Racism is on full display on NPR and at least CBS Radio News. Throughout Dubya’s eight years every news program referred to him as President Bush. With Barack Obama (and you can check the audio archives) he was referred to as “Obama” in every news story that I heard during his eight years in office. I bet he’ll still be referred to as “Obama” instead of “Former President Obama”. Never or hardly ever “President Obama”. And now Trump has only been in the White House for 4 days and in every news story he’s either “Donald Trump” or “President Trump”. Yes, racism is alive and all too well in the corporate news media.
A criticism of Bernie Sanders from several black groups is that he has not really talked about racism or otherwise addressing black issues, something they say Hillary Clinton has done.
OK, here’s my response. I’ve listened to Bernie talk for years and I’m currently reading his autobiography. He talks about why this country is so racist, coming to the same conclusion I arrived at independently. Basically, we’re all being played. Poor white sharecroppers and laborers were being played by wealthy Southern landowners, bankers and politicians and we’re being played by the ruling power elite of today. Being played how? By polarizing us into different groups who look across the room or the country with hate at each other. When life is hard and you’re struggling just to survive, many people need someone to blame for their hardships and struggle, a scapegoat. They also need to feel superior to the object of their hate. So, poor whites hate blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Jews, immigrants, etc., anyone they feel superior to and fear is in danger of taking a piece of the small pie they’re grasping onto.
Blacks and Hispanics hate each other in many communities. Many groups join together and hate gay people. So, we’re all looking across and hating each other instead of stopping to look up and see who are the ones who have pitted us against each other. We’re all rats in an overcrowded maze with no way out and the food and water grow less and less.
Why are we kept pitted against each other like this? Because of all us stopped to think and reason, we’d realize who actually is responsible for all of this. We’d unite and as one huge powerful group rise up and overthrow the power elite, which would be the first step in healing all the rifts between us.
So, this is why Bernie doesn’t concentrate on black issues, or Hispanic issues or any issues which just serve to polarize one group from another. All our issue stem from the same common problems: inequality of wealth and income, lack of a job, working at of a job which pays a living wage and offers benefits, lack of adequate income, lack of adequate housing, lack of affordable college education, etc. If you focus on the basic problems we all face and fix those, racism becomes less of an issue because if just about everybody has theirs, there’s no reason to hate the those who have more than you or for you to try to feel superior to those who have less and you feel are trying to take more of yours.
So, let Hillary talk about black issues. Let her continue to perpetuate the hatred and polarization among the races. Bernie is talking about changing the fundamental issues and institutional inequalities which separate us all so that we can finally unite under the common goal of equality—in every sense of the word—and justice for all. Bernie Sanders for president for ALL of us.