Nowhere in the ancient or modern world… is there the idea that people will become self-sufficient if they are given a lifetime income that is slightly better than subsistence with no requirement either to work or educate themselves. —Shelby Steele
The multicultural plantation was made possible by the Immigration Act of 1965, which opened America’s door to more than twenty-five million non-white immigrants mostly from Asia and Latin and South America. Democrats have seized on this demographic change, the third great wave of immigration in America’s history, to create an expanded plantation system that incorporates blacks, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics. This plantation—fortified by an accompanying ideology of multiculturalism and identity politics—is the new venue for the most crippling racism that exists today.
What is Identity Politics?
The textbook definition of identity politics is “a tendency for people of a particular religion, race, or social background to form exclusive political alliances, moving away from traditional broad-based party politics.” Identity politics includes the ways in which people’s politics are shaped by aspects of their identity through loosely correlated social politics. Mark Lilla of The New York Times believes liberals have overly focused on racial, social and sexual identity, thus reducing a more universal appeal. There is an admirable aspect of identity politics: opposing discrimination like racism, sexism, and homophobia. I support that commitment. Frankly, fighting against dishonesty and violence is equally important as standing up against racism and discrimination.
Identity politics say you and your experience matter. Your identity gives you authority. Your beliefs can’t be invalidated because your identity can’t be invalidated. In the case of race, non-white people decided that their non-whiteness enabled them to speak with authority on topics of race. White people could only participate when they admitted that they were less worthy of speaking. Of course, this makes honest and productive dialog between non-whites and whites quite difficult. It’s as though we can only understand the black experience if we’ve been enslaved, beaten for our whiteness, persecuted, lynched, and so on. Identity politics has been utilized relative to the Muslim-American and Mexican immigrant experience of the twenty-first century.
What I cannot support is hijacking the American political process to fight discrimination. Further, liberal politics takes the same stance against capitalism—to include stripping education, health care and housing of their status as a commodity (in other words, they should be entitlements rather than something to be purchased). Here’s their argument: If everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed, there’s no injustice when some of us fail. They want to create a more economically-equal society. Identity politics allows a race to focus not on how they should act in society; instead, it argues that external forces—in this case, discrimination—obligates them to act a certain way. It’s not their fault. They were victimized into protesting the system. Bucking it in any way possible.
It’s tragic that, though the statement “black lives matter” is so obviously valid, after several years, most Americans still don’t support the movement. I think that’s because its most vocal members have made everything about race—citing their race as the reason why everyone must listen to them, instead of trying to convince people why they must be listened to as individuals. They make as many sweeping generalizations about race—who can speak, who can ask questions, who can understand, who must try to understand but will never understand anyway—as they accuse others of making. So, they shouldn’t be surprised when, instead of effecting change, they are now mired in cultural wars—the product of dissenters turning identity politics against them.
A Second Look at Racism
It is important to examine the exploitation schemes put into place by racism and white supremacy. I am certainly not one to deny the existence of white supremacy in America. It’s worth noting that humans tend to be prejudiced in nearly any setting at nearly any time in history in nearly any society. The slave plantation from the 1820s through 1860 generated its own type of racism to justify the ownership of human beings by other human beings. Doesn’t that statement sound absurd and evil on its merits? Interestingly, in a country built on the proposition that “all men are created equal,” it was difficult to have slavery without introducing the rationalization that the slaves were an inferior type of human or perhaps even subhuman, so that it would be acceptable to treat them like brutes or “merchandise.” Perhaps the more applicable term for how slaves were treated on the plantation was “chattel.”
The slave plantation was also a self-contained ecosystem, transmitted through generations, with its own rules and codes of conduct. Work was mandatory—it was the point of the system—but masters knew slaves had no incentive to work, because they did not receive the fruits of their labor. Even masters who were ordinarily kind people knew they needed the whip to make the slaves work against their will. Stealing in general was regarded indulgently by slave-owners because they recognized they owned not just the stolen property but also the thief who stole it. In no slave state were slave marriages legal, and there were special laws governing mulatto children who turned up. If a plantation owner impregnated a female slave, the law held that the offspring of that union remained a slave. Slave status, in other words, was transmitted through the mother. This was the way of the old slave plantation.
