Global domination and corporate power are obviously inextricably linked to white supremacy, and certainly the prior two rose along with the last. But the three no longer form the seamless unity they did even a generation ago. This is what those on the left who repeat like a mantra that there is “no difference” between Romney and Obama don’t seem to get. We have pointed out before Mitt Romney‘s use of coded messages to play to the racist vote while still maintaining a veil (however diaphanous) of plausible deniability. Among his supporters at the GOP convention in Tampa last month, the veil was sometimes not there at all. Note this enlightening litany from the Washington Post, Aug. 29:
Did you catch that “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term”? Well, there’s some good news, as well as refreshing blatancy. Says volumes about the demographic paranoia that drives the whole takeover the of the Republican Party by elements that just a generation ago would have been considered part of the radical right. And yeah, note the paradoxical unity of opposites at work here, demonstrated by this second use of the phrase “a generation ago”—as white hegemony has eroded, the backlash has become mainstreamed and institutionalized.
Now here’s another one that you may have missed. An e-mail was made public in which Republican National Committee member Pat Rogers said that New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (a Republican, BTW) had “dishonored” Gen. George Armstrong Custer by meeting with state tribal leaders! “The state is going to hell,” Rogers wrote in the e-mail. “Col. [Allen] Weh would not have dishonored Col. Custer in this manner.” Weh was a Republican candidate for governor in 2010 who ran against Martinez. New Mexico’s Native American leaders were of course outraged, and Rogers has been forced to resign from his Albuquerque law firm, Modrall Sperling—but not from the RNC!
Native American leaders are keeping the pressure on. “I do think the RNC should show some respect to Native Americans and [show] that they take our issues seriously by asking him to resign, especially after coming out with that platform “Honoring Our Relationship with American Indians,'” said Rhonda LeValdo-Gayton, the Acoma Pueblo president of the Native American Journalists Association. “If they don’t, that goes directly against what that platform stands for.” (Indian Country Today, Sept. 4; Albuquerque Journal, Aug. 31)
But the affair has received little attention outside New Mexico and Native America. It is truly mind-boggling that Rogers could get away with this. I mean, even if we can (charitably) forgive the notion that Indian-killer Custer should be “honored” as mere ignorance, does Rogers really think that the goddam governor of New Mexico shouldn’t be meeting with Native American leaders? (Not that this even matters, but US Census data informs us that Native Americans make up more than 10% of New Mexico’s population.)
So, please. We’re not here to tell you to vote for Obama. As we have acknowledged, there is also a good case that giving the Democrats a blank check will not halt the country’s fascistic trajectory, and is counter-productive. But spare us the simplistic nonsense about how there is “no difference” between the Democrats and Republicans. With the country more polarized than it has been (definitely) since the 1960s and (probably) since the 1860s, that is a simple, and bizarre denial of reality. It is also a denial of the basic dynamic of the country’s history. The same political division that began with Hamilton versus Jefferson can be traced (with a few twists and turns along the way) through the Civil War to the present juncture.
Is Obama pandering with (for instance) his move to instate (some) policies of the DREAM Act? Is he even cynically luring young undocumented immigrants into a potential trap, setting them up for deportation should the Republicans get in? Sure. But is there “no difference” between a party that is pandering to us, and one that is pandering to our worst enemies? It’s the Republicans are who are leading the charge to repeal basic rights for immigrants, and even voting rights for citizens through the wave of Jim Crow-style voter ID laws. Even if for self-interested reasons, it is the Democrats who are fighting back against these measures (see Louisiana News Star, Sept. 10).
Sorry, guys. Are both parties entities of corporate power and global domination? Obviously. Is that the only relevant question? Obviously not. The question of whether the US is going to be a white republic is a critical one in the current presidential race, like it or not. As we’ve noted before, the impending demographic shift in which whites will inevitably assume minority status is going to force a choice as to whether the US is going to remain a “democracy” or a white republic; it is going to be increasingly difficult to go on being both. Which is what the anti-immigrant, English-only and neo-Jim Crow measures are really about: putting in place the mechanisms for white minority rule. (We don’t mean this in a conspiratorial sense; systems theory tells us that the function of a system is what it does.) And this moment of reckoning is coming fast. The most recent census data informs us (in case you missed it) that this year “minority” births outnumbered white births for the first time. (See LAT, May 17)
While we haven’t had the extreme displeasure of seeing it yet, it seems like Dinesh D’Souza’s new flick 2016: Obama’s America is making the case that Obama has a secret anti-colonial agenda and seeks to “downsize” if not topple the American empire. This is obviously a pretty bizarre proposition when Obama is committing war crimes on a near-daily basis with aggressive drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere. But are there real differences between the two candidates on the question of whether, or by what means, the US should remain a global empire—a distinct question, by this point, from that of whether it should remain a white republic?
So let’s move out from the how the parties differ on the question of white rule at home for a wider view of the global situation. From the Huffington Post, Sept. 10:
Mitt Romney outraged environmental activists on Sunday, telling NBC’s David Gregory, “I’m not in this race to slow the rise of the oceans or to heal the planet,” during an interview on “Meet the Press.”
“The reason I’m in this race is to help people,” Romney said. “I’m not in this race to slow the rise of the oceans or to heal the planet. I’m in this race to help the American people.”
Romney made similar remarks during his speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., last month, where he declared to a cheering crowd, “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise … is to help you and your family.”
Well, as we have noted, the system is set up so that no matter who wins, the petro-oligrachy retains its central status and corporate rule advances. (The most sinister line of Obama’s speech at the DNC was when he said “we don’t think that the government is the source of all our problems, any more than are welfare recipients, or corporations, or unions, or immigrants, or gays, or any other group we’re told to blame for our troubles”—as if blaming corporations for the pauperization of the many and the erosion of democracy were the same as scapegoating welfare recipients, unionists, immigrants or gays.) The baiting of Obama as a socialist extremist is part of a choreographed dance. And we’ve also noted that despite this, Big Oil has obviously got its money on Romney, who (as the above quotes demonstrate) would give them a freer hand, not even pretending to address the climate crisis through such pseudo-solutions as carbon trading.
All that said, to return to our opening statement: global domination and corporate power remain, even now, inextricably linked to white supremacy. Both the Republican “drill baby drill” yahooism and the technocratic carbon-trading scam are aimed at defending the apparent God-given right of fat Americans to keep riding around in SUVs, while the costs are disproportionately borne in places like Kenya (famously the land of Obama’s father). And given that the wealth iniquities which are the legacy of white supremacy in North America are certain to long outlast white demographic dominance or even white political rule, a disproportionate number of those SUV drivers are going to be white for a long time to come.
So in this larger sense, both Obama and Romney are defending the global system of white privilege—but not, perhaps, quite equally.
So, again: we aren’t telling you to vote for Obama. We think a protest vote (we wish the Socialist Party got as much attention as the Green Party) or even protest abstentionism are legitimate positions. Weigh the factors and make up your own mind. But please—argue honestly, and spare us the bogus equivalism. The “no difference” jive is jive.