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 Post subject: Racecraft
PostPosted: December 27 17, 11:05 pm 
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I'm reading a book called "Racecraft" by Karen Fields and Barbara Fields. It's very good. The word "racecraft" is used kind of like the word "witchcraft". Today no one really believes in witchcraft but it made sense to many very smart people for hundreds of years. They are arguing that race is like that.

If you go back to the 1600s when settlers were first moving to America, the first "slaves" were white. They were basically peasants that came over to try to make a new life. It's a bit more complicated, but the short version is: they served a certain number of years as a servant and then were given some land of their own. There was an uprising in the late 1600s of a bunch of white slaves/former slaves who were armed. Since the white underclass was getting too feisty, the plantation owners started bringing in African slaves. This time they made them slaves for life so there would be no uprising. Meanwhile the former white slaves started their own culture and economy that was mostly slave-free. Their culture evolved mostly separate from slavery. Then fast forward to the founding of the country on the principle of "liberty" which directly contradicted slavery. The book says: "Euro-Americans resolved the contradiction of slavery and liberty by defining Afro-Americans as a race; Afro-Americans resolved the contradiction more straightforwardly by calling for the abolition of slavery."

So yeah, at the bottom of all this is southern farmers who wanted to make more money farming, and that had the power to shape the culture in a way to make that happen.

An aside: the fact that an armed insurrection helped white southerners win better treatment is interesting. Is this where our gun culture comes from? Poor white people rising up against capitalists? This is the exact argument some of them use - that you need to be armed and ready to take on the big bad government.

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