Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Time for a "left love child"

Tarso Ramos, executive director of the essential think tank Political Research Associates, proposes a left response to the Donald Trump phenomenon which we would all do well to internalize.

Beyond Trump: Disrupt, Defuse, Compete
... the racism that once helped to build the White middle class has for decades been strategically redeployed by the Right to undermine public support for democratic institutions and antipoverty programs. The result: falling real wages and accelerated income and wealth inequality even among Whites. Simply put, racism is destroying the American middle and working classes.

But that story is not told clearly, loudly, or often enough. Most liberal discussion of the economy addresses race, if at all, in terms of disproportionate economic hardship. And much of the current national discussion about racism only addresses jobs and the economy in order to pivot away from the realities of racism. What we need is a synthesis.

As Heather McGhee and Ian Haney-López have argued, “The progressive movement should expand from a vision of racism as violence done solely to people of color to include a conception of racism as a political weapon wielded by elites against the 99 percent, nonwhite and white alike.” Call it the love child of Black Lives Matter and Occupy. Let’s make it clear that racism is not a viable vehicle for economic advancement for the growing White precariat. ...

Recent movement eruptions have called out what's wrong (Occupy) and that it will take stubborn self-love that's both smart and principled (Black Lives Matter) to change those things. The Donald makes sitting on the sidelines unacceptable.

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