Back on June 5, 2020, I shared an NPR article “American Police”: HTML In that post I mentioned how the trauma we all saw unfold on television regarding cases like Floyd, Arbery, and too many others opened old wounds of an incident right here at Sacramento State. But if there is one positive of the turmoil of 2020, it is a raised awareness of the past, present, and future of race relations in the USA: HTML.
While reading The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap by Mehrsa Baradaran (who happened to be born in Iran and immigrated to the United States in 1986), I came across this statement on page 58:
“In short, widespread prosperity engendered a culture of inclusion” [emphasis added]
Reflecting on what happened to me on September 10, 2018, in the full context of my experiences at the university, my life, and historical race relations in America, the connection between exclusion and concentrated prosperity came to the fore. Allow me to re-write Baradaran’s statement:
“In short, concentrated prosperity engendered a culture of exclusion”
But there is a subtlety here that I would like to shine light on. In order for there to be concentrated prosperity, those at the top must benefit from the labor of others. Those at the top must reposses, take claim, reappropriate, and/or steal the fruits of the labor of others. This, unfortunately, is in the DNA of our country which has slavery in its foundation: HTML.
A funny story of a now-retired colleague’s grandchildren comes to mind. He said he knew capitalism was alive and well just from observing how his granddaughter and grandson (not sure how old they were, let’s say 6 and 4, respectively) handled their allotment of Cheerios. The elder granddaughter wanted to eat her little brothers Cheerios before eating her own.
Although possibly traumatic to read, let my story be encouragement for all people to become increasingly aware of the dynamics at play in our country and in our minds.