Today’s column is by one of Translation Exercises guest bloggers, Marcellus Andrews, who recently appeared on Up with Chris Hayes this past Saturday. Andrews raised some important questions of capital markets, plutocracy, dubious economic policies of the Oama Administration, and those of Mitt Romney.
In this column, Andrews continues to force us to address some serious questions about what the last few years portend. Read on and do comment on his points. A friendly request: please keep your comments on the topics at hand, and refrain from directing us to your website or other personal essays.
About What is Coming Down the Road
Prof. Marcellus Andrews, Barnard College, Columbia
With today’s unemployment report (June 1, 2012) — not good, though not as bad as the next few, I think — Obama is finished, and we can look forward (if that is the word) to a Romney presidency with a neo-fascist (sorry, Republican) House and Senate. In a way, Romney’s win will be Obama’s own fault — he tried to form a national unity government to deal with a national emergency when the other side just wanted to kick his niggah behind. He pursued a “conservative” economic policy approach in the specific sense of policies that could and have staved off complete collapse but that were also too small to really revive the system, because he was unwilling (or given the right-wing of his own party, unable) to push through the kind of structural reforms linked to sensible expenditure plans that could not just end the depression but begin the reconstruction of this country. So, here we are, facing a Romney regime that is likely to be extremely bad news for lots of people, especially the working class white people who vote for him.
I have some thoughts on what this means for so-called “minority” American now that everyone realizes that the majority of babies and now the under 5’s are black, brown, yellow and mixed-up chillun. The Romney years will be decisive for the future of what I will call the real “Colored” American majority (I think that old, nasty word should be revived as an alternative to “multicultural” and even “multi-racial”). The austerity program that is destroying the British economy — savage budget cuts that are gutting the social safety net and ending redistributive economic policy, abandoning poor and working people to the untender ways of radical predatory capitalism combined with equally savage tax cuts for the wealthy, all with the assistance of the so-called Liberal Democrats — is just the UK version of the Ryan budget. The Ryan program will be implemented here under Romney and will destroy the futures of young Colored America. Policies aimed at promoting human development, particularly the capabilities of Colored young people at or near the bottom of society — nutrition, education, basic health care, basic public health, basic housing, even public safety — will be gutted in favor of reverse Robin Hood approaches that increase the well-being of the rich, and the old and white. In essence, the Romney program, when you really look at it — to the extent that it has been announced — deliberately under-invests in the children of Colored America in favor of incumbent old white America.
I think it is time for Colored America to recognize that American conservatism seeks nothing less that the crippling of the our future, and that Obama’s failure — again, in trying to build a coalition government when the conservative program was nothing less than the restoration of white power, the modern version of the Redeemer governments in the post-Reconstruction South — signals the end of any prospects for conciliation in this country. I also think that it is time for Colored America — of all colors, including those whites who seek to live in a decent place — to think carefully about how we build a good society when our white nationalist enemies control the White House, Congress, Wall Street, the Federal courts and too many states.
I think the Romney government will be a savage thing that lays waste to the economic lives of so many of our of children, perhaps at the cost of many premature deaths. We have to think practically about how to educate our kids, how to keep them happy, healthy and safe, and how to keep ourselves fit and build some sort of prosperity, when our Redeemer foes implement their program. We have to think about how to raise and allocate resources to support human development when the states and Federal government deliberately crush opportunity for our children; we have to find ways to build a durable and effective political and cultural resistance to the attacks that white conservatism makes on our lives and liberties via the Supreme Court and state courts, where the rule of law is transformed into yet more iron cages to trap and limit our freedom; we have to build institutions — everything from schools to newspapers and ways to disseminate vital information to museums to forums for art in all its forms, both brick and mortar institutions and the virtual gatherings in cyberspace — that can escape the reach of white restorationism while feeding our souls (example: I see Arizona attacking Chicano intellectual and cultural life with Klan style glee and know that these attacks will widen, deepen and gain force under a Romney presidency).
I guess I am saying that I think it is high time for us to see this election, and, frankly, the trials and failures of Obama, as the opening phase in a low-level civil war about race and the future of the United States. This “War About Race” is not a racial war in the usual sense — with whites on one side and everybody else on the other; no Turner Diaries craziness. Instead, this “War About Race” is a fight between a dying but still rich and powerful old white republic that will never accept the plain fact that the future of the United States is Colored and so will instead deliberately create an economic partition between itself and that Other, disgusting America defined by either not-being-white or by being the wrong kind of white — whites who have rejected racism in personal and family life. So how do we go about preventing conservatism from killing the future of Colored America and thereby preserving, protecting and defending the future of the United States from the racial animosity of the white Right? This, I think, is the most important question of our time, because the white Right is coming back into power and, if we are honest, seeks to cripple us.
So here’s my question: Am I a bit premature in thinking that the white Right is just the modern version of the Redeemers? Am I wrong to think that white conservatism will pursue a program of economic partition along racial lines as part of a white unity program in the same way that Southern elites managed to create white unity?