May 20, 2017
Justice Initiative International
The U.S. is in the midst of a demographic transition unlike any in history. No nation with a white European ethnic majority has evolved to become a nonwhite-majority nation, a shift the U.S. is on track to achieve by mid-century. Certainly no nation has done so after half a millennium in which white Europeans and their American kin colonized much of the (nonwhite) world, and dominated global economics and warfare. (Bloomberg)
We now know that the invasion of Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11, as was the rationale at the outset by the Bush administration. And the real reason for the invasion of Iraq? Was it because of US desire for Iraqi oil? Was it at the request of Israel because of Saddam Hussein’s aggression against Israel? Was it about water? Was it because of the desire of America’s Military Industrial Complex to be the recipient of even more money from US taxpayers? Maybe it was a combination all these reasons and more.
I had heard early in the conflict that a major reason for the war was to assist Israel in the possible access to the Tigress and Euphrates Rivers in Iraq to serve Israeli water needs. It makes sense. As the violence in Iraq is ongoing, thanks in large part to the US destabilization in the area, the recent conflict is also about water. Regarding this, Fred Pearce notes in the Yale publication in 2014:
Conflicts over water have long haunted the Middle East. Yet in the current fighting in Iraq, the major dams on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers are seen not just as strategic targets but as powerful weapons of war….
The two rivers water a region long known as the “Fertile Crescent,” which sustained ancient Mesopotamian civilizations. They were the first rivers to be used for large-scale irrigation, beginning about 7500 years ago. The first water war was also recorded here, when the king of Umma cut the banks of irrigation canals alongside the Euphrates dug by his neighbor, the king of Girsu.
Not much has changed. The dependence persists, and so do the disputes. The main difference today is that the diversion dams are bigger, and supply hydroelectric power as well as water. And that is why in recent months, many of the key battles in Iraq’s civil war have been over large dams. (Yale)
The “real” reason(s) might not have seemed compelling enough to kill thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq or might demonstrate too much of the underlying greed of the government and its corporate backers. (Iraq Body Count notes that 280,000 violent deaths occurred in Iraq. Others, as by the Opinion Research Business survey, estimate 1,220,580 deaths thanks to the war.)
And war profiteering?
One of the top profiteers from the Iraq War was oil field services corporation, Halliburton. Halliburton gained $39.5 billion in “federal contracts related to the Iraq war”.Many individuals have asserted that there were profit motives for the Bush-Cheney administration to invade Iraq in 2003. Dick Cheney served as Halliburton’s CEO from 1995 until 2000. Cheney claimed he had cut ties with the corporation although, according to a CNN report, “Cheney was still receiving about $150,000 a year in deferred payments.” (Wikipedia)
The same behavior of government lying applies to domestic policies as well, and, in this instance, I will address (1) voting, (2) immigration issues and (3) other domestic policies in the United States such as removing diverse history from our schools. But first here is information about changing demographics.
Observing Patterns of White Concern about Changing Demographics
About 10 years ago I began hearing about stringent voter ID laws being both thought of and implemented in places like North Carolina and I began to inquire about what on earth was happening in the South. I explored this issue with civil rights activists and was told that the powers that be – mostly white, of course – were concerned that too many people of color were moving into the South. So, I realized then that southern whites were determined not to allow people of color to control the southern political scene any more than they already had since the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. And what better way then change laws or develop deceptive policies, such as crosschecking, that largely prevents huge numbers of people of color from voting!
Voter suppression also increased after the 2013 Shelby v Holder case in Alabama when the Supreme Court decision destroyed a critical part (preclearance) of the Voting Rights Act. As a result of the ruling, states are no longer required to seek permission from the courts to implement what might be discriminatory voting laws, such as stringent voter ID laws and gerrymandering of districts.
For decades, I have also worked in the rural south in efforts to save black owned land and assist black farmers throughout the region. In my contact with farmers, I knew first hand that countless Mexicans had moved into the region after NAFTA, as both black and white farmers were hiring Mexicans and many black farmers were learning Spanish so they could converse with their workers.
In fact, since the 1990’s passage of NAFTA, some 2.3 million Mexicans were forced off the land as workers or farmers in Mexico. This was largely because of the huge US Department of Agriculture subsidies of, for example, cheap corn and other crops that were dumped on the Mexican market. The Mexican farmers couldn’t compete with these cheap crops so many moved into the United States.
And Trump blames the Mexican migrants? Give me a break! Instead, he needs to go after the US policies that offer massive subsidies to huge corporate agribusiness entities. It’s the US that’s the culprit here and most certainly not the Mexican migrants. Invariably it’s the little guy or woman against the corporate and government exploiters.
