A concise but excellent and entirely correct description of how the left-wing of the capitalist class approaches racial issues. The Left will often point how out the right-wing will use racism, social conservatism, invidiousness toward out-groups, etc. to distract the generally socially conservative, white working to middle classes from other issues like economics and foreign policy, which is all true. But the rising left-wing of capital and professional-managerial class merely inverts this, making whitey, social conservatives or more traditional cultural sectors generally into the “real enemy,” and for the same purposes.
The liberal establishment, the Democratic Party, and the left flank of capital are playing a cynical game post-George Floyd to pimp out Black trauma to keep Blacks wedded to Biden and the Centrist wing of the Democratic Party. Since the brutal murder of George Floyd, Foundation largesse, corporate philanthropy, and commercial media productions have been pouring in resources and programming highlighting depictions of Black trauma and historical suffering in a way that makes these spectacles deserving of the title: Black Trauma Porn.
This posturing from the liberal establishment, which we know has never truly cared for the lives of the majority of Black Americans who are working class or poor, serves two main functions. Originally the post-George Floyd racial grievance discourse was viewed by liberals as an effective bulwark against Trump, as a counter to his racist dog whistles and his depiction as a brutal ogre unfit for the presidency because of his comportment and offensive language. The focus on race and racism, divorced from any analysis of how capitalism demands racism to disproportionately render poor and working class Blacks to labor redundancy and the reserve army of labor, has been the main form of racial grievance pushed by the Black Political Class and its class partners during the 50 year counter-revolution that has spanned history since Martin Luther King was assassinated.
This class politics is what allows racial grievance to be remedied with class based “racial democracy,” as political scientist Preston H. Smith II refers to such programs in his book, Racial Democracy and the Black Metropolis: Housing Policy in Post War Chicago. Post-civil rights era racial democracy is exactly why the lions’ share of anti-racist policies from the 60s actually helped Blacks who could more easily attain Black Middle Class status while the majority of Blacks faced de-industrialization, mass incarceration, and drug infested neighborhoods. As Preston Smith II explains, there was a time before the McCarthy Era when Blacks, especially socialists and communists, rooted their politics in “social democracy,” which was class based materialist politics rooted in the position of Blacks as the bottom of the labor totem pole while fighting to reverse that trend by challenging capitalism and wealth hierarchy.
“The lions’ share of anti-racist policies from the 60s actually helped Blacks who could more easily attain Black middle-class status.”
This brings us to the second reason this cynical racial grievance discourse is being pushed by the left flank of capital and the centrist Democrats. Such racial grievance posturing is being tolerated to ensure that Blacks en mass do not join the Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders faction of the Democratic party and enter the fight for more public goods government policy. Therefore, the reason why even though the Sanders faction of the party offers the agenda most needed by poor and working class Blacks who are the majority, the Black Political class and it’s class acolytes will deem the Sanders coterie as “class reductionists,” who don’t care about racism even though we know this is cover for the fact that the Black political class is wedded to the centrist Democrats for its “fatback and biscuits” patronage.
The whole corporate Black chattering class and Black media establishment has been dispatched since the 2016 election to push Blacks away from the socialist and anti-capitalist politics that was the norm for Black people before the McCarthy Era. An integral part of the background of Black activists and civil rights leaders like A. Phillip Randolph, Ella Baker, Bayard Rustin, W.E.B. Dubois, Paul Robeson, Hubert Harrison, and even the Black Panther Party was rooted in either socialism or communism. Even Martin Luther King and Malcolm X’s politics shifted from simple anti-racism to challenging capitalism. Before Malcolm and Martin were assassinated they both changed from simply focusing on “racism” to rooting the problem of Blacks in the function of capitalism. Racism is the linchpin tool in keeping capitalism functioning in America.
Therefore, for South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn to say, “I don’t know of any Black Socialists,” with a W.E.B. Dubois statue in his office tells you how a Big Pharma-paid leech like him is dispatched to deny Black people the politics they need while using Black Politics and the charade of racial kinship to cloud his duplicity. But this has become the nature of Black Politics in the post Obama era. The Black Political Class and its Black media arm continue to push the class agenda that will benefit themselves while leaving most of Black America behind.