Where does the threat of racism come from?
On the weekend of July 18 and 19 there was another round of right-wing Reclaim Australia (RA) protests.
The stated aim of RA and its offshoot, the United Patriots Front (UPF), was to defend what they call “Australian values” from the threat of “Islamicisation”.
According to their placards — to the extent that they could be deciphered from the comically mangled and misspelt English that seems to be the trademark of the speak-English-or-die brigade — Australia is under threat from “creeping Sharia law” manifested in companies being allowed to get food Halal certified and from “terrorism” manifested in Muslims being allowed to live in Australia.
“Political correctness”, the left, the ABC and the term “racist” being used to describe people opposed to non-white immigration were also on their list of threats to the Australian way of life.
As was the case at previous national protests in April, they were heavily outnumbered by anti-racist counter protests. While in April this was mainly due to a large turnout of anti-racists in Melbourne, this time the anti-racists were in the majority in most big cities.
the threat of racism – the threat of racism – the threat of racism – the threat of racism – the threat of racism – the threat of racism – the threat of racism – the threat of racism
Racism is the belief that characteristics and abilities can be attributed to people simply on the basis of their race and that some racial groups are superior to others. Racism and discrimination have been used as powerful weapons encouraging fear or hatred of others in times of conflict and war, and even during economic downturns.
Racism is also a very touchy subject for some people, as issues concerning free speech and Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights come into play. Some people argue that talking about supporting racial discrimination and prejudice is just words and that free speech should allow such views to be aired without restriction. Others point out that these words can lead to some very dire and serious consequences (the Nazi government policies being one example).
China: Religious Repression of Uighur Muslims
(New York) – The Chinese government is directing a crushing campaign of religious repression against China’s Muslim Uighurs in the name of anti-separatism and counter-terrorism, Human Rights Watch and Human Rights in China said in a new report today.
The 114-page report, Devastating Blows: Religious Repression of Uighurs in Xinjiang, is based on previously undisclosed Communist Party and government documents, as well as local regulations, official newspaper accounts, and interviews conducted in Xinjiang. It unveils for the first time the complex architecture of law, regulation, and policy in Xinjiang that denies Uighurs religious freedom, and by extension freedom of association, assembly, and expression. Chinese policy and law enforcement stifle religious activity and thought even in school and at home. One official document goes so far as to say that “parents and legal guardians may not allow minors to participate in religious activities.”
“The worldwide campaign against terrorism has given Beijing the perfect excuse to crack down harder than ever in Xinjiang,” said Brad Adams, Asia director for Human Rights Watch. “Other Chinese enjoy a growing freedom to worship, but the Uighurs, like the Tibetans, find that their religion is being used as a tool of control.”
The Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking minority of some 8 million people, whose traditional homeland lies in the oil-rich Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in northwest China, have become increasingly fearful for their cultural survival and traditional way of life in the face of an intensive internal migration drive that has witnessed the arrival of more than 1.2 million ethnic Chinese settlers over the past decade. Many Uighurs desire greater autonomy than is currently allowed; some wish for a separate state, although there is little recent evidence of violent rebellion.
Highly intrusive religious control extends to organized religious activities, religious practitioners, schools, cultural institutions, publishing houses, and even to the personal appearance and behavior of Uighur individuals. State authorities politically vet all imams on a regular basis and require “self-criticism” sessions; impose surveillance on mosques; purge schools of religious teachers and students; screen literature and poetry for political allusions; and equate any expression of dissatisfaction with Beijing’s policies with “separatism” – a state security crime under Chinese law that can draw the death penalty.
At its most extreme, peaceful activists practicing their religion in ways that the Party and government deem unacceptable are arrested, tortured, and at times executed. The harshest punishments are saved for those accused of involvement in so-called separatist activity, which officials increasingly term “terrorism” for domestic and external consumption.
At a more mundane level, Uighurs face harassment in their daily lives. Celebrating religious holidays, studying religious texts, or showing one’s religion through personal appearance are strictly forbidden at state institutions, including schools. The Chinese government vets who can be a cleric, what version of the Koran is acceptable, where religious gatherings may be held, and what may be said.
