web analytics

‘People of Color’

Jim Webb U.S. Senator (D-Va.) and those that share his thinking are stuck in a present and are hoping for a future that does not unfold from the struggle and the history of difference in the United States. Prejudice, discrimination and oppression have roots in the indentured servitude of white Europeans as well as in the particular peculiarities of the chattel slavery that deprived millions of persons of African descent of life, lives, liberties and the pursuit of happiness. […]

The byline of Senator James H. Webb Jr. (D-Virginia) editorial on affirmative action in the Wall Street Journal reads as follows:

“America still owes a debt to its black citizens, but government programs to help all ‘people of color’ are unfair. They should end.”

The byline sums up the point that Senator Webb wanted to make. When compared and contrasted to the definition of ‘white’ and ‘colored’ people from the vantage point of eRacism, the byline highlights the limitations of current discourses on race, discrimination and prejudice.  These limitations are anchored in narrow conceptions of who ‘people of color’ are and what it means for a life and life experience to be colored by various forms and definitions of difference.

eRacism is a needed concept not just a new one.  It is a different way to think about difference and diversity. Senator Webb and those that share his thinking are stuck in a present and are hoping for a future that does not unfold from the struggle and the history of difference in the United States. Prejudice, discrimination and oppression have roots in the indentured servitude of white Europeans as well as in the particular peculiarities of the chattel slavery that deprived millions of persons of African descent of life, lives, liberties and the pursuit of happiness.

The ‘debt’ that America owes persons whose lives have been colored by difference includes not only poor whites and descendants of slaves but Native Americans that were also enslaved for a time before being raped and pillaged to the brink of extinction in a brutal process of an American brand of  ‘enclosure’.

‘America’s’ debt to ‘people of color’  includes the millions of Asian Americans who came from China to realize this country domestic expansionist tendency celebrated in many high school history text books  as ‘Manifest Destiny’.  It extends to the Mexicans who are now ‘illegal immigrants on land we call States of the United States that use to be territory of the sovereign territories of what is now Mexico before extra legal means and preposterous pretensions justified annexing Arizona, New Mexico and parts of California etc. It extends to every woman in this country who is and will be paid less and promoted less often because of the historical sedimentation of a proclivity to privilege males. And it applies to any human being in the United States that will be less favored when compared to ‘legacies’ at universities, colleges, law firms, investment banks and the unnamed peripheral privileges of inherited wealth.

Curriculum Vitae

Tom L. States PhD Candidate

Fields of Interest: Political Theory, International Relations, Marxist Political Economy

Research Topic: eRacism - Conflicts of Difference

Education History: Williams College, BA Political Science; New York University, MA Politics; York University PhD Candidate

Languages: English, German

Hometown: Greenwood, Mississippi

Words of Wisdom: “IT” is what you are when you are young. Your youth mistakes certainty of the few things that you think you know for knowledge of things that it takes a life time to understand. With time and a few life experiences “IT” becomes the thing you pursue to give your life meaning. Somewhere along the way of having or getting “IT” you ask yourself, ‘Is this “IT”? Panic sets in when you realize that “IT” is your life. Fear and insecurity is that feeling you get when “IT” has not been worth a life time.

Bookshelf

Harvey, David. Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference. New York: Longman, 1996.

Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin White Masks. Trans. Charles Lam Markmann. New York: Grove Press. 1967.

Cancian, Francesca M. Gender Politics: Love and Power in the Private and Public Spheres. Gender and the Life Course. Ed. Alice S. Rossi. New York: Aldine, 1985.

Sand, Shlomo. The Invention of the Jewish People. New York: Verso, 2009.

Lay, Shawn. The Invisible Empire In The West: Toward a New Historical Appraisal of the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920's. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004.

Journal

Carothers, Thomas. Think Again: Civil Society. Foreign Policy Date, (Winter: 1999-2000).

Ober, Josiah. The original meaning of "democracy": Capacity to do things, not majority rule. Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics. American Political Science Association meetings, Philadelphia, (2006).