From: An Engineer in Alabama [Email him]
No, blacks are not being held down by “systemic racism.” But yes, they are being screwed.
One black man was (possibly) unjustly killed by a white police officer—out of a country of 340+ million people—and this single cherry-picked event has resulted in a massive top-down hysterical propaganda campaign that all the problems that black people face are due to white “systemic racism.” We see people rioting like animals and trashing the cities, and it’s easy to dismiss American blacks as childish animals, that their failure to rise more than 60 years since civil rights is because they are inherently low-class scum.
Let me give you a brief lesson on the untold story of “civil rights.”
Up through the 1950s blacks were held down and discriminated against, yes they were. But unlike all the rubbish you learned in school, it was not primarily about symbolic issues like segregated water fountains or voting, it was about money. And the Civil Rights movement was also primarily about money, specifically, to give American blacks the right to unionize and negotiate for higher pay.
Because American blacks had been paid below-market wages for so long, they were an important source of profit for many of the rich. So just as blacks started to get decent wages, they were specifically fired en masse and replaced with (at the time mostly) Mexican nationals. That wasn’t racism, that was class war.
Yes really. Check out the numbers in “Immigration and the Economic Status of African-American Men,” in Economica (2010) 77, 255-282. [PDF]. Black unemployment and “Hispanic” employment went up together in near-perfect lockstep.
As individuals, Mexicans are, on average, as decent as anyone. It wasn’t the fault of the Mexican people that their government had deliberately started a population explosion (“to make Mexico bigger and better”—see “The Mexicans: A Personal Portrait Of A People, by Patrick Oster) and crushed them into such dire poverty that they had no better options than to steal jobs from American blacks. But they still had the effect on black employment that they had.
And no, Mexicans don’t do jobs that Americans won’t. I was alive back before then, and I can tell you that absolutely every job that needed doing, was being done. Every Mexican that came here during that time specifically replaced an American—typically, a black American—and threw them on the trash heap. Also, Mexicans don't work for cheap because they have a better work ethic than Americans—if you offered them higher pay and decent benefits, would they refuse? Third-World refugees work for low pay because the grinding poverty of their overpopulated homelands means they have no better alternatives (and also because they can profit from price arbitrage between their native and US economies). There is nothing admirable about working for low wages if you are under duress.
To make things even worse, the special Affirmative Action programs designed to help boost blacks were then extended to most of these Third World refugees, diluting the value of these programs to near zero (and making it easier for the rich to replace blacks with Mexicans!). For decades now most of the beneficiaries of Affirmative Action and other racial spoils systems have NOT been the “American Descendants Of Black Slaves.” And then we had “free” trade, shipping blue collar manufacturing jobs—often held by American blacks—off to even lower-wage Third World countries.
See earlier letters from the same reader.