“Uighurs are seen by Beijing as an ethno-nationalist threat to the Chinese state,” said Sharon Hom, executive director of Human Rights in China. “As Islam is perceived as underpinning Uighur ethnic identity, China has taken draconian steps to smother Islam as a means of subordinating Uighur nationalist sentiment.”
Documents obtained and interviews conducted by Human Rights Watch and Human Rights in China reveal a multi-tiered system of surveillance, control, and suppression of Uighur religious activity. As Xinjiang Party Secretary Wang Lequan has stressed, the “major task” facing the authorities in Xinjiang is to “manage religion and guide it in being subordinate to the central task of economic construction, the unification of the motherland, and the objective of national unity.”
Torture of Uighur Muslim Children by Chinese
The Chinese people and the Chinese government together are directing a crushing campaign of religious repression against China’s Muslim Uighurs in the name of anti-separatism and counter-terrorism. This has led ordinary people to beat and torture any Uighur Muslims they could find anywhere in China. The Chinese government has been systematically through media and local officials encouraging its population to beat and torture Chinese Uighur Muslims. In this video clip we see Chinese teenagers beating and tottering an Uighur Muslim with several burning cigarettes.
The Economics of Racism
by Michael Reich
Michael Reich is Professor of Political Economy at U. C. Berkeley. This article was written in 1974, hence used only data available at that time. His research was repeated on later census data in his book Racial Inequality: A Political-Economic Analysis, (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press), 1981, and by other researchers, with similar results. His main thesis is that most workers are harmed by racism, regardless of their race. Reich believes this analysis to be based on ideas from Marx, but whether Marx would agree with his assumptions about how wages are determined is debat- able.
In the early 1960s it seemed to many that the elimination of racism in the U.S. was proceeding without requiring a radical restruc- turing of the entire society. There was a grow- ing civil rights movement, and hundreds of thousands of blacks were moving to Northern cities where discrimination was supposedly less severe than in the South. Government re- ports pointed to the rapid improvement in the levels of black schooling as blacks moved out of the South: in 1966 the gap between the me- dian years of schooling of black males aged 25 to 29 and white males in the same age group had shrunk to one-quarter the size of the gap that had existed in 1960
By 1970, however, the optimism of earlier decades had van- ished. Despite new civil rights laws, elaborate White House conferences, special ghetto manpower programs, the War on Poverty, and stepped-up tokenist hiring, racism and the economic exploitation of blacks has not less- ened. During the past twenty-five years there has been virtually no permanent improvement in the relative economic position of blacks in America. Median black incomes have been fluctuating at a level between 47 percent and 63 percent of median white incomes, the ratio rising during economic expansions and falling to previous low levels during recessions. Segregation in schools and neighborhoods has been steadily increasing in almost all cities, and the atmosphere of distrust between blacks and whites has been intensifying. Racism, in- stead of disappearing, seems to be on the in- crease.
Besides systematically subjugating blacks so that their median income is 55 per- cent that of whites, racism is of profound im- portance for the distribution of income among white landowners, capitalists, and workers. For example, racism clearly benefits owners of housing in the ghetto where blacks have no choice but to pay higher rents there than is charged to whites for comparable housing elsewhere in the city. But more importantly, racism is a key mechanism for the stabilization of capitalism and the legitimization of inequality. We shall return to the question of who benefits from racism later, but first we shall re- view some of the economic means used to subjugate blacks.
THE PERVASIVENESS OF RACISM
Beginning in the first grade, blacks go to schools of inferior quality and obtain little of the basic training and skills needed in the labor market. Finding schools of little relevance, more in need of immediate income, and less able anyway to finance their way through school, the average black student still drops out at a lower grade than his white counterpart. In 1974 only 8.1 percent of blacks aged 25 to 34 were college graduates, compared to 21.0 percent of whites in the same age bracket. Exploitation really begins in earnest when the black youth enters the labor market.