The Second Phase of Racism in America
The rule was quite different from the one that operated under the second phase of racism and white supremacy, which was the progressive plantation phase, from the post-Reconstruction 1880s through the 1950s and 1960s. Here black identity was established by the one-drop rule, in which any discernible black heritage—theoretically a single drop of black blood—consigned one to inferior legal and social status. This phase was typically defined by racial segregation and racial terrorism. It was often defined by such features as separate schools and separate water fountains, the exclusion of blacks from public life with the possible exception of sports and entertainment, and the use of various and often horrendous forms of intimidation—lynching being only the most gruesome—to punish suspected black criminals and to suppress the black vote. This was the way of the progressive plantation.
But where are racism and white supremacy today? Since those earlier schemes of racist exploitation have ostensibly ended—we don’t have slavery of the antebellum type anymore, legal segregation has been abolished and no longer do roving hordes of Klansmen ride rough-shod over black communities—some might hold that racism and white supremacy have largely disappeared. Some outspoken black leaders claim that racism has not diminished; rather, it has gone underground and now operates covertly rather than overtly to thwart the aspirations of blacks and other minorities. The less we actually observe public displays of this racism, the more insidious and powerful it is. Yet how do we address a charge of “invisible” racism?
Progressives and Racism Today
Progressive pundits insist that racism doesn’t have to manifest itself through individual or overt acts of racial discrimination; rather, there is “symbolic racism,” involving the use of coded symbols like the American flag or the Union Jack to provoke racial animosity, and “institutional racism,” operating through seemingly race-neutral practices such as university admissions policies, corporate hiring, bank lending and government contracts. Since those selection processes—merit-based though they may appear—disproportionately benefit whites over blacks, they are manifestations, we hear, of “white privilege” and “white supremacy.”
Some may ask, “Why pursue hidden racism when there is obvious racism staring us in the face?” We can clarify this idea by asking a different question: “Is there a system of subjugation today that reveals the most blatant manifestation of racism and white supremacy and also represents the third phase of the plantation?” This question generates a series of others. If so, how does it operate? Why don’t the people who run the system want to fix it? Why don’t the inhabitants get up and leave? Is such a system limited to blacks or does it also involve other minorities such as Native-Americans, Asian-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and Muslim-Americans?
Perhaps we’re now able to understand why inhabitants of the urban plantation don’t get up and leave. The answer is that the culture of the plantation breeds a kind of “learned helplessness.” The term was coined by psychologist Martin Sleigman, who accidentally discovered the phenomenon while doing research on dogs. Seligman and a colleague saw that dogs subjected to electric shock turned passive and made no effort to escape even though they could easily avoid subsequent shocks by jumping over a small barrier. He ultimately applied the concept of learned helplessness to individuals. Children who do poorly on math tests (this includes me!) begin to feel helpless about their chances for learning math. Women who are habitually shy never want to venture out into social situations because they are resigned to perpetual shyness. Torture victims develop a passivity that makes them inured to being tortured.
Learned helplessness refers to the way that once the mind is conditioned in a certain way, it can become immobilized in that state. In this sense, learned helplessness is an enslavement of the mind. Today it has become a basic principle of behavior analysis and behavior therapy. Remarkably, this concept can apply to groups as well as individuals. Learned helplessness seems to be the reason why people who live miserable lives on the urban plantation nevertheless don’t get up and leave. Please understand I am sensitive to the plight of people (whites and non-whites) who simply cannot afford to move. This occurred in large numbers during Hurricane Katrina. When Katrina hit, more than a quarter of the people in New Orleans were living below the poverty line. Twenty-seven percent of its citizens did not own a car, making evacuation even more difficult and expensive than it would otherwise be.
Who’s Running the Urban Plantation?
