The Real Reason Race Relations Have Deteriorated
The end of Obama presidency, along with Martin Luther King Day day, provide an opportunity to analyze race relations after eight years of the first (half) black president. From one perspective, it hasn’t been successful. That racial tension has increased since 2008 is undeniable. One poll finds that 55% of Americans believe race relations have deteriorated under Obama, while only 8% feel they have improved. The New York Times writes that 60% of Americans (including the majority of blacks and whites) feel that race relations are generally bad, much higher than 2008. Riots have recently rocked communities like Ferguson, Milwaukee, and Charlotte. For conservatives, this shows the failure of the Obama Administration.
What conservatives must understand is that for Marxists on the far left, increased racial tensions, riots, and violence are necessary preconditions for an egalitarian society. Soothing race relations has never been the goal because for Marxists, progress occurs through violence. The existing exploitative racist society can never be peaceful overthrown, they believe. This is Marx’s influence on the contemporary left-wing activists.
Marx explains the world by exploitation and oppression. Marx specifically argued that a “veiled civil war” exists within society between oppressors and oppressed. This struggle underlies all history and explains contemporary social conditions.
How do we change this? How do we act ethically and make the world a better place? By raising consciousness about this raging social conflict. For Marxists, the oppressed and exploited must be taught that they are victims. Thousands of left-wing activists across the country have dedicated their lives to this cause. And they have been successful: according to a CNN poll, in 2011, 28% of Americans said race is a “big problem” in America. By 2015, 49% of Americans agreed. For conservatives, this suggests Obama has failed, but for anyone working within the Marxist paradigm, this is progress because consciousness of reality, awareness of the struggle, has increased. It is a step toward violent revolution, a step toward a more egalitarian society.
Like the Bible, Marxism also prophesizes; the violent uprisings that follow raised consciousness are inevitable. Marx prophesizes: “Here and there, the contest breaks out into riots… At first the contest is carried on by individual laborers, then by the workpeople of a factory, then by the operative of one trade, in one locality, against the individual bourgeois who directly exploits them. They direct their attacks not against the bourgeois conditions of production, but against the instruments of production themselves; they destroy imported wares that compete with their labour, they smash to pieces machinery, they set factories ablaze...” These are the conditions current activists and protesters seek to create in hastening the inevitable revolution. And it’s not peaceful.
Whereas conservatives and Marxists both see this violence as threatening to the existing social structure, conservatives need to recognize that Marxists encourage this violence. Marx further prophesies, “Finally, in times when the class struggle nears the decisive hour, the progress of dissolution going on within the ruling class… assumes such a violent, glaring character, that a small section of the ruling class cuts itself adrift, and joins the revolutionary class, the class that holds the future in its hands.” Existing social structures are inherently flawed and must be destroyed through violent revolution. It’s progress.
But none of the African Americans rioters have never read Marx? No matter. We learn not just by directly reading sources, but from friends, teachers and the media. In the twentieth century, prominent African-American writers like C.L.R. James, Langston Hughes, and George Padmore used Marx’s ideas to explain racial issues in America, emphasizing struggle and exploitation. The philosophy then spreads to other prominent African-Americans, like W.E.B. Dubois, Angela Davis, and Harry Edwards. This can be said of a host of academics, too, many of whom may not be formal Marxists, but adopt part of his paradigm, such as the existence of rampant oppression. They teach these ideas to their students, some of whom go on to foment protests and riots.
Harry Edwards provides a paradigmatic example. As a sociologist, Harry Edwards is steeped in Marxism. Marx is to sociologists what Freud is to psychologists. Their writings, although not always literally followed, form a general framework for the whole field. No one can succeed in contemporary sociology without adhering to some Marxist principles. Struggle is so central to Edwards’ cosmology, he published a book in 1980 titled The Struggle that Must Be.
One more important fact about Edwards: he is a close friend of Colin Kaepernick, the young quarterback who refused to stand for the national anthem, starting a national debate about the status of African-Americans in society. Kaepernick acknowledges “Dr. Edwards is a good friend. He is someone I talk to and run a lot of things by and have lots of conversations with.”
Edwards returns the compliment: “He [Kaepernick] is evolving through an awakening [read: awareness has been raised].” Edwards teaches his disciples like Kaepernick the Marxist paradigm and Kaepernick acts accordingly, hoping to raise consciousness among others. And the quarterback’s actions have caused two phenomena: increased awareness among athletes and more racial tension. Objective achieved. The Revolution looms.
All Marxists promote revolution. That violence and riots have grow worse under Obama is in no way a repudiation of anything he has done, for the far left. In fact, for Marxists, it is quite the opposite. It is progress.