Read the keystone essay – Racism in America – White Supremacy

Capitalism, Delusion, Economy, Inequality, Racism/White Supremacy, Security State

My Year End Siege of Angers – the list –the rerun

December 29, 2023

Last year, at about this time,  I tapped away at the list below. In recent days I returned to the question of a new Siege of Angers. I came up with little new and found that last year’s Siege of Angers remained at the top of my mind. The one exception is the continuing siege of fascism spearheaded by Trump. We need to counter-attack vigorously. I don’t believe the Democrats are in a position to —>> read more –>>


  1. Carter C. Price and Kathryn A. Edwards, “Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018” (RAND Corporation, September 14, 2020),
  2. Please note that the income distribution in 1975 was not an ideal. There was significant inequality. From our current perspective, it seems idyllic compared to the transformations of the last 40 years.
  3. Price, Carter C., and Kathryn A. Edwards. “Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018.” (RAND Corporation, September 14, 2020).
  4. For another day, we could look at the wealth inequalities that this has produced. Much worse!
  5. The classic origin text is Hayek, Friedrich A. von. The Road to Serfdom. G. Routledge, London, 1944.
  6. This movement was also championed in the UK and then forced on much of the developing world through US foreign policy, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank
  7. The “liberalism” of neoliberalism is not the liberalism we associate with FDR and the Democratic Party here in the US. The academics who coined this word were referring to 18th and 19th century European liberalism. A different beast.
  8. First Inaugural Address on January 20, 1981
  9. see Mariana Mazzucato, The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths, Revised edition (New York, NY: PublicAffairs, 2015)
  10. Just search for "monopoly"(click on this link to conduct the search) on this website for many discussions of monopolization.
  12. I have to credit my stepson Jonathan London, Professor of Global Political Economics at Leiden University in the Netherlands, with this observation.
  13. Lewis Powell, “Memorandum: Attack On American Free Enterprise System | Lewis F. Powell Jr. Papers | Washington and Lee University School of Law” (August 23, 1971),
  15. Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens,” Perspectives on Politics 12, no. 3 (September 2014): 564–81,
Racism/White Supremacy, Social Nature, Women

Thoughts on Woke, Decolonization, and Getting Things Right

November 19, 2023

The public upsurge in white supremacist politics in the last year or so has refocused my attention on the ongoing need to get our history right. To continuously struggle to challenge every assumption about how and why life is organized in the fashion that we find today. In July of this year, the Florida Board of Education issued new standards for teaching students about slavery. This included “Instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in —>> read more –>>


  1. Florida’s State Academic Standards –Social Studies, 2023
  2. For a description of the daily impacts of Jim Crow laws and regulations, see: Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, 1st ed (New York: Random House, 2010).
  3. for a popular introduction to this topic: Charles C Mann, 1491 (Second Edition): New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2006).
  4. See Charles W. Mills, The Racial Contract, 1st edition (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999) and Charles W Mills, “Provost Lecture: Charles Mills - Liberalism and Racial Justice” (Stony Brook University, September 27, 2012),
Racism/White Supremacy, Video Posts

Video Post – Embracing Our History of White Supremacy

April 27, 2023

Received this morning (4.28.2023) from YouTube: “Important notifications Community Guidelines warning Your content Embrace White Supremacy was removed due to a violation of our Community Guidelines.” Clearly, no one at YouTube watched even the first minute, let alone the entire video!! I appealed. To YouTube’s credit, I received a response to my appeal within ten minutes! “After taking another look, we can confirm that your content does not violate our Community Guidelines. Thanks for your —>> read more –>>

Racism/White Supremacy

Embracing Our History of White Supremacy – addendum

April 27, 2023

No sooner did I finish work on my 4.18.2023 post “Starting down the path to embracing White Supremacy” than I came upon a powerful essay on the Time website, “Without Indigenous History, There Is No U.S. History” by Ted Nighthawk, a professor of history and American studies at Yale University. Here is an excerpt from that essay. A reorientation of U.S. history is required for many reasons. It cannot be accomplished simply by adding new —>> read more –>>

Racism/White Supremacy

Addendum to “Starting down the path to embracing our history of White Supremacy”

April 23, 2023

A Reader Adds: My friend Walter Stitt wrote to me last week partially in response to my post, “Starting down the path to embracing White Supremacy” Here are his additions: “I have shared my interest in Rhode Island history, and the often salutary effect RI events had on the development of the country as a whole. Two huge positives are the understanding and empathy Williams had for the natives of this area, and the contributions —>> read more –>>

Briefly Noted, Economy, Racism/White Supremacy, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

The Glory of Our Food – on the back of farm workers – more from John Oliver

April 19, 2023

Only the oldest amongst my readers will remember Edward R. Murrow’s 1960 CBS TV report Harvest of Shame (opens CBS channel on YouTube) that reported on migrant farm workers, including scenes from upstate NY and Long Island. Unfortunately, not a lot has changed for the better in the lives of migrant farm workers over the last 63 years. For instance, here in New York State “The phased-in, gradual reduction in the overtime pay threshold will begin —>> read more –>>


Racism/White Supremacy

Starting down the path to embracing our history of White Supremacy

April 18, 2023

Several years ago, I participated in a reading group at the Hudson Area Library that worked through a range of writings by James Baldwin. Since he is an author I had not read in several decades, I was intrigued at how resilient and on target his comments about race and America remained. A big take away for me was the observation that racism is white people’s problem. More recently, I have been reading Richard White’s —>> read more –>>


