Leonard Pitts on Poor Whites

Mr. Pitts is a capable and distinguished columnist. For what it’s worth, I tend to disagree with him more often than not. This of course does not mean that I don’t respect the man and his work.

His latest column,
Poor whites are being conned, makes for an interesting read.

A snippet,

Which is a desription [sic] that fits many in Appalachia — and also a vast swath of African America. So for me, the story here isn’t simply the old, familiar tale of the nation’s stark racial divide, but also another tale, just as old, less often remarked, of how the white poor and the black poor have long been kept at one another’s throats as a means of keeping them from looking too closely or clearly at the ways both are maniuplated by the forces of money and power.

Dr. Zinn also addresses the origins and sordid purpose of this in his classic, A People’s History of the United States. Mainly he deals with the topic in a chapter titled, “Slavery Without Submission, Emancipation Without Freedom”.

A sample,

The need for slave control led to an ingenious device, paying poor whites–themselves so troublesome for two hundred years of southern history–to be overseers of black labor and therefore buffers for black hatred

For other posts on Dr. Zinn see below,
“Dennis Prager and Howard Zinn have tea”

“A People’s History of the United States”

One Response to Leonard Pitts on Poor Whites

  1. rgularjoe says:

    Some I’m interested…where do you weigh in on the argument? I tend to agree that people who are hurting look to find someone they can in turn hurt to help alleviate their pain.

    Its also true that at the points in Dr. King & Malcolm X lives that they began to move from a Black Nationalist perspective to a “we are the world” focus to uplift every person that was hurting were they assasinated.

    The same can be said for the Black Panther Party…their greatest offense towards the government was the Free Breakfast Program they initiated for the poor kids in Oakland, CA. It’s also important to note that a lot of young college kids from neighboring Universities (i.e. Berkley) became active in the BPP cause. Bridging the gap of Black and White.

    Just a thought…let me know what you think.

    While hurting people may, and in fact do, seek others to project their hurt unto, this in no way makes such actions blameless. Personal responsibility cannot be tossed overboard simply because one is hurting. –Laz

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