“Nigger, nigger, nigger.”

I read the previous post after not thinking about it for a while, and at first blush it seems a little harsh and a bit too focused.  I intended it more as a thought experiment than a cogent analysis, though, so I wasn’t overly concerned about it’s intellectual accuracy.  However, this morning I saw this:

Is the Manufactured Crisis at the Post Office a Push Toward Privatization?

I’ve mentioned this before somewhere in the past, but I believe it more relevant now: I once heard a joke, told to my face, by a white colleague at a former job.  It goes as follows:

Q: What do Florsheim Shoes and the U.S. Postal Service have in common?

A: 20,000 pairs of black loafers

So if you’re wondering now if I am fixated on race, if I’m imputing racial motivations to an issue that is more generically political and economic, allow me to clarify.  I’m not suggesting that the move to destroy the unionized, lower-middle-class labor force of the USPS is entirely racially motivated.  I’m suggesting the saboteurs understand that racial politics make the destruction an easier sell.

While we must never forget that racism is a core element of conservative politics, I don’t believe this dynamic excludes putative liberals.  They may not use the word ‘nigger,’ not even in their thoughts, but when they see this USPS story in corporate media, what do you think will stand out in their minds?  The letter carrier they rarely if ever see, who delivers their mail day in and day out, faithfully upholding the United States Postal Service creed?  The workers they’ll never see, tirelessly sorting mountains of mail for hours on end (or something like that)?  Or will they envision the sassy black bitch who didn’t smile at them after they waited twenty-five minutes in line trying to mail a package in late December?

My money’s on the latter.  While the efforts of the Wall Street protesters are vital and admirable, I believe that the majority of putative liberals are Oprah-liberals and hedge fund Democrats.  This doesn’t mean most of them are wealthy, but it does mean they’ve bought into the same ‘free market’ nonsense as have the right-wingers.  As reflected in their voting choices, they are unwilling to seriously challenge the neoliberal bipartisan oligarchy that runs our country.  A few are deeply invested in it, yes, but the rest are just hanging on for the diminishing consumerist ‘benefits.’  So when they don’t see massive, nationwide prosecutions of mortgage fraud or securities fraud or the like, they don’t even shrug.  Conversely, when they see thousands of hard-working public employees being scammed out of their livelihoods by a craven Congress beholden to reactionary antilabor interests, they don’t blink.  Serves those ‘black loafers’ right, I guess.

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