Thursday, November 08, 2018

COTW: A House Divided by Race

The midterm election results are in, and its a mixed bag: Democrats now control the lower chamber while Repugnants increased their majority by three seats in the upper chamber.  Turnout was heavy with the largest percentage of eligible voters participating in a mid-term election since 1970 at 47%  These charts, courtesy of the BBC tell the story, or as US Person's barber is fond of saying, "res ipsa loquitor":

It is not because some white people are greedy, Mr. Yuge.  The reason for the nation’s disunity is some white people like those in the charts above still cling to the foundation myth of 13 English colonies immersed in the dirty business of slavery: white supremacy.*  But it is evident from your political rhetoric you already know that.
*Horne, The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism p 47, 157-59, 190-191 (2018)  Horne’s thesis is that policy makers in London and colonies consciously chose to employ a “synthetic whiteness” to counter the threat of rebellion and social unrest in colonial settlements outnumbered by slaves of imported African blacks and displaced indigenous Americans.  Ethnicity and religion became secondary considerations to combating disruption of lucrative trade made possible by slave labor.  The concept of “white” was therefore expanded to include immigrants from Iberia to the Urals.  America’s “unpardonable sin” was committed in the name of profit. 

The profits generated by the slave trade, notably conducted from ports in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, were astronomical-- reaching a 1600% return. In turn the southern colonies' sugar, cotton and tobacco industries depended almost entirely on enslaved Africans.  Indentured Europeans were too expensive.  Deregulation of the British slave trade after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 insured the accumulation of wealth generated by slavery was held in private hands, and not the crown's.  But frequent slave rebellions in the Caribbean drove many slave-owning entrepreneurs north to the mainland, particularly to Carolina.   Thus, it may fairly be said that the development of capitalism in North America has its roots mired in slavery.