Adolph Reed on the cluelessness of the “multiculturalist” political agenda.

(Interview segment on Doug Henwood’s Behind the News, 2/27/2014)

AR: The way for us to generate the capacity to make the politicians of whatever party respond is to build the social forces around issues and it’s not just that the issues are right on their own but that the issues we’re talking about are those that have the potential to unite broadly the population and which effect most of the American public when they wake up in the morning and go to bed at night. The things they are concerned about and are anxious about are things like affordable housing and health care and quality education and having a pension.

DH: And that would seem to do more to address racism than 20 years of Tim Wise seminars ever could.

AR: Absolutely. Absolutely. This is one of the things I find bizarre about what was once called, you can call it something else now, identity politics, or anti-racist politics which is it seems driven in all the more shrill ways by scouring the horizon of American life or even the globe for instances that will attest to the persistence of deep racism or old school bigotry when nobody ever said that that sort of racial animus has been overcome or could be entirely overcome.

But the fact of the matter is that if you want to improve the social position of black americans, latino americans or non-whites the most effective way to do it, the biggest bang for the buck, would come from pursuing programs and goals that would enforce the economic well-being and security of the vast majority of working americans. Because not only (does) the vast majority of those non-white groups fall into the working class broadly construed but disproportionately so according to those who focus on racial disparity as a key metric of inequality. So that’s the only way to do it.

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