An answer to "Why is everything always about race?" (Audio)
The next time you hear someone say "Why is everything always about race?”, and you think they actually want to know, send them this... There's a short answer and a long answer and they're both based on historical evidence.
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1676 - Bacon's Rebellion - Where does "White People" come from? (Listen)
1865 - The KKK is founded
1865 - 1877 - The period of reconstruction
1920 - Black votes lead to massacre in Ocoee, Florida
1971 - The war on drugs
If you have a social media profile like mine, and you hang out in the comments section as much as I do, you’ve probably seen the question “Why is everything always about race?”. This question almost always starts a fight. Most people clap-back with the same response. Everything is always about race “because racism is still happening!!” This is true. But I think it needs some explanation. I believe I know why this question comes up so much. It’s frustrating. I mean, between the declaration of independence, the civil war, the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, a black President and your black friend, it’s like “how can racism possibly still exist?” So, I’m going to try to clearly describe why I think everything is always about race and why it’s important to recognize.
There’s a short answer and a long answer to this question, by the way.
The short answer to why everything is always about race is, because that’s how America was designed, and it hasn’t changed yet.
Here’s the long answer…
You may have heard, or read somewhere, at some point during your social media stroll that Irish people were slaves. That’s not true. As a matter of fact, it’s been officially debunked by Irish scholars. They did work for free for a period of time, but they weren’t slaves. This is how it worked. In the 1600s Europeans voluntarily travelled to what’s now called the America. looking for opportunity. They arrived on ships and they worked the land for a term of 4-7 years, after which they got a piece of land, some tools and they were free to go start their lives. These guys were called Indentured servants. Africans also travelled to America on ships, but it wasn’t voluntary. They were sold out of Africa to Colonists who took them to America for the purpose of working the land. At this time, the same rules that applied to Europeans applied to Africans. After their term, they got a piece of land, some tools and they were free to go. For the most part of the 1600s free Europeans and free Africans had the same rights and privileges. They could do things like vote, run for public office and marry one another.
Africans and Europeans worked together.
But there was a small elite class. The landowners. The 1%. And their goal was to build capital by controlling everything about their most important value; property.
That’s where a guy named Nathanial bacon comes in. It’s 1667. Nathanial’s a rich landowner, but he’s not a member of the elite class and he’s got a bone to pick. He’s pretty ticked off for a few reasons:
He wants land. But Indigenous people live on it. And so every time he tries to steal land from them, they fight back and the elite aren’t giving him the kind of support he wants.
He feels like the working class, 99% of the colony, are doing all the work, but King George is giving all the good, farmable land to his buddies.
At this time, Africans and Europeans were working together, but as the supply of free labour from Europe dried up, the elite started adding significant time to people’s terms, keeping them as indentured servants for longer and applying harsher treatment than before.
Tensions were high and Nathanial had a lot of support from the European and African people. So, he starts a revolution, it’s called Bacon’s Rebellion.
It’s unclear but it doesn’t seem that any of the elite were killed during the rebellion, instead the rebellion involved things like ransacking, burning down and looting the homes of the elite. This is kind of like the first ever Occupy Wall street movement, where the common people are letting the elite know, that they’re coming for their share.
The rebellion is relentless, the elite are terrified and it goes on for over a year, until the elite, call in the big guns, and the British army comes down from England and quashes the rebellion.
The elite, who’s plan is to control everything, realize that although the rebellion was successfully quashed, they know if the workers ever rose up again, they might be in big trouble and that their capitalist objectives, of ruling everything, would be threatened. So they needed to come up with a plan to ensure that the workers didn’t band together and rise up again.
They knew they needed to divide and conquer. They just needed to decide what they were going to divide the people based on.
So, they look at the group which is composed of Africans and Europeans (English, Irish, Scottish, some German, some French) and they think to themselves okay, let’s divide and conquer based on something we know separates them. So, they chose religion. Africans, for examples weren’t Christians so it made sense to them. They accomplish creating a divide by making laws that favoured one group over another. They made laws that stated, for example, only Christians could vote, or own slaves or have access to land.
But people didn’t resist the new laws, they just started converting to Christianity and so the elite were like “okay, well that didn’t work we’re gonna need to divide people based on something that you can’t just convert to”. That’s when they came up with the brilliant plan to divide people based on a concept that they completely made up – race and white people. Before this time, people weren’t white or black. They were African, or British, or European. The elite created a new label for a group of humanity that never existed before, and they declared priority treatment for that group and second-class treatment for “others” – Africans and Indigenous or Tribal people.
This new race of “white people” was suddenly deserving of privileges that “others” simply mjdidn’t have. The elite made new laws that said White people were not allowed to marry others. “others” couldn’t vote or hold public office, have guns and gun powder or own land. “Others” were restricted from testifying against white people.
This is significant because, through the creation of laws, white people get the impression that they’re more important, more deserving and always in first place. This went on for generations and generations, and nothing has been done to change it. Which is why it persists and everything is always about race.
The racial divide that was created in 1667 wasn’t by accident. The divide was created intentionally so that the elite could hold all the power. And they still hold it today. It affects every aspect of American life, from employment, to healthcare, to education, to housing, everything. And I believe that most people don’t know about Bacon’s Rebellion and the creation of a new race, and if you don’t know about something, you can’t change it – that’s why it’s still happening.
If you go through the historical timeline you can see clear examples of whiteness taking priority. When the Civil War ended, slavery continued for another 80 years. During the 12 years of reconstruction when free black people formed separate communities that thrived, that’s when the KKK formed. When Black people got the right to vote, riots broke out to make sure no black people voted. You can see the difference in priority right now. When drugs plague a black community it’s called a war. When they plague a white community, it’s called a crisis. This is all as a result of a priority that was literally made up over 350 years ago.
So what are you gonna do about it? Well, I don’t know, but I would start by studying history. The elite have divided Americans by race for their own selfish gain. If you look back in history you will find examples of people trying to band together and they were either silenced or killed. Look at Martin Luther King. He tried to bring the working class together. He was tracked by the CIA and killed. If you don’t know your history, you’re bound to repeat it. I don’t believe being colour blind is the solution. You’re going to have to see the racial divide first before you can overcome it.
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Until Next time. Peace.