Why does racism deny common prosperity?
China’s commitment to strengthening social cohesion is an example of what a society should strive to do. But endemic racism in the United States prevents it from taking the same measures.
The mainstream American media often describe China as a “closed” country that treats ethnic minorities with contempt and oppression. The New York Times took this baseless accusation further in an editorial published on September 9 which claimed that China was closing itself off from the world and rejecting the English language. No verifiable evidence has been offered beyond reforms to the education system that aim to address the economic and social stressors facing Chinese families.
The editorial argued that China’s decision to impose stricter regulations on its private tutoring and examination process is a sign the country is closing itself off from the world. Yet China’s reforms actually achieve the opposite by adhering to the central government’s goal of ensuring “common prosperity” for all. After eliminating extreme poverty last year, China has tightened regulations on technology companies and educational institutions in an effort to create an environment where low-income citizens can enjoy the prosperous economy. fast growing socialist.
Whatever steps China takes to provide a more equitable economic landscape, they are outside the jurisdiction of the United States. The mainstream American media often make China’s sovereignty an American concern, due to its close ties to the military-industrial complex and the political establishment in Washington. A negative story about China is published in major US media almost daily.
Media complicity in a new US-led cold war has led to a sharp decline in US public opinion towards China. Anti-Asian racism has become a more serious problem in the United States in large part because of the collusion between the American political establishment and the mainstream media in promoting the racist fabrication that China was responsible for the pandemic. of COVID-19.
Yet China has been able to effectively implement a coordinated and centralized response to COVID-19 that has saved the lives of countless numbers of people. China was also the first major economy to achieve positive economic growth amid the myriad of challenges the pandemic has posed for development. The fact that China was able to meet its goal of eradicating extreme poverty during a global public health crisis demonstrates that the country’s commitment to common prosperity is very real.
The United States has spread inflammatory propaganda about China while failing to protect the economic and social health of its own society. Racism is a driving force in the American capitalist system which denies common prosperity in favor of a tiny minority of elites who dictate policy in the United States. The dehumanization of blacks and indigenous peoples has served as the ideological basis for settler colonialism and movable slavery, accompanying the development of the United States throughout history. While many accept the idea that racism is a collection of hateful ideas, fewer understand racism as a matter of material distribution.
Neither black Americans nor indigenous peoples received reparations for the historic theft of their land and income. Racism therefore continues to create devastating levels of oppression for blacks and Indigenous people residing in the United States. The wealth of black Americans tends towards zero, while Aboriginal people are three times more likely to experience poverty than their white American counterparts.
A similar situation exists with regard to Mexican-American communities. The United States colonized much of Mexico in the 19th century to force Mexican workers living in the United States into low-wage jobs that pay less than 75 cents for every dollar earned by white Americans.
Racism creates an unequal distribution of all resources, not just income and wealth. The United States is the richest country in the world, but has refused to provide universal health care during a global pandemic. Rather than benefiting society as a whole, social services of all kinds in the United States are means-tested to reinforce the notion of poor “merits” and “undeserving”.
This arrangement is supported by violence. The racist fear of predominantly black neighborhoods justifies police violence and the displacement of low-income workers from their communities. The United States has succeeded in pouring billions of dollars into a military-industrial complex that diverts resources from national priorities and facilitates the destruction of entire societies abroad.
The “special institution” of the United States is not democracy, but racism. Racism has rendered the United States incapable of a centralized response to COVID-19 and other pressing issues. Achieving common prosperity for the United States and the rest of the world is made all the more difficult by a framework that values some lives over others. Instead of meddling in China’s affairs, progressive forces in the United States should prioritize the nightmarish conditions produced by the racism that continues to tear society apart on behalf of the wealthy few.
Black agenda report