Projections of Whites as a Minority in the United States
From a 2015 Aljazeera article, here is something about this:
The nation’s demographics are on a clear trajectory: White people are dying faster than they are being born, which means they are on target to become a minority in the United States in 30 years.
For the third year in a row, deaths of non-Hispanic whites outnumbered births, according to detailed population estimates for states and counties released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau….
White populations under 20 declined in 46 states – in all but Hawaii, Utah, South Dakota, North Dakota and the District of Columbia.
Non-Hispanic whites were the only group with a higher death rate than birthrate. As a result, their numbers grew the slowest: up 0.5 percent from 2013 to 2014, compared with 2.1 percent for Hispanics, 1.3 percent for black people, 3.2 percent for Asians, 1.4 percent for American Indians and Alaska Natives, and 2.3 percent for native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.(Aljazeera)
Is this why the right-wing in America wants to rid the country of Planned Parenthood, women’s contraception and rights to abortion? They want more white babies as the real reason rather than any kind of religious moral issues? Something to think about!
Hopefully white women will wise up to this and consider stopping having sex with their white husbands or lovers to protest this attack against women. “No sex” protests have worked effectively to change policies in some countries. “Do sex strikes ever work? Yes, but mostly as a means of garnering media attention.” (Slate) Getting media attention on a sex protest like this sounds like an excellent idea!
Minority Population in the South?
Another major consideration to explain what I was witnessing as far as voter suppression is concerned is the rapidly changing demographics in the southern US in particular. Here is something from Loyala University in 2009 reporting North Carolina receiving huge numbers of Latinos:
As Figure 1 shows, seven of the ten states which witnessed the fastest rates of Latino growth during the decade of the 1990s, are located in the South. More specifically, the Latino population in North Carolina grew close to 400 percent, followed by those in Arkansas (337 percent), Georgia (300 percent), and Tennessee (278 percent). The hyper-growth of Latino communities in the South is all the more remarkable in light of the fact that during the same decade the average nationwide growth of the Latino population was only 58 percent….
Economic expansion in the South has been the direct result of the region’s insertion in global capitalism. A growing number of transnational corporations, such as CNN, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Daimler-Benz, Toyota, Wal-Mart, and Fed-Ex, have located their headquarters or production plants in the region. These corporations operate through post-industrial forms of production that attracts more than just highly-skilled and high-income professional and managerial class. The new industrial models also depend on a vast low-skilled force, often hired in temporary and precarious arrangements, to support the housing, consumption, and lifestyle requirements of the professional class. Although there has been some migration of highly-skilled industrial workers from Latin America, the great majority of Latino immigrants have joined the flexible unskilled labor pool. Many work in construction, dry walling and roofing companies, landscaping firms, hotels, restaurants and manufacturing plants, not only in cities such as Atlanta and Raleigh, but also in Birmingham, Huntsville, Memphis, and Little Rock. (Loyola University)
White Supremacy Raises Its Ugly Head
In response to the changing demographics in America, and in the South in particular, the white elite in the South is doing whatever it can to maintain power. It is doing this, for one, with voter suppression, such as cross-checking as mentioned above; restrictive immigration initiatives; attacking black history departments and diversity in history overall in universities.
Cross checking is when states will compare voter roles. If the names are the same they will purge the names from the voting roll. They do not necessarily check middle names, dates of birth etc. Conservatives will state, as Trump did as well, that millions of people are voting twice. False news? Absolutely.
Does crosschecking discriminate against minorities? Yes, that appears to be the case. Here’s why:
We had Mark Swedlund, a database expert whose clients include eBay and American Express, look at the data from Georgia and Virginia, and he was shocked by Crosscheck’s “childish methodology.” He added, “God forbid your name is Garcia, of which there are 858,000 in the U.S., and your first name is Joseph or Jose. You’re probably suspected of voting in 27 states.”
Swedlund’s statistical analysis found that African-American, Latino and Asian names predominate, a simple result of the Crosscheck matching process, which spews out little more than a bunch of common names. No surprise: The U.S. Census data shows that minorities are overrepresented in 85 of 100 of the most common last names. If your name is Washington, there’s an 89 percent chance you’re African-American. If your last name is Hernandez, there’s a 94 percent chance you’re Hispanic. If your name is Kim, there’s a 95 percent chance you’re Asian. (Rolling Stone)
So here are some figures on the impact of crosschecking in the last election. In November 2016, just after the presidential elections, journalist Greg Palast made this striking report on the impact of crosschecking:
The system, called Crosscheck, is detailed in my Rolling Stone report,
“The GOP’s Stealth War on Voters,”
Crosscheck in action:
Trump victory margin in Arizona: 85,257
Arizona Crosscheck purge list: 270,824
Trump victory margin in North Carolina: 177,008
North Carolina Crosscheck purge list: 589,393
And people illegally voting or voting twice? In December 2016 the Washington Post reported that only 4 people voted twice that they could find from their research and here are the scenarios of these four:
Possible cases of voter fraud
Two possible cases of fraud in Washington state.Investigators are looking at two possible cases of fraud near the Idaho border. In the first, a man may have signed his deceased wife’s name on an absentee ballot; in the second, someone may have voted in both states. Charges have not been filed in either case.
