Cap Against Race Affs—UMich 2013

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

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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).

Race is a construction borne of economics—change in the definition of whiteness proves

Gans 05 (Herbert J., merican sociologist who has taught at Columbia University between 1971 and 2007, “Race as Class”, Contexts 4:4, November 2005, University of Michigan Libraries)//AS

Race became a marker of class and status almost with the first settling of the United States. The country’s initial holders of cultural and political power were mostly WASPs (with a smattering of Dutch and Spanish in some parts of what later became the United States). They thus automatically assumed that their kind of whiteness marked the top of the class hierarchy. The bottom was assigned to the most powerless, who at first were Native Americans and slaves. However, even before the former had been virtually eradicated or pushed to the country’s edges, the skin color and related facial features of the majority of colonial America’s slaves had become the markers for the lowest class in the colonies. Although dislike and fear of the dark are as old as the hills and found all over the world, the distinction between black and white skin became important in America only with slavery and was actually established only some decades after the first importation of black slaves. Originally, slave owners justified their enslavement of black Africans by their being heathens, not by their skin color. In fact, early Southern plantation owners could have relied on white indentured servants to pick tobacco and cotton or purchased the white slaves that were available then, including the Slavs from whom the term slave is derived. They also had access to enslaved Native Americans. Blacks, however, were cheaper, more plentiful, more easily controlled, and physically more able to survive the intense heat and brutal working conditions of Southern plantations. After slavery ended, blacks became farm laborers and sharecroppers, de facto indentured servants, really, and thus they remained at the bottom of the class hierarchy. When the pace of industrialization quickened, the country needed new sources of cheap labor. Northern industrialists, unable andunwilling to recruit southern African Americans, brought in very poor European immigrants, mostly peasants. Because these people were near the bottom of the class hierarchy, they were considered nonwhite and classified into races. Irish and Italian newcomers were sometimes even described as black (Italians as “guineas”), and the eastern and southern European immigrants were deemed “swarthy.” However, because skin color is socially constructed, it can also be reconstructed. Thus, when the descendants of the European immigrants began to move up economically and socially, their skins apparently began to look lighter to the whites who had come to America before them. When enough of these descendents became visibly middle class, their skin was seen as fully white. The biological skin color of the second and third generations had not changed, but it was socially blanched or whitened. The process probably began in earnest just before the Great Depression and resumed after World War II. As the cultural and other differences of the original European immigrants disappeared, their descendants became known as white ethnics..
Slavery was not initially associated with Africans – capitalist economics, not racism, perpetuated slavery

Drescher 97 – Ph.D @ U of Wisconsin-Madison, Professor of History and Sociology @ U of Pittsburgh (Seymour, Slavery & Abolition, 18:3, pages 212-213, “Slavery and capitalism after fifty years”, 1997, RSpec)

Perhaps the best point of departure is the collective volume that emerged from the fortieth anniversary conference on Capitalism and Slavery, held at Bellagio, Italy, and was published in 1987. The editors, Barbara L. Solow and Stanley L. Engerirían, divided the non-biographical contributions into three parts, corresponding to three major hypotheses on the relationship between economic development and slavery in the British empire. We may appropriately test the first hypothesis most briefly. Williams only briefly broached the subject and his assessment has not been of major historiographical interest in the subsequent literature. Williams took the position that economic factors rather than racism occupied pride of place in the switch to African labour in the plantation Americas, that slavery 'was not bom of racism' but rather slavery led to racism. Although some recent interpretations make racial preferences and inhibitions central to the choice of African labour, Williams's order of priorities, if not his either-or approach, is supported by a survey of hundreds of articles. They show virtual unanimity on the primacy of economics in accounting for the turn toward slave labour. Non-economic factors, such as race or religion, entered into the development of New World slavery only as a limiting parameter. Such factors affected the historical sequence by which entire human groups (Christians, Jews, Muslim North Africans, Native Americans) were excluded from liability to enslavement in the Atlantic system. Since Williams published his book, the main change in the historiographical context of origins is an increase in the number and variety of actors brought into the process. That broader context complicates the role of any exclusively 'African' racial component of the slave trade. From the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, slavery, even the English colonial varieties, was hardly synonymous with Africans. Nor were Africans synonymous with slaves. In the African sector of the Atlantic system Europeans were forced to regard Africans (and Afro-Europeans) as autonomous and even locally dominant participants in the slave trade. They were often dominant militarily and were certainly dominant in terms of their massive presence and limited vulnerability to local diseases. Even in the Americas, Africans did not arrive only as captives and deracinated slaves.

Capitalism creates the parameters for the continued expansion of racism

Selfa, Senior Research Scientist in the Education and Child Development department at National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, 2003

(Lance, “Slavery and the Origins of Racism”, International Socialist Review, Issue 26,

This antagonism is artificially kept alive and intensified by the press, the pulpit, the comic papers, in short, by all the means at the disposal of the ruling classes.This antagonism is the secret of the impotence of the English working class, despite its organization.29 In his famous passage on the antagonism between English and Irish workers in Britain in the end of the 19th century,Marx outlined the main sources of racism under modem capitalism. By its nature, capitalism fosters competition between workers. Bosses take advantage of this in two ways: first, to deliberately stoke divisions between workers; second, to appeal to racist ideology. Capitalism forces workers to compete for jobs, for affordable housing, for admittance to schools, for credit, etc. When capitalism restructures, it replaces workers with machines and higher-paid workers with lower-paid workers. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, U.S. bosses used the surplus of cheap labor immigration provided to substitute unskilled workers for skilled (generally white, native workers), “triggering a nativist reaction among craft workers.”30 Today,restructuring in U.S. industry makes many U.S. workers open to nationalist appeals to “protect their jobs” against low-wage competition from Mexico.Bosses seek to leverage this competition to their advantage. “Keep a variety of laborers, that is different nationalities, and thus prevent any concerted action in case of strikes, for there are few, if any, cases of Laps, Chinese, and Portuguese entering into a strike as a unit,” advised Hawaiian plantation managers in the early 1900s.31Here was a fairly stark example of the bosses’ conscious use of racism to divide the workforce. Today, bosses continue to do the same, as when they hire nonwhite strikebreakers against a strike of predominantly white workers.And politicians never stand above playing “the race card” if it suits them.Racism serves the bosses’ interests and bosses foster racism consciously, but these points do not explain why workers can accept racist explanations for their conditions. The competition between workers that is an inherent feature of capitalism can be played out as competition (or perceived competition) between workers of different racial groups.Because it seems to correspond with some aspect of reality, racism thus can become part of white workers’ “common sense.” This last point is important because it explains the persistence of racist ideas. Because racism is woven right into the fabric of capitalism, new forms of racism arose with changes in capitalism.As the U.S. economy expanded and underpinned U.S. imperial expansion, imperialist racism—which asserted that the U.S. had a right to dominate other peoples, such as Mexicans and Filipinos—developed. As the U.S. economy grew and sucked in millions of immigrant laborers, anti-immigrant racism developed. But these are both different forms of thesame ideology—of white supremacy and division of the world into “superior” and “inferior” races—that had their origins in slavery.

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