A black worker with the same number of years of schooling and the same scores on achieve- ment tests as a white worker receives much less income. The black worker cannot get as good a job because the better-paying jobs are located too far from the ghetto or because he or she was turned down by racist personnel agencies and employers or because a union denied admittance or maybe because of an arrest record. Going to school after a certain point doesn’t seem to increase a black per- son’s income possibilities very much. The more educated a black person is, the greater is the disparity between his income and that of a white with the same schooling. The result: in 1966 black college graduates earned less than white high school dropouts.4 And the higher the average wage or salary of an occupation, the lower the percentage of workers in that occu- pation who are black.
The rate of unemployment among blacks is generally twice as high as among whites. Layoffs and recessions hit blacks with twice the impact they hit whites, since blacks are the “last hired, first fired.” The ratio of aver- age black to white incomes follows the busi- ness cycle closely, buffering white workers from some of the impact of the recession.
Blacks pay higher rents for inferior housing, higher prices in ghetto stores, higher insurance premiums, higher interest rates in banks and lending companies, travel longer distances at greater expense to their jobs, suf- fer from inferior garbage collection and less access to public recreational facilities, and are assessed at higher property tax rates when they own housing. Beyond this, blacks are fur- ther harassed by police, the courts, and the prisons.
Blacks pay higher rents for inferior housing, higher prices in ghetto stores, higher insurance premiums, higher interest rates in banks and lending companies, travel longer distances at greater expense to their jobs, suf- fer from inferior garbage collection and less access to public recreational facilities, and are assessed at higher property tax rates when they own housing. Beyond this, blacks are fur- ther harassed by police, the courts, and the prisons. seniority, age, health, job attitudes, and a host of other factors. They presume that they can analyze the sources of “pure wage discrimina- tion” without simultaneously analyzing the ex- tent to which discrimination also affects the factors they hold constant.
But such a technique distorts reality. The various forms of discrimination are not separable in real life. Employers’ hiring and promotion practices; resource allocation in city schools; the structure of transportation sys- tems; residential segregation and housing quality; availability of decent health care; behavior of policemen and judges; foremen’s prejudices; images of blacks presented in the media and the schools; price gouging in ghetto stores—these and the other forms of social and economic discrimination interact strongly with each other in determining the occupational status and annual income, and welfare, of black people. The processes are not simply additive but are mutually reinforcing. Often, a decrease in one narrow form of discrimination is accompanied by an increase in another form. Since all aspects of racism interact, an analysis of racism should incorporate all its aspects in a unified manner.
No single quantitative index could adequately measure racism in all its social, cultural, psychological, and economic dimensions. But while racism is far more than a narrow economic phenomenon, it does have very definite economic consequences: blacks have far lower incomes than whites. The ratio of median black to median white incomes thus provides a rough, but useful, quantitative index of the economic consequences of racism for blacks. We shall use this index statistically to analyze the causes of racism’s persistence in the United States. While this approach over- emphasizes the economic aspects of racism, it is nevertheless an improvement over the nar- rower approach taken by conventional econo- mists.
COMPETING EXPLANATIONS OF RACISM How is the historical persistence of racism in the United States to be explained? The most prominent analysis of discrimination among economists was formulated in 1957 by Gary Becker in his book, The Economics of Discrimination. Racism, according to Becker, is fundamentally a problem of tastes and attitudes. Whites are defined to have a “taste for discrimination” if they are willing to forfeit income in order to be associated with other whites instead of blacks. Since white employers and employees prefer not to associate with blacks, they require a monetary compensation for the psychic cost of such association. In Becker’s principal model, white employers have a taste for discrimination; marginal productivity analysis is invoked to show that white employers lose while white workers gain (in monetary terms) from discrimination against blacks.
Becker does not try to explain the source of white tastes for discrimination. For him, these attitudes are determined outside of the economic system. (Racism could presumably be ended simply by changing these attitudes, perhaps by appeal to whites on moral grounds.) According to Becker’s analysis, employers would find the ending of racism to be in their economic self-interest, but white workers would not. The persistence of racism is thus implicitly laid at the door of white workers. Becker suggests that longrun market forces will lead to the end of discrimination anyway: less discriminatory employers, with no “psychic costs” to enter in their accounts, will be able to operate at lower costs by hiring equivalent black workers at lower wages, thus bidding up the black wage rate and/or driving the more discriminatory employers out of business.
