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The author begins by discussing the origins of racism and its development to its current state. He theorizes that racism emerged from capitalism due to the desire by capitalists…
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Summary Paper Racism and Capitalism—Crisis and Resistance: Exploring the Dynamic between Oppression and Racial Oppression
Spector’s article discusses one of the most prominent social problems in the society today, racism. The author begins by discussing the origins of racism and its development to its current state. He theorizes that racism emerged from capitalism due to the desire by capitalists to segment the labour markets based on racial differences in order to maximize their profits (Spector 119). He also makes a distinction between racism as a form of oppression and economic exploitation (Spector 121). According to the author, racism has managed to expand due to the various ways in which it has been conceptualized. Racism is mainly seen as a system of practices that enforce the ideology of whit privilege. Also, racism is also conceptualized as a form of separatist oppression. Spector concludes that racism can only be eradicated if people avoid blind racism (Spector 127).
Thesis: In order to effectively fight against racism and oppression, it is necessary to understand four critical issues namely the distinct nature of racism vis-à-vis other forms of oppression, the economics and dynamics of racism oppression, identifying the main beneficiaries of racism, and taking into account class issues when dealing with racism.
I. The first aspect of analysing racism is to understand its development in the modern era.
A. Racism as we know it today emerged from the annals of capitalism.
1. The need for wealth owners in Europe to maximize their profits led them to taking Africans and other races as slaves to work in their firms.
2. Racism emerged as way of the rich segmenting their labour force in order to maximize their returns from each segment.
3. The patterns of racist oppression and exploitation seen today can easily be traced to the origins of capitalism.
B. The main factor in analysing racism is its base or root, upon which it is perpetrated
1. Given this background, it is easier to conclude that the main base or root of racism is exploitation for economic purposes as opposed to oppression.
II. Racism can be conceptualized in many different ways.
A. Racism as a system of practices
1. Racism is a complex system that encompasses many ideas and practices, all of which reinforce each other.
2. The perception that racism should only be viewed in terms of ‘White-Black’ relations is in itself very narrow.
3. A good understanding of the concept of racism has to take into account the different socioeconomic and political processes in the society.
B. Racism as a form of Separationist Oppression
1. Racism can also be viewed as one form of oppression just like other forms of separation that distinguish between different classes.
2. These may be based on gender, religion, ethnicities or even age.
III. Racism is driven by many different ideas and behaviours that promote the notion of White Privilege.
A. Racism as an idea to enforce the agenda of the capitalists
1. The idea that racism promotes the agenda of the wealthy individuals in the society begs the quest as to why some middle class men also practice racism.
B. Racism and the interests of the Whites.
1. Beginning from the 1960s, racism was viewed as a means through which the Whites promoted their interests while opposing the interests of others, especially the blacks.
2. This was mainly aimed at promoting white superiority over other races.
C. Do all whites benefit from the notion of white privilege in racism?
1. Only the wealthy whites can benefit from racism and the oppressive systems that sustain it because racism is meant to promote their capitalist agenda.
IV. Averting racism can only be achieved through avoiding colour blind racism.
A. The concept of colour blind racism is a major block in fighting racism.
1. Colour blind racism refers to the idea that all whites benefit from racism.
2. This often takes the discussions of racism away from the questions of class relations, which are very prevalent in racism.
Work Cited
Spector, Alan. “Racism and Capitalism—Crisis and Resistance: Exploring the Dynamic between Class Oppression and Racial Oppression.” Humanity and Society 38.2 (2014): 116-131. Print. Read More
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