Sun | May 19, 2024

Norris McDonald | Hard times – Black people and America’s obsessive imperial quest

Published:Wednesday | May 31, 2023 | 12:32 AM
We have a hypocritical situation in which America talks about democracy and human rights and yet Black civil rights and voting rights are under attack.
We have a hypocritical situation in which America talks about democracy and human rights and yet Black civil rights and voting rights are under attack.
Norris McDonald
Norris McDonald
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“The Armageddon is gathering now:

The sign is on every oppressed man’s brow:

The whites who think they are ever so smart

Do not know other men can play their part!”

Marcus Garvey

The Tragedy of White Injustice

Black families in America earn only ten cents to every dollar that white families earn and yet no serious efforts are being made by President Joe ‘Working Man’ Biden to fulfil his 2020 promises to change this deplorable situation.

In the 2020 presidential election, Black people turned out in droves to elect Mr Biden.

The vile murder of a Black man, George Floyd, on May 25, 2020, by Derek Chauvin, a white policeman, led to widespread public outrage.

Biden rose to power riding the crest of public dissatisfaction against Donald Trump, but Black anger against social injustice also helped to put him in office. His political campaign focused on civil and voting rights and poverty related issues.

A NATO proxy war with Russia or a 2024 war plan for China was far from US voters’ COVID-19 stressed minds. And yet this is the new reality and political issues weighing on American voters’ minds.

HARD TIMES

It is truly hard times we are facing, my friends. The world is in the grips of a raging war-induced economic storm that is having a devastating impact on the poor people and the middle class worldwide.

People can’t live off their basic take-home pay. But it is they who must now rescue America from her debt crisis.

President Biden and the Republican-led House of Representatives have now announced a deal to have America pay her debts. But this is good news only for the financial markets.

This debt relief plan was forged on the backs of American poor people. Social spending is expected to be cut by US$136 billion between now and 2025. And this is at a time when poverty rates in America are very high, with over 11.6 per cent of the people suffering social and economic distress, the 2021 US Census data revealed.

This amounted to 37.9 million Americans, most of whom are Black, Native Americans and Hispanics – and white poor people, too – who are living in conditions of extreme poverty.

My friends, this is not how it is supposed to be. Why must poor people and the middle class forever bear the burden, to keep the rich, forever rich?

And yet, here it is that food stamps – which help to alleviate hunger – will be cut. Healthcare and other social benefits are being cut, too. Students, meanwhile, despite Biden’s promise of relief, will remain hard-pressed, and debt-stressed; unable to pay back loans and not able to get high-quality jobs that can improve the quality of their lives.

A recent report said that only 38 per cent of the jobs created in America pay enough to support a middle-class lifestyle.

An entire generation of young Americans, therefore, face hopelessness. Given this sad, brutal reality, a recent American survey found that public attitudes towards college has become more negative, with many young people skipping college.

Children of poor people and the middle class are left to fend for themselves. And this is not paternalism, as the wonderful liberal capitalist democracy lovers would want to think.

In fact, America, as a major industrialised nation, does not offer free college education to her students. Many other countries, however, do so, including Russia, China, Cuba, and Venezuela. Jamaica, too, under the Michael Manley government, offered free education at a time when America did not.

Isn’t free market capitalism supposed to create the necessary conditions for social, cultural, educational, and economic improvement?

What do you think?

DEMOCRACY UNDER ATTACK

Meanwhile, we have a hypocritical situation in which America talks about democracy and human rights and yet Black civil rights and voting rights are under attack.

Civil and voting rights were the key issues of the millions of Black, Hispanic, and other minority voters who flocked to the polls in record number to get Biden and his Democratic party elected.

“As of January 25, 2023, [Republican] state lawmakers in at least 32 states pre-filed or introduced 150 restrictive voting rights bills,” The Brennan Center for Justice reports. These American voter suppression laws “disproportionately impacts voters of colour”, The Brennan Center adds.

Promises made, promises not kept.

President Biden, meanwhile, has announced that he will be seeking re-election come 2024. But what domestic issues can he truly say he has accomplished, especially for Black voters?

And this is exactly what US voters are saying when asked by public opinion pollsters. According to a recent survey, six out of every 10 say that Joe Biden “has done very little” or “has not accomplished much”, the Washington Post reports.

MAD, OBSESSIVE QUEST

War is not the number one issue on American voters’ minds. In fact, people are increasingly fearful that a nuclear war may break out between America and her NATO allies versus Russia.

Obsession truly is a strange thing indeed when it takes hold of the mind and creates a seemingly hell-bent, destructive quest. And America’s obsessive warmongering and perpetual imperial quest has now become extremely self-destructive.

The NATO proxy war against Russia appears to be pursued with as much obsessive zeal as that of Herman Melville’s fictional character Captain Ahab madly chased the whale Moby Dick.

My dear friends, Captain Ahab thought he could slay the haunting whale, Moby Dick, but his obsessive quest turned out to be self-destructive. Isn’t America and President ‘Joe Working’ Man Biden obsessively creating the collapse of the American ‘One Don’ empire with the NATO proxy war?

Our modern-day, seemingly irrationally, self-destructive, American Captain Ahab – redux as Commander of the glorious whaling ship, SS America – is chasing his great white whale: the military defeat of Russia.

History may well record that it was under President Joe ‘Working Man’ Biden’s command, the militaristic obsession, ultimately, as an unintended consequence, helped to hasten the collapse of America’s ‘One Don’ empire.

That is just ‘the bitta truth’!

Norris McDonald is a respiratory therapist, social researcher, and political analyst. Email feedback columns@gleanerjm.com and miaminorris@yahoo.com