By Teka Lark
There is a saying, “The white man’s water is colder.” That saying references how within white supremacy white people’s pain, ideas and creativity are more real than non-white people’s.
In many progressive circles (especially communist leaning) when you bring up anti-black racism you’ll often hear it dismissed as a symptom.
There is a subconscious idea that anti-black racism isn’t real.
It usually follows with a parroted paraphrase of Karl Marx: Racism is a symptom of capitalism. We need to work on ridding the world of capitalism.
For some reason when white, Latino and black people say this they don’t realize how stand alone racist it sounds.
It is a white racial framing of history. The white racial frame is the master frame any thought idea or belief is viewed from the historical narrative of whiteness.
I highly suggest you read Joe Feagins book the “White Racial Frame.”
Most people do not understand the context in which that was stated or the history of the man that came up with the theory. It was written in the essay “Wage Labor in Capital” by Karl Marx in 1847.
Marx father converted from Judaism to Lutheranism to escape one of the oldest forms of racism, anti-antisemitism. And though Marx was Jewish he had some very anti-semitic writing. As there are black people who want to believe that racism can be behaved away with respectability politics there are Jewish people who truly think that if they just changed their name and agree with anti-antisemitism that anti-antisemitism will go away.
Oppressed people often make up logical reasons for their oppression and they often like to imagine that the basis of their oppression is something they can control, even the great and troubled ones like Karl Marx.
According to Plater Robinson’s book “Deathly Silence, Everyday People in the Holocaust” anti-antisemitism, which is racism, can be traced back at least to 72 A.D. when the Romans expelled the Jews from Palestine. During the Crusades before the Christians killed the Muslims in Israel they killed the Jews at home first.
These events are clearly long before the existence of capitalism and disrupts Marx entire theory on racism.
Jewish is a manmade category.
Black is manmade category.
Both are valid categories in the present era.
Capitalism isn’t a tree with racist, homophobic, classist and sexist leaves.
A better analogy is weaponry.
Racism, classism and sexism are all equal weapons to oppress people. They are EQUAL oppressors. Classism isn’t more valid, because it is the only one that directly impacts white, cis-men.
The real disease isn’t capitalism. And the problem isn’t even a disease. The problem is a sociopathic killer, in cultures viewed through the white supremacy’s lens, the killer’s name is oppression.
Oppression is carried out with various violent weaponry.
Oppression occurred during the era of the monarchy, continued on with imperialism and exists now in capitalism.
One of the newer weapons is the anti-black form of racism. An older weapons is anti-antisemitism. An even older weapon is sexism. Newer weapons are always more efficient weapons, but any weapon can kill you if you know how to use it correctly.
The weapon of racism may have initially been used just for hunting purposes, so only dangerous during hunting i.e. in relationships when black people are poor and white people are rich.
Currently the weapon of anti-black racism is used for all kinds of purposes. I’m not poor yet I experience racism. Anti-black racism has moved beyond its initial point and if you can’t see that, it’s because you’re probably you are not acknowledging your white racial framing of history.
A person of any race can have a white racial framing of history.
Many people argue that race is a manmade concept. That is not real.
What isn’t a man made concept? Sexism is manmade. Homophobia is manmade. Poverty is a man made concept. War is a man made concept.
Should we not discuss those either? Is ending war a pointless conversation, because the root of it is capitalism and money? I doubt many in progressive circles would shut down the war conversation to discuss capitalism.
If I took a gun and shot you in the head, because of an imaginary fight I got in with you in my own head is my action not something that should be discussed?
The implication when you imply racism is a symptom of capitalism means that you assume that racism is actually rational.
Racism is simply a quicker way to make money.
Racism is validated by cognitive dissonance. Anti-black racism is validated by the white racial frame. That filters everything from art, to culture, to history from the white supremacy perspective. It even filters people’s pain. Anti-black racism isn’t real, because black isn’t real. Black people aren’t real people.
That’s what saying racism isn’t real is saying.
Hijacking race conversation with the “real reason” is capitalism just proves that racism has nothing to do with capitalism, because even within anti-capitalism circles the white man’s water is still colder, even if he’s Jewish.
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Truth to Power.