Note: I am responding here to an article in Counterpunch that was posted in a Facebook group I'm in. It is too long which is why I put it here.
By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired
I am opposed to racism and all forms of discrimination. But what is lacking here in is any mention of capitalism or a class analysis at all. He refers to the mouthpiece of US capitalism, Chris Cuomo attacking Green Party Vice President candidate Ajuma Baraka, for calling Obama an Uncle Tom. I expect nothing less from this individual as the Green ticket is a threat to capitalism. He even attacks him on the grounds that he is racist. I could tell a story about work with regarding to that but later.
Mr Draister writes: “Does anyone doubt that, from a purely objective perspective, President Obama has indeed abdicated his responsibility to improve the political, economic, and social lives of Black Americans?”
Of course not. But why would the author think that Obama had any responsibility to black people? Obama is a slick representative of US capitalism and the deterioration of the conditions among the black population in the US as well as the conditions of women, men and all workers, including workers in Europe and around the world, is part of the global offensive of capitalism, and Obama is a leading figure in that offensive.
But capitalism doesn’t exist at all for Mr, Draitser. It’s as if black people are exempt from class relations and there's no black capitalist class. The black population in the US is already suffering additionally for reasons that are obvious, centuries of racism and exclusion not to mention a few centuries of labor that received no wages. It's a given that the capitalist offensive hits them harder.
I defend Ajuma Baraka against any attacks from a mouthpiece of the white racist capitalist class like this Cuomo character despite his phony demeanor. I do not know a lot about Baraka's politics but he a black man in the US and I am aware he has publicly savaged the brutality and hypocrisy of US society. He will face a racial assault for this from their media and its flunkies like Cuomo. But Obama is a consummate bourgeois politician doing his job. He is not a beaten down defeated individual seeing only subservience to white masters, he is leading politician of the ruling class and will defend his class interests.
Obama is not passive and subservient at all. And he does not kill Iraqi’s because they are black or brown; it is a political question. Ireland was a semi colonial country until the late 60’s due to British colonialism. The Irish have white skin. They were not invaded and occupied for 500 years (including today in the 6 northern Counties) because they’re Catholic, attacking their religion was a means to colonizing the land and its wealth and oppressing the native population using violence and resting on Protestants it settled there. Ireland was the first country British capitalism colonized as it brutalized its own peasantry and removed them from their means of subsistence.
The author uses the term imperialism and words like this and then explains wars and occupations as being based on white people not liking brown or black people. Most thinking workers see how racism, sexism, and in the other cases, religious sectarianism is used as a tool to dominate and maintain social control of the exploited population. It’s somewhat childish to be honest to portray history in the way Mr. Draitser does, but most importantly he is wrong claiming Obama has some obligations to black people?
And I’d like to ask Mr. Draitser. Does he, or brother Baraka for that matter, agree with Malcolm X when he said (and he chose his words carefully), “you can’t have capitalism without racism”? I agree with this statement. If we agree with this statement from a man who is arguably one of the greatest revolutionaries of the 20th century, then we must surely draw the conclusion that we cannot eliminate racism without eliminating capitalism. And we can't eliminate capitalism without uniting the working class.
But capitalism doesn’t seem to exist for Mr. Draitser.
That’s what I think.