America’s considerable problem with racism goes back to its beginning with the genocide of the Native American. Unlike the Black African, the First American was not useful as a slave and was thus better off dead or out of sight on a reservation, and which thus provided the opportunity for the captive Black to provide the labor (capital) required to create a genteel society. The early history of America is largely about creating the possibility to better one’s condition on the broken backs of these “colored” peoples.
But not just the early history. The latter history of America requires the helpless and hapless immigrant to validate the triumph of the dog-eat-dog American Dream. The poor immigrant is essential to perpetuate the willingness to work for next to nothing to get a foot in the door of opportunity, and thus enrich and validate established white elites.
Slave labor was initially Black but with the abolition of slavery and the rise of an industrial economy it soon came to denote a growing and desperate non-Black populace as well: the corporation replaced the plantation.
The corporation is the revival of a slave economy by which the masters- the 1%, own and command the working people. (Remember that capitalism is dependent on marginalized labor to produce profit that accrues largely to the owners of the means of production.)
After the Great War, the war against Fascism and its allies, the euphoria of Democracy’s triumph so thoroughly addled America’s brain that the venality of capitalism swallowed it entirely, whereby it (America’s brain) to this day remains a gelatinous and malignant throbbing mass.
America has dedicated itself in the post WWII period to dominate the world’s resources in the name of Democracy and Freedom, and to ensure the success of this endeavor has contrived innumerable wars including the recent invasions of the Middle East. Its proxy States, Saudi Arabia and Israel, are the most racist and repressive of countries in the region, and both promote a chauvinism that celebrates and empowers a racial and religious Nationalism. Salafi Islam, based on Wahhabism, is the most repressive and fanatic iteration of Islam and is the state religion of Saudi Arabia- and is responsible for Islamic terrorism worldwide; in the case of Israel, the racism of Zionism has increasingly become an implacable policy which has resulted in stark and brutal Apartheid: the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza are treated like dogs (worse than slaves).
It is the greatest irony that Barrack Obama, a bi-racial President (with an Arabic name), should have elected to continue policies that project American racism into the Middle East. And it is the greatest irony that he should have elected to continue policies that curtail and repress liberty and freedom domestically in the name of a national security that essentially empowers white elites.
American racism is inseparable from this country’s predatory and traumatic economic and cultural history. “Shock and Awe” has been the consistent basis for the formation of capital from the beginning; the agricultural, industrial and corporate exploitation of both human and natural resources has only been possible on the basis of socializing greed as an exalted and rapacious patriotic activity. The American Dream is increasingly becoming revealed for what it always has been from the beginning- the American Nightmare.
It is not possible to address racism simply on the basis of perceived and demonstrable inequality; systemic racism is such for the reason that it is in fact the very basis for the American Way of Life: capitalism is exploitive by definition. Global warming and climate change are Nature’s way of making the point that there are limits to the exploitation of human and natural resources, and that it cannot go on forever.