The approach to racism argued here is entirely different. Racism is viewed as rooted in the economic system and not in “exogenously determined” attitudes. Historically, the Ameri- can Empire was founded on the racist extermi- nation of American Indians, was financed in large part by profits from slavery, and was ex- tended by a string of interventions, beginning with the Mexican War of the 1840s, which have been at least partly justified by white su- premacist ideology. Today, by transferring white resentment toward blacks and away from capitalism, racism continues to serve the needs of the capitalist system. Although indi- vidual employers might gain by refusing to discriminate and hiring more blacks, thus raising the black wage rate, it is not true that the capi- talist class as a whole would benefit if racism were eliminated and labor were more efficiently allocated without regard to skin color. We will show below that the divisiveness of racism weakens workers’ strength when bargaining with employers; the economic consequences of racism are not only lower incomes for blacks but also higher incomes for the capitalist class and lower incomes for white workers. Although capitalists may not have conspired consciously to create racism, and although capitalists may not be its principal perpetuators, never-the-less racism docs support the continued viability of the American capitalist system.
We have, then, two alternative ap- proaches to the analysis of racism. The first suggests that capitalists lose and white work- ers gain from racism. The second predicts the opposite—capitalists gain while workers lose. The first says that racist “tastes for discrimina- tion” are formed independently of the economic system; the second argues that racism inter- acts symbiotically with capitalistic economic institutions.
The very persistence of racism in the United States lends support to the second ap- proach. So do repeated instances of employ- ers using blacks as strikebreakers, as in the massive steel strike of 1919, and employer- instigated exacerbation of racial antagonisms during that strike and many others.7 However, the particular virulence of racism among many blue- and white-collar workers and their fami- lies seems to refute our approach and support Becker.
SOME EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE
Which of the two models better ex- plains reality? We have already mentioned that our approach predicts that capitalists gain and workers lose from racism, whereas the conventional Beckerian approach predicts precisely the opposite. In the latter approach ra- cism has an equalizing effect on the white income distribution, whereas in the former ra- cism has a disequalizing effect. The statistical relationship between the extent of racism and the degree of inequality among whites provides a simple yet clear test of the two approaches. This section describes that test and its results.
First, we need a measure of racism. The index we use, for reasons already men- tioned, is the ratio of black median family in- come to white median family income (abbrevi- ated as B/W). A low numerical value for this ratio indicates a high degree of racism. We calculated values of this racism index using data from the 1960 Census, for each of the largest forty-eight metropolitan areas (bounda- ries are defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, who use the term standard metropolitan statis- tical areas—SMSA’s). There is a great deal of variation from SMSA to SMSA in the B/W in- dex of racism, even within the North; Southern SMSA’s generally demonstrated a greater de- gree of racism. The statistical techniques used are based on this variation.
We also need measures of inequality among whites. Two convenient measures are: (1) the percentage share of all white income that is received by the top 1percent of white families; and the Gini coefficient of white
incomes, a measure which captures inequality within as well as between social classes.8
Both of these inequality measures vary considerably among the SMSA’s; there is also a substantial amount of variation in these within the subsample of Northern SMSA’s. Therefore, it is very interesting to examine whether the pattern of variation of the inequal- ity and racism variables can be explained by causal hypotheses. This is our first source of empirical evidence.
A systematic relationship across SMSA’s between our measure of racism and either measure of white inequality does exist and is highly significant: where racism is greater, income inequality among whites is
This evidence, however, should not be accepted too quickly. The correlations reported may not reflect actual causality since other in- dependent forces may be simultaneously influ- encing both variables in the same way. As is the case with many other statistical analyses, the model must be expanded to control for such other factors. We know from previous in- ter-SMSA income distribution studies that the most important additional factors that should be introduced into our model are: (1) the indus- trial and occupational structure of the SMSA’s; (2) the region in which the SMSA’s are located; (3) the average income of the SMSA’s; and (4) the proportion of the SMSA population that is black. These factors were introduced into the model by the technique of multiple regression analysis. Separate equations were estimated with the Gini index and the top 1 percent share as measures of white inequality. also greater. This result is consistent with our model and is inconsistent with the predictions of Becker’s model.
