Friday, October 30, 2009

The nature of racism

by Rightard Whitey

photo credit: The Black Sentinel

If you study racism, you will discover much of it is the aftermath of war. The Southern states never had the economic vitality of the north and the people who settled the southern part of the US were different from the people who settled the North. As Alexis de Toqueville stated:

The men sent to Virginia were seekers of gold, adventurers without resources and without character, whose turbulent and restless spirit endangered the infant colony...Artisans and agriculturalists arrived afterwards...hardly in any respect above the level of the inferior classes in England. No lofty views, no spiritual conception presided over the foundation of these new settlements. 

The colony was scarcely established when slavery was introduced; this was the capital fact which was to exercise an immense influence on the character, the laws and the whole future of the South. Slavery...dishonors labor; it introduces idleness into society, and with idleness, ignorance and pride, luxury and distress. It enervates the powers of the mind and benumbs the activity of man. On this same English foundation there developed in the North very different characteristics.

In 1855, de Toqueville wrote the following text published by Maria Weston Chapman in the Liberty Bell: Testimony against Slavery:

I do not think it is for me, a foreigner, to indicate to the United States the time, the measures, or the men by whom Slavery shall be abolished. Still, as the persevering enemy of despotism everywhere, and under all its forms, I am pained and astonished by the fact that the freest people in the world is, at the present time, almost the only one among civilized and Christian nations which yet maintains personal servitude; and this while serfdom itself is about disappearing, where it has not already disappeared, from the most degraded nations of Europe.

An old and sincere friend of America, I am uneasy at seeing Slavery retard her progress, tarnish her glory, furnish arms to her detractors, compromise the future career of the Union which is the guaranty of her safety and greatness, and point out beforehand to her, to all her enemies, the spot where they are to strike. 

After the Civil War the slaves were freed, but Jim Crow laws were passed that assured de jure segregation until 1965. These laws and the Klu Klux Klan also suppressed the black vote in the South until LBJ got the Voting Rights Act passed in the mid-sixties. Blacks were not allowed to marry whites either until miscegenation laws were overturned in the 1960s as well.

The blacks became the scapegoat of the Civil War. Many Southerners still blame the loss of civil War on black Americans. Many blacks served in the Union Army, but Southerners were afraid to arm their black slaves. When the South lost the war, the blacks became a convenient bogeyman. 

Fast forward to World War 1. The War was stalemate until the British introduced tanks on the battlefield and aircraft started conducting reconnaissance and bombing missions which made trench warfare obsolete. 

In Germany, Jews were not allowed to own property and had to live in the cities. The Spartacist uprising (German: Spartakusaufstand), also known as the January uprising (Januaraufstand), was a general strike (and the armed battles accompanying it) in Germany from January 5 to January 12, 1919. Although this strike started after the war ended, there were more than 60 strikes in Germany during World War 1.

The name Spartacist uprising was only one of a number of reasons contributing to disillusionment within Germany towards the Weimar Government. One of the most important labor leaders, Rosa Luxemburg, was Jewish.

When the stike was suppressed by the Freikorps, who had weapons left over from the war, the strike leaders were executed. Many of the Nazi leaders such as Adolf Hitler, had been members of the Freikorps. Hitler actually got his start in politics by spying on liberals, socialists and German communists.

Hitler blamed the strikes and the Jewish leaders of the stikes for the loss of World War 1. This is the basis of much of the German anti-Semitism that led up to World War 2. Hitler was well aware of the Final Solution and wanted all the Jews in occupied areas exterminated so they would not be able to retaliate against the sons of daughters of the Nazis.

The Nazi movement was syndicalist rather than socilist. Hitler killed off most of the socialist Sturmabteilung  or SA in the Nazi party during the Night of the Long Knives. Hitler ordered the head of the SA, Ernst Röhm, to be shot when he refused to commit suicide. Of interest, it was the efforts of the SA that provided Hitler's rise to power.

Heinrich Himmler. the SS chief, was more pragmatic and wanted to ransom Jews for 1000 trucks and hard cash. Himmler realized by the end of the war that the Final Solution was a huge mistake, but it was his SS forces that implemented it.

While the blacks were the scapegoats in the South for the Civil War, the Jews were the scapegoats in Germany after World War 1. Hitler may have believed the Germans would have won if the strikes hadn't occured, but Americas' entry into the war sealed the fate of the Germans.

The common racist experiences of blacks and Jews may explains the historic affinity of many American Jews for the plight of blacks in this country. Scapegoats are always needed by defeated nations to rationalize their own failures. 

source: Wikipedia

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