Why the Hostility to Black Lives?
“Whites are taught not to have empathy for blacks.”
I read that in an article discussing hostility to the Black Lives Matter movement, but wondered: “Is that really true” And why bother to teach that?”
The notion that whites are taught to lack empathy for blacks seemed strange, and yet there was, after all, plenty of hostility to the BLM movement — and that had never made sense to me either. Football and basketball fans refusing to watch their teams because players were pleading that their lives not be targeted for police brutality and murder. Why is there hostility to that?! Wouldn’t whites feel the same way if their sons were so frequently brutalized and killed?
Further, why did the Wall Street Journal bother to post an op-ed supposedly puncturing the notion that black men are more likely than other men to be killed at the hands of police? An op-ed that was later debunked? (Turns out, the Wall Street Journal allows falsities on its opinion pages that are forbidden from its news pages.) Why make the effort to convince people that BLM should be discredited and discounted?
None of it made sense to me. But as I pondered these questions the puzzle pieces began to fall into place.
Racism has long been used by powerful interests to divide and conquer working people and to distract them from things like the enormous redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the top over the last 40 years.
Years ago corporate heads even planted insurgents into union ranks to spread rumors that black men wanted to take white men’s jobs. This sparked fear, prejudice and bullying which helped keep blacks out of unions. And which provided corporate heads with a ready pool of black workers, should unions strike.
More recently, automation, globalization, gig work, and union busting are throwing workers out of good paying jobs, with their lost wages making their way into corporate heads’ pockets.
Add it all up and wealthy interests have a big incentive to distract folks from the real cause of their problems by scapegoating ethnic minorities, which is facilitated by teaching whites to lack empathy for other races.
Turns out, it makes perfect sense that whites are taught to lack empathy for blacks, which emerges in hostility to the Black Lives Matter movement.