If a white man wants to lynch me, that's his problem. If he's got the power to lynch me, that's my problem. Racism is not a question of attitude; it's a question of power. Racism gets its power from capitalism. Thus, if you're anti-racist, whether you know it or not, you must be anti-capitalist. The power for racism, the power for sexism, comes from capitalism, not an attitude.

— Stokely Carmichael

· · SubwayTooter · 2 · 83 · 71

@gcupc I don't think racism is dependent on any particular political or economic system. You can have racism in a monarchy. Also, the Civil Rights movement in the United States flourished in a capitalistic system. Capitalism was the reason banks started pushing for minority ownership of things like gas stations. This quote is full of ideological and logical problems. Capitalism isn't one thing, and it also can't exist beneficially without lots of regulation (child labor laws, OSHA, etc.)

@djsumdog okay, how much do you know of the history of racism as we think of it today? Because my education in studying Western Africa included a lot of information indicating our modern conception of race itself arose as a tool of capitalistic expansion, specifically a reactionary justification for the originally economically-motivated institution of chattel slavery. Not to mention the assuagement of guilt over Native genocide. @gcupc

@djsumdog indeed, the argument can be made - and has been made - that in most respects, race is simply an expansion of class, only this time defined by one's skin tone. If you look at the sorts of oppression faced by people of color, it is quite often economic in nature, directly or indirectly. Colonialism was justifiable because of racism, but it happened because of the desire to exploit natural resources owned by other people. @gcupc

@marie_joseph @djsumdog @gcupc if you even just look at the ways racism manifest in personal prejudice, associations like "lazy," "thieving," "greedy," "soullessly efficient" etc justify and enforce class divides

@djsumdog this argument has been made by plenty of great thinkers. Stokley Carmichael / Kwame Ture, obviously, as well as better-known names like MLK, Malcolm X, and WEB DuBois. DuBois explicitly argued that the best tool to end racism was economic success as race and economics are so deeply intertwined. Assuming I'm remembering correctly and that wasn't someone else... @gcupc

@djsumdog the important bit here is that modern conceptions of race and the development of racism happened at exactly the same time, in the same spaces, and among the same people as the invention of capitalism @gcupc

@marie_joseph This is so true. Where I live, the Venn diagram of people considered "working class" and people considered ethnic minorities is a circle.

@djsumdog last thing - I don't mean to suggest race and racism are *only* economic. Race and racism have ballooned into much more complex issues. Rather, they are deeply tied to economics to a point that fighting racism and fighting capitalism are the same. @gcupc

@marie_joseph @gcupc I agree the idea of 'race' is recent. When the Gingers hated the pollacks and the pols hated the wops, there wasn't a general unifications of "white" until late. Antebellum slavery was very different from any other form of slavery in history. New world, new nation, and easy for people to run from indentured servitude. I'd highly recommend Graber's book "Debt: The First 5,000 Years" which goes into the history of debt, money and slavery (which all share very common roots).

@marie_joseph @gcupc I disagree that fighting racism and capitalism are the same though. The current systems may have allowed forms of classism to flourish, but I still think you'd see that in any system. Orwell's Animal Farm shows that a group might rise up, even with a clean revolution with minimal causalities ..and yet people will still convinces others they should be in charge. Racism, classism, propaganda .. they are all means to an end of power, and some will always rise to fill that space

@djsumdog honestly, as long as you're down to fight racism and capitalism, and you listen to the people facing oppression, idc if you agree or not; we are still comrades :) @gcupc

@djsumdog @marie_joseph @gcupc heard the concept of Racial Capitalism? Nonracial capitalism is nonexistent. Capitalism and its evils arose from and aimed at perpetuating the racial violences imposed on the racialised in Europe.

Ruthy Wilson Gilmore's video on racial capitalism and abolition as well as Robin DG Kelley's lecture on the same topic are good and quick introductions to this concept.

@cohencohen @djsumdog @marie_joseph Does that idea come from Cedric Robinson's *Black Marxism*? That is on my reading list, but I have not gotten to it yet.

@cohencohen @djsumdog @gcupc I'm still watching the second video, but I'm seeing that my timeline was off. Which isn't surprising because the argument I've made is a synthesis of disparate information.

Very interesting

@djsumdog @gcupc
Racial superiority (or superiority in any other shape) might exist in any economic system but, the oppression is due to the concentration of power. Any system capable of exerting such network effects on the flow of capital would give rise to oppression.

@djsumdog @gcupc
Also, the CivilRightsMovement coincided with last decade of embedded capitalism. USA was largely a welfare state. This was the time when people would laugh at Nixon, love was in the air, neoliberalism was frowned upon in the academia and there was no Nobel for Economics. Capitalism was literally in a grave danger and Thatcher had not prophesied 'TINA' to the future leaders of the western world.

@djsumdog @gcupc
A perfect example of what Carmichael is talking about is present day India - it was always anti-muslim, racist, casteist. Now, that it has become the world's biggest neoliberal experiment for the US economists and consultancy groups, we have lynchings, riots on a regular basis. India, the Holy Cow was ridiculous but, India, the Capitalist Cow, has blood on its horns.

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