The most dangerous poison is racism. This toxin filled Payton Gendron’s bloodstream as the gunman went to Buffalo, New York, to kill Black people.
The latest version of this poison is the claim that white people are being “replaced.” Tucker Carlson tells his Fox News audience that they’re being pushed aside by immigrants as well as by all Black, Brown and Asian people.
This lie was emphasized by the murderer Gendron in his 180-page “manifesto.”
It wasn’t immigrants that closed nine of the ten GM plants in Flint, Michigan, destroying more than 70,000 union jobs between 1980 and 2006. Capitalism committed this mega job theft.
Because of the United Auto Workers union, Flint used to have the highest average wages in the United States. Now because of plant closings, 60% of Flint’s children live below the miserably low official poverty level.
To save money, children in the Black-majority city were deliberately lead-poisoned. Heavily polluted water from the Flint river was substituted for the clean drinking water that had come from the Great Lakes.
That’s a real replacement that Tucker Carlson won’t talk about.
It isn’t Black or Latinx people who are responsible for the inflation-adjusted wages of over-the-road truck drivers falling 55% between 1980 and 2021. It was government deregulation and union-busting attacks against the Teamsters union that committed this crime.
The last 50 years has been one long holiday for the rich. Real average wages rose just 3% between 1979 and 2018. Meanwhile productivity has zoomed. While there are 735 billionaires in the U.S., 40% of people can’t afford $400 for an emergency expense.
It wasn’t Muslims who forced 60 million people in the U.S. to use food banks and pantries in 2020. Transgender people aren’t responsible for folks being forced to buy food at dollar stores because they can’t afford to shop at supermarkets.
Shoplifters didn’t make meat prices skyrocket by as much as 20% in the last year. It was the greedy meat monopolies that committed the crime.
Even the White House admits that “four large meat-packing companies control 85% of the beef market. In poultry, the top four processing firms control 54% of the market. And in pork, the top four processing firms control about 70% of the market.”
Who’s hurt most?
Poor and working people in the United States are suffering. Capitalism destroyed nearly 7 million manufacturing jobs ― many of which were union jobs ― between 1979 and 2019.
White workers were hurt by this job destruction. Black people were devastated.
White families in the Midwest saw their median income drop by 7.1% between 1978 and 1982. That’s a great recession.
But Black families in the region saw their median income fall by five times as much. Their 35.8% income drop amounted to a great depression.
Conditions were so bad that the Black median family income in the Midwest dropped below that of the South. (Census Bureau, historical income figures-families) A “reverse migration” began southwards.
This was a real great replacement. The banksters and billionaires were determined to get rid of their dependence on Black labor in heavy industry.
Back in 1968, a quarter of all auto workers and steel workers in the U.S. were Black. That was double the Black percentage of the population. (“Organized Labor and the Black Worker, 1619-1981” by Philip S. Foner.)
Among them were thousands of Black workers employed at Bethlehem Steel’s Lackawanna works located just outside Buffalo. Almost all of these jobs were destroyed. Buffalo’s Black Community never recovered from the loss.
Using a bankruptcy to make a profit of $300 million, Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross robbed Bethlehem Steel retirees of their medical benefits.
White workers were a majority of those cut off.
Tucker Carlson, who takes home $35 million per year, won’t mention this robbery.
Capitalism continually replaces workers through automation. The number of railroad workers fell from 1.5 million in 1947 to just 145,000 today.
Black workers are often the first victims of automation. In New York City alone, installing automatic elevators following World War II threw 20,000 workers out of a job.
Throughout the United States, operating elevators was considered a “menial occupation” and was generally reserved for Black men. A. Phillip Randolph attempted to organize them in New York during the early 1920s.
The 1934 organizing drive of building workers in New York City was sparked by African American elevator operator Thomas Young being fired for not saying “down, please.” The two-million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was born in this struggle. (“Local 32B-32J: Sixty Years of Progress”)
The biggest replacements of all time
Telling poor people that they’re being replaced by other poor people is old and stale. In the 1790s, Federalists in Philadelphia blamed Irish immigrants for their election losses. (“Philadelphia ― The Federalist City,” by Richard G. Miller)
Catholics were accused of wanting to replace a Protestant majority. In the 1920s, bigots claimed that immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe were replacing “old American stock.”
Italians, Poles, Hungarians and other immigrants were blamed for being union supporters in the strike wave that followed World War I. A special target of the 1924 immigration act were Jewish people. Africans and Asians were entirely excluded.
The Tucker Carlsons of the 1930s weren’t usually attacking Islam. They were instead fighting to keep Jewish refugees out of the United States. Anne Frank died in a Nazi concentration camp because her family was denied a visa to come to the United States.
Never forget that land belonging to Indigenous nations was stolen by one massacre after another, started by the Pilgrims. That’s a real replacement.
Joe Biden needs to replace Leonard Peltier’s jail cell with freedom. The American Indian Movement leader has spent 45 years in jail.
The African Holocaust is a centuries-long replacement that along with the Indigenous Holocaust jump-started the capitalist world market. Wall Street became the financial center of the United States because it was the banking house of the slave masters.
Capitalism is cooking the earth. We need to replace it with socialism.
The first step towards a revolution is to replace the lies of Tucker Carlson and every other racist with working class truth.
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