A possible case in South Carolina. A man in the Palmetto State is being investigated on suspicion of voting both by absentee ballot and in person.
Ballots are being challenged in North Carolina. Because of the close gubernatorial race in North Carolina, several dozen ballots were challenged by Republicans as having been cast by convicted felons in the state. An independent group found that at least 18 of the 43 alleged cases of fraud were not fraud at all, instead confusing valid voters with people who were ineligible given their status. There’s not yet any verification that the other ballots were from ineligible voters, either….
As of writing, there are four demonstrated examples of people committing voter fraud during the 2016 general election. That’s 0.000002 percent of the ballots cast in the race for the White House – if they counted, which they won’t. (And it’s including the mayoral fraud in Florida.)
There is simply no evidence that fraudulent ballots played any significant role in the 2016 presidential election whatsoever. (Washington Post)
In many key states, the number of people purged by Crosscheck was much, much larger than Trump’s margin of victory. As Tom Hartmann notes in his January 2017 article “Does No One Care That 7 Million Votes Were Not Counted?”
In Michigan, for example, the number of people purged from the voting rolls — 449,000 — was about 40 times larger than Trump’s margin of victory — around 10,700 votes.
In other words, Crosscheck probably won Michigan for Trump.
It also probably won him Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
This is a HUGE story — the presidential election was probably stolen! (Hartmann)
Trump keeps trying to restrict those from various Middle Eastern countries and the courts continue to challenge his directives. The elite, such as Trump, is also justifying these actions by blaming migrants, primarily from the Mexico or the Middle East, of various crimes. Remember, these folks from Mexico and the Middle East are people of color!
Trump rails against Mexicans, for example, claiming rape or whatever he chooses to say that day about crimes committed by migrants, which are ridiculous accusations based on all the findings. But then Trump does not seem enamored with science, or research about anything that contradicts his mandate for the day. I must say that when George W. Bush said he was going after the “generic” terrorists in the wake of 9/11, I thought “good”, he was going after the real criminals in America – the white supremacists such as the KKK and others like the KKK now sitting in boardrooms, as renowned civil rights leader Reverend Joseph Lowery would remind us. It was wishful thinking on my part.
However, regarding migrants and crime, as reported in the New York Times in January 2017 “that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States”. This applies to the undocumented as well. Here’s what the New York Times had to say about this.
A central point of an executive order President Trump signed on Wednesday – and a mainstay of his campaign speeches – is the view that undocumented immigrants pose a threat to public safety.
But several studies, over many years, have concluded that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States. And experts say the available evidence does not support the idea that undocumented immigrants commit a disproportionate share of crime. (New York Times)
Trump has also inappropriately complained about and pointed his fingers at Muslims and his accusations are totally inaccurate. From a Georgia State University study shared in a March 2017 article in Reason.com entitled “Do Muslims Commit Most U.S. Terrorist Attacks? Nope. Not even close” Ronald Bailey reports:The Georgia State researchers conclude: “By covering terrorist attacks by Muslims dramatically more than other incidents, media frame this type of event as more prevalent. Based on these findings, it is no wonder that Americans are so fearful of radical Islamic terrorism. Reality shows, however, that these fears are misplaced.”
Such fears are indeed misplaced. Your risk of being killed in a jihadist terror attack in the last 15 years amounted to roughly 1 in 2,640,000. Even if you stretch the period back to include 9/11, the risk would still just have been 1 in 110,000. Your lifetime risk of dying in a lightning strike is 1 in 161,000, and your chance of being killed in a motor vehicle crash is 1 in 114. Given that our government has already squandered more than $500 billion on homeland security, while encroaching on our liberties, it is vital that Americans keep the threat of terrorism in perspective. This new study is one small step in that direction. (Reason.com)
So Trump also wants to build a wall between the US and Mexico? Do you think he wants to primarily protect Mexicans from American violence? Maybe so!
Destroying Our Knowledge of Diverse Histories
One effective way to control people is to deny them their history. As Karl Marx would say, “People are treated differently for profit.” So denying people their history makes it easier to exploit and control others for your own profit and that appears to be largely the rationale here. White Americans are apparently poised to dilute the diversity of history being taught in universities. But here’s something more about the importance of knowing our own history.
