[Marxism] Is white male privilege an "illusion"? (Was: Re:Troubled time)

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Sat Nov 25 18:54:54 MST 2006

Sayan Bhattacharyya wrote:
> On 11/25/06, Joaquin Bustelo <jbustelo at bellsouth.net> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> > From 1979 through 2002, median wages for that population as a whole
> > increased, from $551 to $609 (2002 dollars).
> >
> > White workers benefitted the most, with the median increasing $57 to $624.
> > Black workers got a smaller increase, $44 to $498.
> > The wages for Hispanic workers DECREASED $22, to $423.
> We  are trying to determine here  whether (or how much) poorer,
> working-class whites are subject to the same economic stagnation as poor
> blacks or latinos.

You can't understand the issues by piling up empirical detail. Joaquin
_Misnames_ the phenomena he describes. There is simply direct relation
between the change in the wages of whites and the change in the wages of
blacks. It is correct the wages of black workers did not rise decently.
(The same, in the period 1979-2002, was also true of the rise in wages
for the upper levels of workers, the "most privileged" in Joaquin's

How to name this? I would say, vulgarly, that Black workers got screwed,
as they always have. I don't see how babbling about the wages of others
has anything whatever to do with this. And the problem of white workers'
consciousness, including attitudinal racism, is an important but
separate question.

The  ghettos have to be eliminated. School funds have to be equalized
across different districts. Living wages have to be legislated. The
morale of police departments must be broken. All the material conditions
of blacks have to be changed on a social level. Racism is the 'common
sense' explanation of the miserable conditions of huge numbers of
blacks. That will change when that condition changes.


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