Racist Violence Cant Be Separated from the Violence of Neoliberal Capitalism

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2127 ... June 19, 2020

Racist Violence Can’t Be Separated from the Violence of Neoliberal Capitalism

Henry A. Giroux

"I don’t see an American Dream; I see an American Nightmare" -- Malcolm X.

As a renewed Black Lives Matter uprising fills the streets following a spate of high-profile police murders, the state-sanctioned murder of Black people continues on other fronts as well, including public health and economic injustice. In addition to protesting the widespread killing of Black people by police, activists have called attention to the systematic abandonment of Black communities as a function of both white supremacy and neoliberal capitalism. While some mainstream voices have focused on condemning the looting happening in the streets, many activists have called attention to the much larger-scale looting perpetrated by neoliberal capitalism against marginalized communities.

At this historic moment, the pandemic of racist violence cannot be separated from the violence imposed by neoliberal capitalism. The walls and cement barriers now surrounding Trump’s White House signify both the infectious ruthlessness that produces police violence at home and abroad, and the war waged... on those populations viewed as disposable. The paramilitary forces attacking peaceful demonstrators in the streets are inextricably related to those economic forces driving neoliberal capitalism and the politics of racial sorting, spiraling poverty, and soaring inequality. These rapacious economic structures extend from a predatory financial sector to big corporations that produce massive misery, engage in unchecked exploitation, plunder the public sector, and concentrate wealth and power in the hands of a ruling elite.

The raging coronavirus pandemic and the pandemic of racist violence have pulled the curtain away from the brutality and horror of neoliberalism’s individualizing of the social, which states that all social and political problems are solely a matter of individual fate and choice. This reduction of politics to personal referents is a duplicitous attempt to hide the systemic nature of massive racial and economic inequities.

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