same neo-liberal and imperial approaches to its cities and various poor rural areas as it does tries to do in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East (and to some degree in Southeast Asia).”
“This is very fundamental to the issue of racism in America, but there is no denying that the citizens of this nation are complicit, regardless of color, in the racist, imperialistic empire we perpetrate on many areas of the world where we have military outposts and settlements.”
Right – it’s about who gets the money – and American blacks are in a completely different position from third world blacks. While most of the wealth transfer goes from third world peoples to the American elite, American non-elite, white, black, and otherwise, share in the criminal gains.
“Poor Americans may have some benefits from that set up, but there is a major issue of proportionality.”
If one man steals $10 Million and another steals $1,000, both are criminals. For the latter to say “well, proportionally I’m not nearly as bad” is a weak argument. And, proportionally, black Americans have 10% of the wealth of white Americans (per capita). What percent of the wealth of white Americans do black third-worlders have? And more importantly, how many Americans care? And more importantly yet, how many Americans are willing to do something about it?
“Still, the deep seated willingness to look the other way on the part of most Americans – regardless of color – as we perpetrate racist hegemony cannot be denied, anymore than our at home statistics against minorities and poor.”
Yep – and it has nothing to do with racism – since black Americans hardly care more about black third-worlders than white Americans do. It has to do with “looking out for #1”, the capitalist ethos of utter greed. The most common excuse is “I’m taking care of my family”. A mafia boss uses the same argument.
“Nevertheless, I think we are all capable of changing our world, through local transformation. This can and should be done in solidarity with our diverse cultures, ethnicities and races. Or, we can just keep calling one another racists. Choice is ours.”
We’re not racists – racism is created and maintained solely by the elites who benefit from divisions within the exploited class (per divide and conquer). However, we need to wake the hell up to our own moral failings and recognize the power that we have to improve the world. The world can be changed – but only if we have real solutions and aren’t just lesser versions of the monsters we claim to despise.