Ah, my socialist friends at the Jacobin and the Intercept.
Marcus H. Johnson
153

The turn from the reality of class to the sociological fiction of race is one of the most disastrous moves black Americans and their would-be allies have made in recent years. The result is that everyone, black and white alike, has become obsessively focused on race and racial differences, which has made those differences more salient for everyone, increased racism and racial polarization and led to alienated poor and working-class whites fleeing the Democratic Party and voting for Trump, which is a trend I’ve described, with relevant statistics, here: http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/why-democrat-refugees-are-swelling-trumps-support/17816. Without the support of poor and working-class whites, who are still an overwhelming majority in this country, it will be difficult if not impossible for poor and working-class blacks to achieve anything. Racism in this country is routinely reinforced by the fact that blacks are disproportionately poor here, and poverty means high crime, low education, drug use, broken families, etc., all of which leads other people to judge blacks negatively. As such, the only realistic way to address racism is to fight black poverty. Only when blacks are fully integrated among whites and others and dealing with white people on equal terms as part of the same families, workplaces, neighborhoods, schools, etc., will anti-black racism dissipate. And the only way to fight black poverty is a trans-racial coalition of poor and working-class whites and blacks allied together against corporate America, the 1%, the donor class and the rest of those people who have an interest in maintaining the status quo. If you don’t implement real class-based reforms that lifts all boats (but more black boats since blacks are disproportionately poor in America), you can browbeat white people about how racist they are all you want, and the result will be just to make them angrier and more alienated, without solving any of the underlying issues. So, no, anyone voting for Corporate Clinton, the status quo candidate par excellence, isn’t helping black Americans one bit.

As far as the war on drugs, one statement by Ehrlichman is one statement by Ehrlichman, but the people involved in creating the war on drugs are many, many politicians and people over the course of many years, and you can’t seriously be paranoid enough to believe that all of them (or even a substantial number) were just trying to hurt blacks, especially when, as I said, many of these reforms enjoyed widespread popularity in black neighborhoods at the time.

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