Race and politics

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Balbus, Jul 20, 2020.

  1. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    I talk about advantaged and disadvantaged but some on the right want to express this quit literally in black and white terms of advantaged white people and disadvantaged black people.

    It’s a means to divide.

    Thing is while disadvantage can be connected to race it’s not exclusively.

    Traditionally it was a class divide not a racial one – for example in Victorian Britain, there were few ethnic minorities people were by and large white (although there was racial discrimination for example against the Jews and the Irish) but there were still the advantaged and the disadvantaged.

    And the same arguments were used as to why the disadvantaged should not be given assistance

    It was said the disadvantaged (the working and lower classes) where intellectually and morally inferior and by nature lazy idlers – and that was the whole reason why they were disadvantaged.

    But when these classes fought for and got better pay, better working and living conditions and access to education, public services and healthcare it was clear that as a group these people were not inferior or lazy.

    During this time another group that were disadvantaged due to discrimination - not based on race but on sex also gained some advantages that had previously been withheld. Women had also had been seen as inferior in intelligence and incapable of doing ‘men’s work’. Two world wars helped put an end to that thinking.

    Social mobility became more fluid things were not perfect there were still problems and there were still class, race and gender divides but things were going in the right direction - that is up until the 1980’s when right wingers began to try and reverse the trend.
  2. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    The means to divide

    Race especially obvious race can add an extra factor to discrimination and therefore disadvantage – just as been obviously female had for women and it can also be used to divide. Many men that fought against class disadvantages didn’t support women in theirs and just as many didn’t support gay people in theirs.

    The US and UK have large ethnic groups due to immigration and slavery, the US had cotton and Britain had empire and we both needed workers. In the time of empire the UK took slaves to the Caribbean and then when we wanted workers after WWII we imported the descendants of those slaves to fill our job vacancies in the UK, as well as from other places from our empire from India, Pakistan and Africa.

    Many white people were welcoming but others were not and race and immigration has been a wedge used by many on the right ever since from the hotel signs that said ‘no dogs and no blacks’ to the rivers of blood speech to Brexit.

    In the US slavery is often referred to as America’s original sin and even after the end of slavery, racism was still widespread and while many white people fought against it others did not and again it has been used as a wedge to get some disadvantaged to vote against their own self interests.
  3. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Now remember that the same arguments used to uphold disadvantage when race wasn’t a factor and also was also used against women.

    That the disadvantaged are supposedly intellectually and/or morally inferior and/or by nature lazy idlers or incapable of working hard – and that was the whole reason why they were disadvantaged.

    This argument is very appealing to racists and it has been shown that racism is often linked to low levels of educational attainment and its associated disadvantages.

    So if you can convince such people that when talking of the advantaged and disadvantaged it really meant that white people were the advantaged and the disadvantaged were black people.

    Then you could convince a lot of disadvantaged white people to vote for policies that were against their own interests.

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