I don’t really like calling people names like “stupid” but the title was too much too resist. My apologies.
I was discussing the gentrification of Baltimore recently online. I understand concerns about urban gentrification and I partly agree with them. I can certainly understand wanting to keep neighborhoods in the hands of neighbors, not gianormous corporations and urban planning bureaucrats trying to utilize Eminent Domain to kick people out of their homes.
Part of our discussion centered, and others I’ve had, with the systematic racism of Baltimore in particular. It got me thinking about racism more, a topic which most of you know I could really care less about.
I was thinking about the illegal South American immigrants here in the states that are causing such a stir. Group A says that South Americans don’t speak english, don’t pay taxes, suck up government funds, and steal American jobs. Group B says that there is an oppressed group of people and Group A consists of racist rednecks.
Neither group addresses the other group’s concerns as having any merit and they argue with each-other by trying to prove their own grivences. Debate 101, people.
Notice that Group A’s gripes are almost entirely economic in nature. You could perhaps say that not speaking english is a concern dealing with race, there is probably a good bit of truth in it; but all other concerns are economic, not racial. The affect of this appears as hostility toward a race and it will become so (More on this in a minute). Meanwhile, Group B shouts “racism” with little evidence, nor does shouting names really do anything to solve the problem. You won’t find middle ground by starting conversations with cheap insults.
Whether the groups are Whites against Native Americans (land/resources), Whites against Blacks (slave issues/jobs/equal pay), Blacks against Asians (stores in black neighborhoods), Blacks against African-born blacks (overall snootyness), Blacks against Whites (Reparations/Social Welfare/Housing/Jobs)………all of this stuff has deep roots mounted in issues of economic equality. Yes, from time to time there are issues outside of economic ones, I won’t deny that. But economic equality seems to quell much of all this distress.
When the government denies groups of people economic opportunity (blacks) or when they abuse certain groups for resources so others can have them (taxpayers & illegals) you breed animosity. We have the luxery of doing this for nearly 500 years so you’d think we’d learn. Instead we dole out resources to non-taxpayers from taxpayers………then we add in a racial component (South Americans) and we’ve whipped up what we got: Economic unfairness puppeted by the state, which won’t do anything about the situation, in effect breeding racism (or scapegoating, a more proactive word) because we are giving perceived advantages to one group over another. Duh.
Is it really racism? Or is it something else……..something to do with money, employment, jobs, economic stability? Is it that we hate people because of skin color or maybe it’s easier to boil down our economic frustrations and blame someone we can point at.
Sight is man’s greatest strength. We rely on it more than any other sense. And when we are feeling down emotionally, depressed, saddened, frustrated………often our sight is what causes it. Could ethnicity be the scapegoat that we seek out when the shit hits the fan because we see it and it resonates with us to begin placing blame with our most valuable sense?
Am I blurring the lines between racism and economic freedom? Perhaps. Maybe it’s tough to tell where one ends and another begins. But I bet that if we could begin to develop economic opportunity you’d see less animosity between people. Instead we seem to truely believe that racism is rooted in how one perceives another’s skin tone. I don’t buy it.
I wanted to also discuss the affects of gentrification and money expenditures in Baltimore city but I expounded for far too long on race so I’ll leave it at this for the moment.