imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

African-Americans, Economic Well-Being, and Immigration

by Chaka A. K. Uzondu Sunday, Apr. 30, 2006 at 8:24 PM

...while the concern for African-American well-being is well placed, the source of the problem is not always correctly located...



"IMMIGRATION HARMS BLACK AMERICA," was the name of a document that recently found its way into my email box. The fundamental issue that this document raised was that immigration posed a threat to the economic well-being of African-Americans. It is a concern that reverberates in African-American communities. Yet, while the concern for African-American well-being is well placed, the source of the problem is not always correctly located.

African-Americans, as a group, continue to bear the brunt of living in a white-supremacist society whose capitalist economy has been exceptionally good at increasing inequality and keeping a disproportionate number of African-Americans in poverty. Presently, the US is the third most unequal industrialized society in the world.

If you are African-American, the enormous wealth gap that exists on average between you and your fellow white citizens, is reason enough to be concerned with your economic well-being. The racial wealth gap between whites and Blacks, measured by net worth, is about 6,000. This wealth gap has nothing to do with right wing babble about “culture of poverty” and other such folly.

The racial wealth gap has everything to do with the numerous social policies that have created wealth for whites, while simultaneously blocking wealth creation for African-Americans and other racialized peoples. The policies of the Federal Housing Administration, that provided 0 billion in loans for home ownership between 1934 and 1968, of which 98 percent went to whites, is a good example.

The African-American community also continues to experience the highest levels of unemployment of any group in the country. The official figure is said to be about 9%, but most of us know that this figure is flawed because it excludes those incarcerated and those who have stopped seeking work. Racial discrimination in hiring continues to plague African-Americans. A recent study found that a white man with a criminal record could find employment more easily than an African-American who has no criminal record.

When one takes these things into consideration, one can easily grasp why African-Americans are extremely concerned about the implications of immigration for the economic health of their communities.

Historically, immigration has had negative implications for African-Americans. For example, the influx of immigrants has often served as disincentives for employers to reduce discrimination against African-Americans.

The debate in African-American communities about immigration is also tied to racial/ethic tensions between them and immigrants. Most immigrants, including racialized immigrants (even Africans from the continent and the Diaspora), come to know African-Americans often through the lens of white supremacy. We are all bombarded with the negative stereotypes about African-Americans that abound in commercial pop culture. Therefore, we often relate to African-Americans in negative ways. In fact, many immigrants are often encouraged not to identify with African-Americans. As Toni Morrison puts it, immigrants all learn “negative appraisals of the native-born black populations” in the bid to become “American.”

Further, immigrants often do not recognize that whatever opportunities we get are largely possible due to the struggles for racial-social justice that African-Americans waged and continue to wage. Immigrants often fail to realize that African-Americans built the rungs on the ladder to success, which we seek to climb. By no means are African-Americans perfect, for they too have their biases. Yet, for the possibilities that racialized peoples now find available, be they immigrants or not, we owe a debt to African-Americans.

Still, African-Americans have an interest in defending the rights of immigrants.

First, it is consistent with the Black Freedom Movement. That long and ongoing struggle for justice and a non-racial democracy that has been waged by the first Africans brought here against their will, embodied in the life work of Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Baker, continues to the present.

Second, immigration is not the cause of the economic problems confronting African-Americans. Critically, the challenges that African-Americans face emerge primarily from the combined forces of white supremacy and this capitalist economy, which privileges the interest of corporations and the super-rich over all people.

For example, immigrants do not cause the high levels of unemployment and underemployment in African-American communities. Latina/o immigrants are not major employers, so even if they practice exclusionary “ethnic hiring,” they are seldom capable of hiring large numbers of African-Americans. Rather, it is the owners of corporations who decide to hire workers who are easier to exploit because being “undocumented” often means being more vulnerable. Major business owners also prefer hiring immigrants to African-Americans because anti-black racism remains endemic, and African-Americans are the groups most likely to join unions to defend their rights as workers.

Further, Latino immigrants did not create the impoverishment of African-American communities. Rather, it is a result of (1) ongoing racial discrimination; (2) the massive deindustrialization of the U.S. since the 70s; (3) systematic disinvestment from urban areas; (4) white flight and its attendant destruction of the urban tax base, and the re-location of jobs to mainly white suburbs; (5) gentrification; and (6) corporate outsourcing of U.S. jobs in their quest for more profits.

Of course, there is competition between African-Americans and Latino workers for certain jobs. Yet, is it better to fight over jobs that are underpaid while CEO’s are extraordinarily overpaid? According to USA Today, CEO’s running the biggest 100 companies in the U.S., receive median pay of about .9 million dollars. Can supporting anti-people, pro-corporate polices peddled by the right wing, improve the economic realities of African-Americans or anyone else for that matter? Can supporting explicit white supremacist policies that criminalize immigrants benefit African-Americans, who remain under siege by the criminal injustice system?

Certainly, it is in the interest of African-Americans and the majority of people for immigrant workers to have greater security. Certainly, African-Americans, immigrants and all workers gain from policies that guarantee living wages to all workers, that strengthen the rights of workers to unionize, and that ensure meaningful employment opportunities for all.

The pro-immigrant marches and the multiracial support they have received demonstrate that there exists an opportunity for a powerful alliance between African-Americans and immigrants. Not only because African-Americans have always been at the forefront of struggles for positive social transformation, but also because African-Americans, immigrants, and everyone else share an interest in creating a more just society. Importantly, the central issue for such an alliance should be racial economic justice. Focusing on racial economic justice would benefit other racialized groups and would include defending the rights of immigrants. It would also go to the heart of U.S. economic inequality.

Therefore, it is critical that African-Americans support immigrants and build a Black/Brown led, cross-racial movement against white supremacy and economic inequality. The widespread demonstrations across the country make plain the emerging opportunities for patriots to positively transform this country in fulfillment of its promise to the world. History shows that African-Americans have always honored that responsibility. They have always led the struggle for full equality. Why should this moment be any different?

Chaka A. K. Uzondu is an Education Coordinator for the Racial Wealth Divide Project at United for a Fair Economy. Email Chaka at cuzondu@faireconomy.org

Chaka's most recent articles can be read at http://www.racialwealthdivide.org/.

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

The Shortwave Report 04/06/18 Listen Globally! A05 4:25PM

Nicaraguas Conflic with native Peoples on the Caribbean Coast Near Bluefields in Decade80 A05 12:14PM

Millions Boycott The Sponsors Of Laura Ingraham A05 11:36AM

THE CONSERVATIVE THREAT A05 6:51AM

The US, the Dollar, IS and Saudi Arabia A05 3:34AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy