Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ingratiating Himself to the White Establishment, Obama Confuses Cause and Effect

Original Link: http://wwsword.blogspot.com/2008/06/ingratiating-himself-to-white.html

Obama said in his reactionary rant against black families,
We know that more than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled – doubled – since we were children. We know the statistics – that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.

Obama's attempt to connect in a causal way single-parent households with poverty, crime, prisons, behavioral problems, and teen pregnancy is terribly confused. No objective social scientist is this ridiculous person.

First, rich white guys perpetrate the worst crime - and their victims are often poor black families. You don't find many of these men in prison. This is because the criminal justice system exists and functions to control the so-called "dangerous classes," that is the poor and, especially, the poor minority citizen, not the worst criminal offenders. Why would the fact of single-parenthood, beyond the function of prisons to warehouse surplus population, move the state to arrest, convict, and imprison black men?

Second, the main cause of marital instability is economic distress, principally poverty, unemployment, and underemployment. Single-parents don't cause economic distress. Claiming otherwise is the blame-the-victim approach that seeks to preserve the status quo, which in our case means the oppression of black families for the benefit of white and (a tiny number of) black elites. Single parent families don't cause behavioral problems in children. To be sure, bad parenting can cause behavioral problems, but, in the aggregate, it's inequality and inadequate social services, and demands of systems of control, that lie at the root of behavior that elites see as problematic. Moreover, teen pregnancy is the consequence of inadequate reproductive education and availability of reproductive health services, not having a single mother.

The inadequacies identified here are not to be found in the people themselves - they are the victims of an unjust social order - but are caused by the society into which people are born and socialized. Barack Obama is a wealthy black man who has adopted the stance of the white establishment, a force determined to maintain the prevailing structure of society, which has whites on top and blacks on bottom. That's the way US society has always been and that's the way whites wish US society to remain. Obama is an agent of racism, his black identity helping the white establishment legitimate its racist blame-the-victim strategy of depriving the black family access to the wealth of the country. It was racist when Daniel Patrick Moynihan blamed the Negro family for the troubles of the black community and it's just as racist when Barack Obama says it.

There is, however, one value widely held by a majority of African Americans that prevents the black community from dealing with white oppression and exploitation: acceptance of the American Dream - that is middle class faith in capitalism. The sooner black Americans reject the American Dream and rebel against capitalism, the sooner they can start the movement towards reconstructing society along the socialist lines that can bring real peace and prosperity to the community. Racist capitalism is the cause of the misery of black America. In order to end that misery, the system of racist capitalism must be overthrown. In order to build the consciousness necessary for a movement to overthrow racist capitalism, the false ideology of the American Dream and middle class faith in capitalism must be rejected.

Influential progressives such as Barbara Ehrenreich are running around claiming that Barack Obama represents a social movement. Bullshit. Barack Obama so-called movement is a countermovement. He's been handed the role of the white establishment's black candidate. And he has embraced that role with great enthusiasm.

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