All the equations showed strikingly uni- form statistical results: racism as we have measured it was a significantly disequalizing force on the white income distribution, even when other factors were held constant. A I per- cent increase in the ratio of black to white me- dian incomes (that is, a 1 percent decrease in racism) was associated with a .2 percent de- crease in white inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient. The corresponding effect on top 1 percent share of white income was two and a half times as large, indicating that most of the inequality among whites generated by racism was associated with increased income for the richest 1 percent of white families. Fur- ther statistical investigation reveals that in- creases in the racism variable had an insignifi- cant effect on the. share received by the poor- est whites and resulted in a decrease in the income share of the whites in the middle in- come brackets. This is true even when the Southern SMSA’s are excluded.
Within our model, we can specify a number of mechanisms that further explain the statistical finding that racism increases inequality among whites. We shall consider two mechanisms here: (1) total wages of white la- bor are reduced by racial antagonisms, in part because union growth and labor militancy are inhibited; (2) the supply of public services, especially in education, available to low- and middle-income whites is reduced as a result of racial antagonisms. tual discriminatory practice from the objective economic self-interest of most union members.
The second mechanism we shall consider concerns the allocation of expenditures for public services. The most important of these services is education. Racial antagonisms dilute both the desire and the ability of poor white parents to improve educational opportunities for their children. Antagonisms between blacks and poor whites drive wedges between the two groups and reduce their ability to join in a united political movement pressing for improved and more equal education. Moreover, many poor whites recognize that however inferior their own schools, black schools are even worse. This provides some degree of satisfaction and identification with the status quo, reducing the desire of poor whites to press politically for better schools in their neighborhoods. Ghettos tend to be located near poor white neighborhoods more often than near rich white neighborhoods; ra- cism thus reduces the potential tax base of school districts containing poor whites. Also, pressure by teachers’ groups to improve all poor schools is reduced by racial antagonisms between predominantly white teaching staffs and black children and parents.
The statistical validity of the above mechanisms can be tested in a causal model. The effect of racism on unionism is tested by estimating an equation in which the percentage of the SMSA labor force that is unionized is the dependent variable, with racism and the structural variables (such as the SMSA industrial structure) as the independent variables. The schooling mechanism is tested by estimating a similar equation in which the dependent variable is inequality in years of schooling com- pleted among white males aged 25 to 29.
Once again, the results of this statistical test strongly confirm the hypothesis of our model. The racism variable is statistically significant in all the equations and has the pre- or that some skilled craft workers benefit from
Source: The Economics of Racism
Aussies Counter Anti-Islam Rallies
SYDNEY – Hate protests against Islam and Muslims across Australia’s main cities have sparked clashes and confrontations after meeting counter protests rejecting their Islamophobic rhetoric over the past weekend.
“There was around 100 Reclaim Australia activists in Sydney and 600 of us opposing them,” “No Room for Racism” protester Ben Cooper told Anadolu Agency on Monday, July 20.
“As a gay man I wanted to take a stand in support of multiculturalism and say that we’re all different and we all benefit from that.
“I’m also concerned about the bigoted, extremist views of Reclaim Australia and their agenda, which is that the real Australian is white, conservative, Christian and straight,” he said.
Cooper is one of hundreds of anti-racism protesters who thronged to the streets of Canberra, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and many other places to counter anti-Islam rallies.
Holding slogans of “Child Brides Australia Says No”; “Deport Muslims” and “Ban the Burqa a Symbol of Oppression”, the anti-Islam protests continued on Saturday and Sunday.
