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”

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