African Americans

Noam Chomsky: Reagan was an ‘extreme racist’ who re-enslaved African-Americans

Noam Chomsky on Tea Party

Professor and Historian Noam Chomsky | No attribution

Noam Chomsky is one of my favorite political truth-tellers…

The Raw Story

In an interview with GRITtv’s Laura Flanders, linguist and political analyst Noam Chomsky discussed how the events in Ferguson, Missouri and the protests that followed demonstrate just how little race relations in the United States have advanced since the end of the Civil War.

“This is a very racist society,” Chomsky said, “it’s pretty shocking. What’s happened to African-Americans in the last 30 years is similar to what [Douglas Blackmon in Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II] describes happening in the late 19th Century.”

Blackmon’s book describes what he calls the “Age of Neoslavery,” in which newly freed slaves found themselves entangled in a legal system built upon involuntary servitude — which included the selling of black men convicted of crimes like vagrancy and changing employers without receiving permission.

“The constitutional amendments that were supposed to free African-American slaves did something for about 10 years, then there was a North-South compact that granted the former the slave-owning states the right to do whatever they wanted,” he explained. “And what they did was criminalize black life, and that created a kind of slave force. It threw mostly black males into jail, where they became a perfect labor force, much better than slaves.”

“If you’re a slave owner, you have to pay for — you have to keep your ‘capital’ alive. But if the state does it for you, that’s terrific. No strikes, no disobedience, the perfect labor force. A lot of the American Industrial Revolution in the late 19th, early 20th Century was based on that. It pretty must lasted until World War II.”

“After that,” Chomsky said, “African-Americans had about two decades in which they had a shot of entering [American] society. A black worker could get a job in an auto plant, as the unions were still functioning, and he could buy a small house and send his kid to college. But by the 1970s and 1980s it’s going back to the criminalization of black life.”

“It’s called the drug war, and it’s a racist war. Ronald Reagan was an extreme racist — though he denied it — but the whole drug war is designed, from policing to eventual release from prison, to make it impossible for black men and, increasingly, women to be part of [American] society.”

“In fact,” he continued, “if you look at American history, the first slaves came over in 1619, and that’s half a millennium. There have only been three or four decades in which African-Americans have had a limited degree of freedom — not entirely, but at least some.”

“They have been re-criminalized and turned into a slave labor force — that’s prison labor,” Chomsky concluded. “This is American history. To break out of that is no small trick.”

Watch the entire interview via GRITtv on YouTube below.

The part pertaining to the subject of this post starts at 16:44.

I would recommend viewing the entire video because it gives us an insight on what makes Chomsky one of the great historians of our time…

Joe Walsh: Democrats Want Hispanics, African Americans ‘Dependent On Government’

Joe Walsh

This guy and Alan West are the biggest buffoons in the GOP…

The Huffington Post

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) made another controversial remark last week, telling constituents that Democrats want Hispanics to be dependent on government — and claiming that African Americans already are.

“The Democratic Party promises groups of people everything,” Walsh, a conservative freshman from suburban Chicago, said during a Schaumburg, Ill., speech caught on video provided by CREDO SuperPAC, an anti-tea party group. “They want the Hispanic vote, they want Hispanics to be dependent on government, just like they got African Americans dependent on government. That’s their game.”

Walsh goes on to say that civil rights activist Jesse Jackson “would be out of work if [African Americans] weren’t dependent on government.”

Walsh was elected in 2010, part of a wave of tea party-backed candidates elected to the House of Representatives that year. His district in the northern Chicago suburbs is a key target for Democrats this year. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is putting its weight behind his opponent, Tammy Duckworth, as part of a “Red to Blue” effort to take back the House, the DCCC chairman, Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said in March.

Walsh has a flair for the dramatic in his speeches, and last week’s was no different. He began to speak loudly, telling his constituents he gets “wound up” for them. “I am scared. I really am scared, Patrick, that we’re past the point — we have so many people now dependent on government, so many people want handouts,” he said.

Walsh also has a history of controversial remarks about race — and plenty of other issues. He said in April that Obama was elected because he’s black, telling constituents at another town hall that electing the first African American president “made us feel good about [our]self.”

He came under fire for comments to Politico in March about Duckworth, a veteran who lost both of her legs and part of an arm while serving in Iraq:

“I have so much respect for what she did in the fact that she sacrificed her body for this country,” said Walsh, simultaneously lowering his voice as he leaned forward before pausing for dramatic effect. “Ehhh. Now let’s move on.”

Watch Walsh’s remarks on Hispanics and African Americans below, or view a longer video of the town hall meeting here.

Santorum tells Iowans: ‘I don’t want to make black people’s lives better’ | The Raw Story

One might ask: “WTF”?  However, if you stop to think that Iowa is 91% white and that Santorum is targeting the Evangelicals and anyone else he can get to vote for him, his statement is not that shocking inside Iowa.

Santorum is obviously guilty of taking a page from Newt Gingrich’s talking points.

The Raw Story

Speaking to Republicans in Iowa on Monday, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) said his administration would reform welfare to the point that it would offer no welfare at all.

After suggesting that an expansion of Medicare is really just a plot to make voters more “dependent” on Washington, Santorum added: ”I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them other people’s money.”

“I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn their money and provide for themselves and their families,” he added. “The best way to do that is to get the manufacturing sector of the economy rolling.”

One thing he likely overlooked: white Americans account for the largest percentage of welfare payments each month, mostly because they make up the largest sector of the population.

Welfare is defined by the government as benefits funded by tax dollars, meaning that programs like Social Security, food stamps, veterans benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment and corporate bailouts all fall under that term.

What Santorum seemed to focus on, as many conservatives do, is that black people are disproportionately represented in welfare statistics, along with Latinos, as both populations have much higher rates of poverty than whites.

According to the University of Michigan’s National Poverty Center, 27.4 percent of blacks and 26.6 percent of Hispanics were living in poverty in 2010, compared to 9.9 percent of whites. Unemployment statistics between the racial demographics are similarly skewed.

Despite the factually flawed nature of Santorum’s pitch on Monday, the underlying logic of his pitch is abundantly clear: census data shows that over 91 percent of Iowans are white, a community Santorum must desperately appeal to if he wants a win in Tuesday’s caucuses.

This video is from  CBS News, broadcast Monday, January 2, 2012.