Amos Wilson notes in the introduction of his profound book, “The Falsification of Afrikan Consciousness: Eurocentric History, and the Psychiatry of White Supremacy” that the control of history is one in which whites can control the behavior of those they desire to oppress for the white community’s benefit:
“Eurocentric historiography – the biasing and falsification of history in ways that justify White supremacy – is not merely fiddle-faddle of absent minded professors ensconced in academic ivory towers. It involves a deliberate and serious exercise in myth-making, in the development of Eurocentric cultural mythic thought which rationalizes a concrete social order founded on the perpetual subordination of Afrikan peoples to European peoples. Moreover, the Eurocentric social order which the European historiograhic and behavioral science establishment legitimate and support, is essentially a “social machine” which manufactures a consciousness and behavioral orientation in Afrikan peoples designed to serve the purposes of White supremacy.” (Amos Wilson)
In Georgia, Kennesaw State University has recently attempted to rid the University of its black history department. However, thanks to responses from both white and black students, the university has delayed the decision to do so. But it is my understanding that many universities across the country are exploring that same possibility of ridding their curriculum of Black history but also women’s history, etc.Another example is that some states are wanting to rid their schools of Howard Zinn’s book “The People’s History of the United States.” Here’s what has been happening recently in Arizona and Indiana as reported by “Democracy Now” on March 3, 2017:
And a bill before the Arkansas state Legislature would prohibit publicly funded schools from teaching the works of late legendary historian Howard Zinn. In 1980, Howard Zinn published his classic book, “A People’s History of the United States,” which would go on to sell more than a million copies. The Arkansas bill is not the first attempt to censor Howard Zinn’s works. Indiana’s governor attempted a similar measure in 2010, and in 2011, Arizona lawmakers removed “A People’s History” from schools in Tucson as part of the ban on Mexican American studies. (Democracy Now)
So Zinn is a threat to the white powers that be? It appears so. And I need to say that if something is identified as a threat to conservative whites it’s a time to run out and get the book, article or whatever they are wanting to ban because it will probably have important and relevant information for you and for the masses of people in the United States and all over the world.
And why is this the case? In his work, Zinn is about “empowering” the people whether they are black, white, Latino, native American, etc., he is writing about their history and sharing their stories. He wisely acknowledged that history is generally written by the conquerors rather than offering a narrative from the people themselves and about their struggles and victories and what their desires might be. He importantly wanted to change that traditional narrative by offering us his book:
In a letter responding to a 2007 critical review of his A Young People’s History Of The United States (a release of the title for younger readers) in The New York Times Book Review, Zinn wrote:
My history… describes the inspiring struggle of those who have fought slavery and racism (Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Fannie Lou Hamer, Bob Moses), of the labor organizers who have led strikes for the rights of working people (Big Bill Haywood, Mother Jones, César Chávez), of the socialists and others who have protested war and militarism (Eugene V. Debs, Helen Keller, the Rev. Daniel Berrigan, Cindy Sheehan). My hero is not Theodore Roosevelt, who loved war and congratulated a general after a massacre of Filipino villagers at the turn of the century, but Mark Twain, who denounced the massacre and satirized imperialism.
I want young people to understand that ours is a beautiful country, but it has been taken over by men who have no respect for human rights or constitutional liberties. Our people are basically decent and caring, and our highest ideals are expressed in the Declaration of Independence, which says that all of us have an equal right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The history of our country, I point out in my book, is a striving, against corporate robber barons and war makers, to make those ideals a reality – and all of us, of whatever age, can find immense satisfaction in becoming part of that. (Wikipedia)
So the white South wants us only to know about white male conquerors and white male accomplishments and white stories that shine the light on those of white European descent? How boring and irrelevant is that? Yet it appears to be the case and it needs to be defied! And, mind you, white woman are left out of these accounts as well.
White folks wanting this are obviously incredibly insecure and, in fact, American and European history has never been as broad or as diverse as it should be in the first place. Again, it takes one to know one! Diverse history? We need much more of it!
Given the perceived threat of whites becoming a minority in America, I have mentioned above some of what appears to be actions by white conservatives to maintain white power in America through voter suppression; harassing migrants and preventing more from coming into the country; attempting to deny all of us access to the diverse history of Americans and of those throughout world. These, I know, are but a few examples. Please keep in mind that these objectives of maintaining white superiority are not only southern, as it is often touted, but by countless whites across the entire country who are of that mindset as well.
Lies are being told by the national, state and local governments to achieve the goal of enhancing “white supremacy” instead of empowering all of the people in the United States in what is supposed to be a democracy.
We have our work cut out for us, that’s for sure, and activists, including countless white folks as well, and many of the courts all over the country are doing precisely that by organizing in response to this current state oppression. This is hugely encouraging. I firmly believe that democratic principles and the important collective mindset of respect for the other and honoring the humanity of the other are values engrained in millions of Americans. I must say I am also convinced that, ultimately, it is these values that will prevail.