In my obsessive quest to read anything and everything “health care reform” (health insurance reform?) over the weekend, I came across a powerful post from Maxwell Reddick at soulbrother v.2. He tells the story of black farmers and white farmers in the late nineteenth century, who were both servants to rich landowners and commodity brokers:
For a brief moment in this nation’s history, poor blacks and poor whites recognized in one another a common circumstance and destiny and pulled together in a spirit of solidarity to improve their lot in life. And for a brief moment, the movement began to gain momentum.
But then, he goes on to explain, the landowners and commodity brokers offered the white farmers the elevated status of whiteness, as long as they ended their coalition with the black farmers. In exchange for recognition as white people (i.e. privilege) and a few extra cents, the white farmers voted against their best interests, and their lives did not improve.
Good white people participating in the mobs protesting healthcare reform—this is how they played you then. This is how they are playing you now. Wake up!
I thought they’d wake up after eight years of George W. Bush. But history is repeating itself yet again. From pundits like Glenn Beck to Senators like Republican Charles Grassley of Iowa to anti-reform lobbying groups, the ruling class has working class whites wrapped around its collective finger. With the other hand, it’s holding another finger up to all Americans.