What about the people who run the urban plantation? This includes the whole class of overseers: the politicians, the intellectuals, the public defenders and class-action lawyers, the social workers and administrators who together operate and uphold the plantation. Why don’t they fix, improve and rehabilitate it to make it more livable? Why can’t our congressmen and senators find a way to bring about the type of country intended by our Founding Fathers? The short answer is that they have no reason to do this. The urban plantation is run entirely by Democrats. Most of these inner cities are one-party states. There is not a Republican in sight. Every position from the mayor on down is held by Democrats. So these are Democratic plantations in the same way that the old rural plantations were Democratic plantations.
The urban plantation as currently constructed by the Democrats works just fine for the Democratic Party. It creates a dependent class that the Democrats can service, maintaining inhabitants in a position of meager provision so that they are content enough to vote to keep the subsidies coming, but not so well provided for that they might entertain the thought of leaving or making it on their own, in which case they would cease to be a reliable political constituency for progressive Democrats. Additionally, the meager circumstances and cultural pathologies of the urban plantation create a resentment among inhabitants. The Democrats steer this resentment toward the Republicans, and the white man and the larger society, always forgetting to mention that it is they—the Democrats—who actually run these places. Instead, Democrats use the racial resentment generated by the way they run the urban plantation to bludgeon society and condemn America for failing its most vulnerable citizens. The idea is to extract an increasing fund of capital for the urban plantation that, however, never actually fixes anything but keeps the inhabitants in a state of lasting intergenerational dependency.
We see how the plantation, which does not create employment for its inhabitants, nevertheless does provide stable employment to a whole class of academics, social workers and bureaucrats. The employment is stable because the plantation is permanent; there are no plans for it to ever be dismantled. The “war against poverty” is a perpetual fight in which poverty always wins because the game is rigged and the combatants are not fighting to win, only to “hold the line.” These bureaucrats don’t want to end social policies that subsidize illegitimacy; yet they have no plans of their own to restore and stabilize the black family in America.
The Multicultural Plantation
The Democrats’ new plantation, just like the old Democratic slave plantation, must expand in order to survive. Let us see why this is so. Blacks are 12 percent of the population, so with 90 percent of blacks voting Democratic, the Democrats have locked in 10 percent of the vote. American Indians are less than 1 percent of the population, and the Democrats get most of them. Asian-Americans are just under 5 percent and the Democrats get around 60 percent of them. Still, this is less than 15 percent of the total population.
Hispanics are even more numerous than blacks, 13 percent of the population. Hispanic is essentially a linguistic term, referring to people from the Spanish-speaking countries south of the border. Hispanics are by far America’s largest minority and, being a young population, also the fastest-growing. Some demographers believe they will make up 25 percent of the population of the United States by 2040. If the Democrats could garner 90 percent of Hispanics, this would add at least 10 percent to their current vote, raising them to having a guaranteed base of 25 percent of the national total with the promise of an even greater harvest in the future.
So finally we are in a position to answer the question of why the progressive Democrats focus so much on illegals. Essentially, they want to blur the distinction between legal and illegal immigrants, so that when Republicans speak out against illegal (uncontrolled) immigration, Democrats can portray them as being “against immigrants.” This way Hispanics—not just illegals but also legal Hispanics whose families have been in America since the mid-nineteenth century—will learn to fear and despise Republicans in the belief that they are racist bigots who are opposed to all Hispanics. It’s another of those big lies of course, but a toxic one.
The reason Democrats need the lie is that they have no other way to win over hardworking, self-supporting people. Instead, they need dependent people who don’t believe they can survive without the Democratic Party to take care of them. Democrats are hoping that Hispanics who are angry over President Trump’s intention to stop the constant influx of illegal, undocumented immigrants pouring into our country will simply barge across our borders and vote Democrat. The Los Angeles Times reported on October 21, 2018 that a miles-long 7,000-person strong caravan of illegals are marching on our southern border intent on walking right in. It’s as though foreign nationals are marching on our borders in protest of Donald Trump. For me, this is a clear and present danger to the national security of our nation. We simply must know who is entering our country. To allow illegals to waltz in en masse is to allow virtually anyone to emigrate no matter their intention.
It’s time we confront the progressive agenda in America. Before it’s too late. Before our core values disappear with the dinosaurs.