The protests were confronted by anti-racism rallies in which placards read: “Hey Racists, Go Home”; “Nazis Get Off Our Streets”; “Say No to Ignorance” were raised.
The message that they’re trying to get across is that with racism and Islamophobia on the rise “it’s becoming dangerous, and not only for Muslims but all minority groups,” No Room for Racism organizer Mel Gregson said.
On the other, One Nation founder Pauline Hanson, a right-wing populist, whose strident opposition to multiculturalism has formed the bedrock of her party, expressed concerns about “the Islamization of Australia” and Halal certification.
“I’m anti Islam, [so] that is going to cause civil unrest in this country because of the differences in culture.
“I’m totally against Shari`ah Law. There is a push to bring it here. Once a population grows to a certain percentage they start demanding and getting what they want. That’s why in France there are over 740 no-go zones that police can’t enter because they’re Muslim dominated.”
Anti-Islam – Anti-Islam – Anti-Islam – Anti-Islam – Anti-Islam
Federal Investigators to probe racism claims in Pocomoke City
POCOMOKE CITY, Md., (WUSA9/DelmarvaNow) Federal Department of Justice investigators are expected to visit a small riverfront city on Maryland’s Eastern shore this week to look into ugly allegations that the firing of a popular African-American police chief was motivated by racism.
Former Chief Kelvin D. Sewell was fired June 29 after he backed a pair of African American officers who had filed Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Complaints. Sewell also raised questions about how a federal grant meant to hire an additional police officer had been spent by town officials. Sewell filed his own EEOC complaint, claiming he was being pressured by the city’s mayor to fire the two officers.
Town officials refuse to comment or explain their position because of the legal actions. However, the city’s attorney denies any wrongdoing by city officials.
Meanwhile, a town council meeting last week drew a large crowd in support of Sewell, who is seeking his job back.
“We want our chief back,” said Tonya Ginn of Pocomoke City after Monday night’s mayor and city council meeting at City Hall.
It was so packed for the meeting that many people were standing in the lobby, crowding around the entrance to Council Chambers, shushing each other at times to try to hear what was being said. It was hot, and people were fanning themselves.
The group listened as people spoke to the mayor and council, sometimes telling the others who was speaking for those who couldn’t see.
Even though Sewell is not the chief anymore, some still think of him that way.
“I came out to help support Chief Kelvin D. Sewell and I still call him chief because that’s how I look at him,” said Pocomoke City resident Vanessa Jones, wearing a T-shirt with Sewell’s photo on it. “He has done so much for the Pocomoke community.”
Tyler Bivens of Pocomoke City also came to support Sewell. “I call him my chief,” he said at one point.
Federal Investigators to probe racism claims in Pocomoke City
Australian officials urged vigilance on Monday following nationalistic and anti-Islam rallies, to ensure sentiment does not boil over into ugly race riots similar to those seen in 2005.
Ku Klux Klan Clash With Black and Anti-Racism Protesters in South Carolina Over the Confederate Flag
On Saturday, the Ku Klux Klan, supported by neo-Nazi and Christian fundamentalist groups, held a rally in Columbia, S.C. to protest the removal of the Confederate flag on the statehouse grounds. If there was any question as to whether the Confederate flag represents domestic terrorism and white supremacy, all doubts have been put to rest.
Fifty Klan members and supporters gathered on the steps of the state Capitol. As NPR reported, the protesters were waving Confederate battle flags, and at least one held a flag bearing a Nazi swastika. Hundreds of jeering counter protesters were on hand, including anti-racism and Black Nationalist activists who called out the names of Black people who were killed by police, and told the KKK to go home. Dozens of law enforcement officers used metal barricades to separate the crowds from the Klan.
The pro-Confederate flag rally was organized by the North Carolina-based Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, believed to be among the largest KKK chapters or factions. Black Educators for Justice, based in Jacksonville, Fla., also held a rally on the north side of the Statehouse, where the Confederate flag was removed earlier this month, as the Associated Press reported. According to the S.C. Department of Public Safety, the crowd was estimated at approximately 2,000. Five people were arrested, and up to 23 were treated for heat exposure.