Thanks David for your response. I do on occasion read Umair Haque’s writings here on Medium, but I’ve also done extensive reading and research on my on. I’m from South Carolina, a descendant of slaves and “supposedly” a also a descendant of the Cherokee Nation. I’ve had to deal with racism all of my life. But I’ve also had a love/hate relationship with our history because it does omit so much, and tends to favor the story tellers. At the root of fascism is us against them. You can call it oppression politics, identity politics but we keep making nice names for what it really is. As long as we call these instances of us and them something other than what it is, then it takes the sting away from it. It makes it nice and tidy for White people to swallow and ignore.
While the Wikipedia definition gives a general description, it does not go into detail into how nation’s fell under the rule of totalitarian, fascists leaders. If you study the ground work laid before a nation became comfortable with fascism, you’d understand where I was coming from.
The bottom line is Blacks and people of color are far more likely to see America as a practitioner of fascism, having dealt with long histories of presidents and state governments using dictatorial power to treat them as less than Whites, forcible suppression (from voting suppression, employment suppression, community, school and college segregation, Black public school to prison pipelines) of opposition (hanging Blacks for opposing Jim Crow, Black balling Black men for protesting police brutality, Black balling Black celebrities and entertainers in America for speaking out on racism in America forcing them overseas, exclusion from society/economic development opportunities) and strong regimentation of society and of the economy (making sure Whites run everything, relinquishing little power and maintaining the status quo).
As a White person I don’t really expect you to understand the connection, because you haven’t really been impacted by America’s social order. Everyday you wake up, you’re on top, regardless of whether your girl friend is White or Black because you’re a White man. You can have White friends or Black friends, it doesn’t really matter. Nothing stops your success or failure in America except your own actions.
Black people on the other hand deal with discrimination from the time their born until the time they die. Unlike other ethnic groups who got to choose to come here for a better life, they aren’t seen in the same way as Blacks, the descendants of slaves. It’s so hard to have this kind of conversation on a blog/social media, but like you I really wish we could get beyond color but we can’t. Whites loves to say they wish we could, as if Blacks don’t wish the same. But the social order in America literally makes it impossible because of the ingrained politics behind racial constructs and it all ties to the economy (White wealth). They must keep certain groups oppressed in order to maintain wealth. Can’t have too many colored folks getting wealthy because that means they’d be equal to Whites. That was what slavery was all about, that’s what racism is all about, and that’s what capitalism is all about.
It’s easy to see how fascism is intertwined in the fabric of our history…if you’ve been on the receiving end of the violence and economic suppression. If you haven’t, well I reckon you won’t know until you sit in a room with some Black intellects and common folks who are able to discuss the systemic impact the politics has had on generations of us.
We are judged by the color of our skin first, then if we don’t make White people feel uncomfortable or threatened, then and only then are we judged based on qualifications, the character of our skin, etc. I don’t care how rich a Black person is, I’m sure they have more than a few stories to tell about living on the other side of the tracks in America.
I will judge you David on the content of your character. I trust you mean no ill will. I also understand you may never truly understand what it is to be a Black man, a Black boy or a Black woman in America. Our walks are different, but I’m never letting America off the hook for our history too many White folks fail to acknowledge. We’re at a critical point. White people in power have made decisions that impact me and my people since slavery, therefore I must judge White people accordingly. I hope you’d understand this.