My head is really fucked up about this recreant act of racism that occurred in Logan County, West Virginia. Where does one begin? How do we make sense of it or proceed in a constructive manner in this horrid affair? I've been mulling these questions over in my mind for the past few days and all I come up with is a sick feeling.
It's a tragedy on two levels. Of course, the first is the sad, sad personal level upon which this has occurred. Megan Williams will be forever traumatized by the horrors which she endured at the hands of these skank sub human monsters, and then one has to wonder how, in this post-modern society can a group of human beings become such monsters? The second level is the broader social commentary that it makes about where we are in our progress as a society.
OK, we can't judge the whole country or even most of the fine folks down in Logan County by a small group of inbred, completely uneducated, human monsters, but in the aftermath, I've read a number of quotes from area people talking about the recurring racial tension not just there in Logan County, but in the capital city of Charleston. I mean, let's get real, racism is alive and well in the United States of America and the biggest problems we have. It defines us in so many ways. It identifies us as a backward primitive society. Our technology has taken us to the moon, but we still treat people differently according to skin color.
I use the term race, but SagaciousHillbilly the biologist hates to use that term whenever there is an alternative. It only adds to the misconception that there are significant differences between the different people of the world.
When a biologist defines different "races" of a single species, they are looking for significant difference in anatomy and instinctive behaviors. Those differences are not present in homo sapiens. There ARE no significant genetic differences within our species. When we refer to different races within our society it is merely a sociological term, not biological. Biologically, we are all the same within our species and there are no different races.
Back to Logan County. . . is it a reflection of the nation? I say "yes."
A hundred or so years ago, the coal operators had to populate southern West Virginia in order to have enough workers to extract the coal. . . Logan County, along with the rest of Southern West Virginia is all about coal production and not much else. . . The coal operators employed a system of recruitment called "a judicious mix." They hired (indentured, but that's another story) equal numbers of African Americans, dirt poor European immigrants straight off the boat, and equally poor white people from the deep south. They used each group against the other in order to maximize production. A good example of this would be when a supervisor position became available. The bosses would go to the southern whites and tell them that in order to secure the position they needed to show their superiority at production, then they would go down the road and tell the blacks and immigrants the same thing. And on and on they'd go in an endless cycle of mock competitive workmanship. This is part of the reason that the unionization of the mines was so successful and forceful. We hear all about Mother Jones, John L. Lewis and lots of other white people in history classes when the United Mine Workers and the Mine Wars becomes the topic, but no one hardly ever talks about the huge influence that African American workers had upon the movement. Black workers were major supporters and organizers at the time. They were heavily involved and influential in the process.
Don't believe it? Pick up a copy of Joe W. Trotter's book "Coal, Class and Color." He tells a very interesting and revealing story of the real facts about the coalfields of Southern West Virginia in the early 20th Century. Mr. Trotter is a professor at Carneige Mellon University and one of the leading scholars on the labor movement and African American involvement. Mr. Trotter grew up in southern West Virginia. . . I suspect he knows how to get eggs out from under a chicken.
So what does this have to do with the current state of racial bigotry in America? Well, here's a community that has been mixed for almost 100 years. Almost everyone living there is of the same poor working class roots. So why does skin color matter when you're all poor working class struggling against an oppressive industrial machine run by rich corpo-fascist bosses? Some would say it's natural human pecking order. That is just another excuse. It's institutionalized racism. By pitting one group against the other, by denying history and other manipulations of society, the corpo/government entities of Southern West Virginia have successfully managed the social fabric to their advantage. These piece of shit fuck heads don't give a damn whether you learn real history or not. All they care about is getting what they want out of the population, which is maximum return for minimum investment. It's all about social engineering to serve the corporate greed machine and they have become VERY successful at doing it.
Yea, my Uncle Bob is a racist prick, but he's not really the problem. The problem is that he has been convinced, through government, media and other institutions, that people different from him are inferior and somehow do harm to him.
So next time you're confronted with some racist agenda, and I'm not talking about some ignorant moron making a snide comment, but an institutional agenda, think about how it serves the power machine and how it might relate to CHEAP LABOR, because I truly believe, that when it comes down to the lowest common denominator, it's all about CHEAP LABOR.