Cap Against Race Affs—UMich 2013



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AT: Cap Can’t Explain all racism

  1. Even if rich black people experience racism it’s a vestige of capitalism—capitalism wants us to expect black people to always be poor so that racism is a result of capitalist expectations being subverted

  2. Cap can explain all racism—race as a concept did not exist before it was economically useful for slave traders—their argument is historically disproven




  1. Race was created to sustain slavery, not vice versa—it’s an undoable social construction


Fields 90 (Barbara Jane, professor of American history at Columbia University, “Slavery, Race and Ideology in the United States of America”, New Left Review 181, May/June 1990, JSTOR)//AS

Racial ideology supplied the means of explaining slavery to people whose terrain was a republic founded on radical doctrines of liberty and natural rights; and, more important, a republic in which those doctrines seemed to represent accurately the world in which all but a minority lived. Only when the denial of liberty became an anomaly apparent even to the least observant and reflective members of Euro- American society did ideology systematically explain the anomaly. But slavery got along for a hundred years after its establishment without race as its ideological rationale. The reason is simple. Race explained why some people could rightly be denied what others took for granted: namely, liberty, supposedly a self-evident gift of nature’s God. But there was nothing to explain until most people could, in fact, take liberty for granted—as the indentured servants and disfranchised freedmen of colonial America could not. Nor was there anything calling for a radical explanation where everyone in society stood in a relation of inherited subordination to someone else: servant to master, serf to nobleman, vassal to overlord, overlord to king, king to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It was not Afro-Americans, furthermore, who needed a racial explanation; it was not they who invented themselves as a race. Euro- Americans resolved the contradiction between slavery and liberty by defining Afro-Americans as a race; Afro-Americans resolved the contradiction more straightforwardly by calling for the abolition of slavery. From the era of the American, French and Haitian revolutions on, they claimed liberty as theirs by natural right.38 They did not originate the large nineteenth-century literature purporting to prove their biological inferiority, nor, by and large, did they accept it. Vocabulary can be very deceptive. Both Afro- and Euro-Americans used the words that today denote race, but they did not understand those words the same way. Afro-Americans understood the reason for their enslavement to be, as Frederick Douglass put it, ‘not color, but crime’.39 Afro-Americans invented themselves, not as a race, but as a nation. They were not troubled, as modern scholars often are, by the use of racial vocabulary to express their sense of nationality. Afro- American soldiers who petitioned on behalf of ‘These poor nation of colour’ and ‘we Poore Nation of a Colered rast [race]’ saw nothing incongruous about the language.40

  1. It is through economic situations that racism is perpetuated—dismantling capitalism solves


Koepke 07 (Deanna Jacobsen, PhD candidate in Human and Organizational. Development at Fielding Graduate University, “RACE, CLASS, POVERTY, AND CAPITALISM”, Race, Gender and Class 14:3-4, 2007, ProQuest)//AS

While discrimination is not always a problem, a lack of reserve resources is. William Julius Wilson wrote that class is actually a bigger determining factor for life chances than race is (Conley, 1999). As mentioned previously, there is little hope of overcoming poverty when there is little or no income, no reserve savings to cover emergencies, unmanageable levels of debt, and no "fun" money with which one can escape the daily burdens, even if only for a little while (Marable, 2000). There is definitely a lack of security felt since that is frequently supported by the amount of money one has upon which to rely (Taylor, 2007). Banks will not usually lend money for mortgages in neighborhoods where more than fifty percent of the units are rentals, as many poor and Black ones are (Conley, 1999; Williams, 2001). However, if one is able to purchase a house, it may be worth less because of the neighborhoods in which it is located, as determined by the market and society. Home ownership is one of the simplest ways to build personal wealth, so this is yet another way people are prevented from doing so. Additionally, Blacks have shorter life expectancies, so they are likely to earn less over a lifetime than Whites and have less opportunity to save wealth and pass it on to their children (Conley, 1999). The same can be said for people living in poverty. Education is another area where race and class intersect. Although the dominant group gives lip service to the idea that education is the ticket out of poverty, the truth is that a less educated labor force is easier to manipulate so they can stay in power (Freire, 1970; Sernau, 2001). Victims of racism and classism may even question why they should bother getting an education at all when they can expect to be discriminated against and only hold menial jobs (Council of Economic Adisors, 1965a). Myrdal wrote of what he called cumulative causation (Sernau, 2001), and it affects people of color and people living in poverty equally. The poor are subjected to inadequate school funding and then blamed by society for not valuing education. They are placed in substandard public housing in bad neighborhoods and then are criticized for not keeping up the property. They are denied job opportunities and then are shunned for not valuing hard work. They are denied the resources that would allow them to improve themselves and are then denigrated for not doing so. The truth is that privilege equals choices. Options for people of color and the poor are reduced, and the ones available to them subject them to scrutiny, ridicule, and penalties and deprivation (Frye, 2007). Actions are shaped by circumstances and the circumstances that the poor and people of color live with are lacking in opportunity. There is no voice for them in our democracy, and there is little or no hope. They do not have the ability to control their own lives (Beeghley, 2000). Within that context, nearly all social services programs sanction behavior change (Piven, 2001) rather than celebrating diversity and the resourcefulness employed by people of color and those living in poverty. Rather than feeling they have a purpose in life, they are merely taking what they can get to survive (West, 1993).
  1. Class and race are mutually constitutive—capital created the concept of race for its own ends


Brodkin 2000 (Karen, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of California Los Angeles, “998 AES Keynote Address": Global Capitalism: What's Race Got to Do with It?”, American Ethnologist 27:2, May 2000, WILEY)//AS

In the remainder of this article, I will use the United States as an illustrative caseto develop further my argument that capitalism is causally and systemically linked to the construction of race and racism. I will show that relations to the means of capital- ist production in the United States have been organized in ways that are consistent with nationalist constructions of national subjects and internal aliens. The central theoretical point I wish to advance is that race in the United States has historically been a key relationship to the means of capitalist production, and gender construc- tions are what has made race corporeal, material, and visible. In Marxist thought, re- lations to the means of production are class relations. To argue that race is a relation- ship to the means of production is not to reduce race to class. Rather, it is to complicate each term, to argue that race and class are mutually constitutive, two facets of thesame process that apply to both the structure of productive relationships and people's consciousnesses or identities. It is in such socially structured identities that the nation- alist and capitalist projects connect. Current interest in identities-especially the conventional threesome of race, class, and gender-has addressed the cultural content of identities for actors, as well as for the national hegemonic structures that make them meaningful for people to in- terpret, enact, and embrace. I think it is fair to say that they are dialectical: State pol- icy, law, and popular discourse make race and gender matter for one's life chances; people embrace these categories because they matter, but they do not inhabit them in the ways hegemonic institutions and discourses construct them; popular enactments in turn reshape hegemonic practices. Class is often the Cinderella in analyses of this threesome with respect to national projects. That is, it is treated as a "lifestyle choice of you and your family," as Lillian Robinson (1995:8) puts it when criticizing scholars who treat class as if it were a set of cultural choices that are unrelated to economic structures. But one could also challenge the lack of attention to economics in analyses of race in the same way that Robinson does for class. True, the state, nationalism, and civic discourse have gotten a lot of play on the structural side of race. But the organi- zation of production and the racial division of labor, though well described, are poorly theorized. Thinking theoretically about the ways that race and ethnicity work as a relationship to the means of capitalist production in the United States can help us understand how global capitalism might feed nationalism even as it seems to erode states.




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