Saturday, March 7, 2009

Capitalism (1948)

I saw this on Salon this week (h/t to shaggylocks) and thought it was a perfect segue to Jon Stewart's video about CNBC's Santelli.

And the fact that the "instructional film" on how capitalism works is lily white - speaks volumes about why most Blacks are where they are today economically. As Barry Switzer once said, "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple."

Yeah Barry, and after that, they bitch about leveling the playing field!


brotherkomrade said...

"speaks volumes about why most Blacks are where they are today economically"

How so?

Deb said...

Hey brotherkomrade! I know, I haven't kept my word - yet. I will though. Keep checking back.

I meant nothing deep, just that in 1948 while white kiddies were being schooled on capitalism, Black kiddies missed the "instruction" since we weren't allowed, making us have to play catch-up in the dollar bill game - starting on first, as it were.

ea said...

I think it also gives that impression that certain kinds of business (big) are only for white people. However, one must consider the Black business communities that existed back in the days of small businesses catering to certain clientele. Within Black towns and communities, there were shop-owners and bankers and lawyers and doctors who were people of color serving other people of color.

What has happened is the CORPORATIZATON of most business structures in this country. If it is a matter of fish being eaten by bigger fish, then it is no surprise that white (big) business consumes non-white (small) business, simply because most owners of businesses who are people of color are small business owners.

Deb said...

Hey ea!! Agreed, though even as we consider the Black business communites that you describe - for example, Rosewood, FL burned in 1923 - I think we have to consider that pre-corporatization Jim Crow bears just as much, if not more, responsibility for keeping Blacks from fully learning about and taking advantage of the capitalist system in America of which whites had routinely availed themselves (the knowing being more important to me than the actual profits generated by the knowing with my crazy self!). My point being access=that from third-base reality, incomplete access=that from first base reality.

Deb said...

ea...great piece by Cynthia McKinney on BAR last week!

ea said...

The one in which she called out Obama for ditching the racism conference? Yes, I read that one. I bet she becomes a regular contributor to BAR. Last time I checked her campaign website, it was down.

When I get more settled, I plan on trying to contact her or one of her representatives and ask what kind of help she needs on the ground, as it were.

ps: glad you posted again.

pps: back to the topic of the thread--wrap your mind around this one--the illegal drug trade. Is this capitalism? No regulation per se of the transactions, but declaring it all illegal--thereby imposing continued supply restrictions. Blacks have higher conviction rates and longer sentences than whites. Is that to get rid of the competition? To keep people of color in the United States from becoming the power players of this industry?

ea said...

One more thing...

To what extent does capitalism (read corporatism) rely on cheap labor? I contend that this is the key to white capitalism. Brown people and poor whites are merely a labor cost on a debit and credit sheet that white owners try to contain. Did societal racism lead to people of color or whites of the "wrong" ethnicity being exploited labor, or did being exploited labor lead to the formation of the industrial underclasses?

Corporatism/capitalism = colonialism in your own country

Deb said...

ea...Thanks. I don't know what the hell I was thinking going to school full-time this semester!! It's taken what little brain matter I have left, to post at all! :-)

I think BAR would be the perfect place for her to regularly comment.

"When I get more settled..."

Did you move?

"...the illegal drug trade. Is this capitalism?"

Funny you should say that. I met a Colombian journalist, Daniel Pacheco, here to cover the inauguration. As you know, my Spanish isn't all that great. Here's the quote he attributed to me:

"A Deborah, una activista negra y estudiante de periodismo en Georgetown University, le preocupa que la presidencia de Obama sea una excusa “para que los blancos piensen que esta nación ya se lavó de su pecado original”, dice refiriéndose a la esclavitud. Sobre todo cuando el hombre que fue elegido es “literalmente un afro-americano, de padre africano y madre americana y no un negro..."

Aunque Deborah advierte que su visión es especialmente crítica, y por lo tanto atípica, argumenta que el recorrido de Obama muestra que “él no ha hecho las cosas por las que los negros marchamos y por las que los negros luchamos."

He came to our Covering Capitol Hill class and we had a brief conversation that night. I met him the next day and took him to SE DC which is predominantly Black and notably poorer than the NW neighborhood where he had been staying.

As we drove around and talked, the subject of America's War on Drugs" came up. He called it "America's Investment." Speaks volumes doesn't it?

Rather than "imposing continued supply restrictions," I'd say "regulating/controlling supply." I'm not sure if the higher conviction rates and longer sentences for Blacks is getting rid of the competition as much as it is mere collateral damage. After all, the "nickel-bag boys" are dispensable and many. Remember "Freeway Ricky?" (

They're not worried about people of color in the United States becoming the power players of this industry because they understand the psychology of oppression, IMHO.

ea said...

Muy interesante...

You have some interesting conversations with people, mujer. The drug connections--I think your wording is better: regulating/controlling. I think the powers-that-be manipulate the trade to raise cash, shape public opinion, coerce foreign governments, etc.

With respect to being settled. I have worked out-of-town almost the entire time since I returned to the states. Next week I'm headed to México--curiously, a border town (Ciudad Juárez), where the drug-related violence has been getting headlines in the states. Curious, ¿no?, when the violence was femicide, there was barely a peep.

I can appreciate the time pressures of graduate school and earning a living at the same time. Just know that I regularly check your site, wondering what you will write about next.

Deb said...

ea...I'm just trying to make this life count. I talk to lots of people about lots of things so that I'm able to critically think about this existence and make it the best I possibly can.

"I think the powers-that-be manipulate the trade to raise cash, shape public opinion, coerce foreign governments, etc."


And no, it's not strange that there was barely a peep regarding the femicides in Ciudad Juárez, sadly women, like the "nickel-bag boys" are many and dispensable as well.

The pressure is not due to school and working ea. I should be working, but I'm not. I've been looking, but no takers for my old behind! It's just old age and a little depression every now and again.

As a matter of fact, I'm thinking of leaving when my husband comes back from overseas this summer. Curiously, his next assignment will be - Tejas! I'm looking into transferring to UT Austin or Incarnate Word in SA. Only problem is they will only accept 6 of the 12 credits I will have when the semester ends. Weighing the pros & cons right now.

Thanks for always dropping by, sharing your thoughts and making me think.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...