  1. This presumes that indigenous peoples even had the concept of ownership of the land they had lived on for thousands of years
  2. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution.” Sermon Given at the National Cathedral, March 31, 1968
  3. "The Vicious Reality Behind the Thanksgiving Myth" by David J. Silverman
  4. See Lepore, Jill (1999). The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity. New York: Vintage Books.
  5. This is close to the distance between Hudson NY and Chicago or just a bit less than a trip between Seattle and San Francisco.
  6. Phippen, J. Weston. “Kill Every Buffalo You Can! Every Buffalo Dead Is an Indian Gone.” The Atlantic, May 13, 2016.
  7. What are racial covenants? -
  8. Ibid
  9. See this NPR story for more about this: Racial covenants, a relic of the past, are still on the books across the country
Empire, Racism/White Supremacy, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

The Empire and Capitalism – Expansion of Railroads Across the North American Continent

March 19, 2023

Recently I listened to the first episode of the podcast City of the Rails.1 About 30 minutes in, the author Danelle Morton interviews the historian Richard White about what actually happened when railroads were built across the North American continent in the 1860′ and ’70s. 2(opens the podcast at the interview) White briefly describes that the US government gave away land that was occupied by Indian tribes for thousands of years. The US gave away lands —>> read more –>>


  1. from the podcast series description: When journalist Danelle Morton’s daughter skips town to hop trains, she follows her into the train yard, and across America. Join Danelle as she travels the country to understand what drew her daughter into the hidden world of the railroads.
  2. Richard White (historian). (2022, October 18). In Wikipedia.
  3. the podcast inaccurately describes this as the Transcontinental Railway Act
  4. for a global view of a quintessential capitalist industry, cotton, see Sven Beckert, Empire of Cotton: A Global History, First Edition (New York: Knopf, 2014)
Books, Economy, Racism/White Supremacy

A Revisit – book review from 2001 – When Work Disappears- WJ Wilson

March 16, 2023

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Here is a book review I posted on 3.24.2001 When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor – book review When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor Book Review: William Julius Wilson, When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor(New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1997) Race is never far from the surface in America’s public or private worlds. The —>> read more –>>

Economy, Racism/White Supremacy, Women

Women’s Equal Pay Day – how to make it obsolete

March 14, 2023

Today, March 14, 2023 is Equal Pay Day “This date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.”1 Women have to work a fifth of a year longer to make it to the same pay as men. The wage gap for Black and Latino women is much larger. A Simple Step to a Solution Pass a law requiring all employers to post the actual annual —>> read more –>>


Capitalism, Economy, Education, Empire, Environment, Healthcare, Inequality, Politics, Racism/White Supremacy, Security State, Women

My Year End Siege of Angers – the list

January 1, 2023

Yesterday as I was taking a walk up and down Warren St. here in Hudson I realized that I had become actively angry about the state of the US and the world. I walked past hotels where a single room would set you back $400 for a night or you could go for the suite that is a mere $1300. This in a country where 32% of the people can’t pay an unexpected $400 bill.1 —>> read more –>>


  3. see the empirical study Martin Gilens, Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America (Princeton, N.J; New York: Princeton University Press ; Russell Sage Foundation, 2012).
  11. and
Justice/Jails, Racism/White Supremacy

The State of Mass Incarceration – 2022

March 14, 2022

Prison Policy Initiative released a new report on the state of incarceration in 2022. (graphics from prison Over 80% of those in Local Jails are waiting for trial – they’ve been convicted of nothing other than not having the money to buy their way out of jail. Drugs still drive Federal prisons. See the full report here —>>> The US is Still Number 1 Not to worry that we might have lost our status —>> read more –>>


Briefly Noted, Racism/White Supremacy

“Why Did Racial Progress Stall in America?”

December 4, 2020

The 12/4/2020 NYTimes ran a very interesting opinion piece, “Why Did Racial Progress Stall in America?” by Robert D. Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett. This is a great summary of why, despite appearances, actual progress towards racial equity stalled after the surge of the post-WWII era.

Racism/White Supremacy, Video Posts

Video Post – Wondering What White Supremacy looks Like?

October 28, 2020

A recent study of the Boston area real estate market reveals continuing discrimination against people of color. A video post.

Racism/White Supremacy

Structural White Supremacy In Action – the real estate market

July 2, 2020

Wondering What White Supremacy Looks Like? (click on image to download the report) The Boston Globe reported on July 1, 2020 on the results of a study by Suffolk University Law School, “Qualified Renters Need Not Apply” (link downloads the PDF of the study) from the Globe report: An undercover investigation released Wednesday found that Black people posing as prospective tenants in Greater Boston were shown fewer apartments than whites and offered fewer incentives to —>> read more –>>


  1. access 7.2.2020
Inequality, Politics, Racism/White Supremacy

Reparations and the System of White Supremacy

June 25, 2020

Monetary reparations for African Americans may accomplish very little to drive basic changes in the five pillars of the system of white supremacy: housing, education, healthcare, employment, and the judicial system.

Briefly Noted, Economy, Education, Inequality, Justice/Jails, Racism/White Supremacy, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

“How Structural Racism Works” – Tricia Rose and Samuel Rosen – recently noted

June 7, 2020

If you are struggling to get your head around how racism works you will probably find it helpful to have a general framework as a guide. This one hour lecture from 2017 features an overview by Brown University Professor Tricia Rose of the structure of racism and how it works in the US (approx. 29 minutes). Then follows a case study by Samuel Rosen, senior researcher, How Structural Racism Works Project at Brown, of how —>> read more –>>

Briefly Noted, Politics, Racism/White Supremacy

Recently Noted – Eric Foner on the Electoral College, presidential elections…..

May 21, 2020

The May 21, 2020 Issue of the London Review of Books contains a review article, “The Corrupt Bargain” by Columbia U. Professor Eric Foner1. It is a wonderful review of the history of this peculiar institution, The Electoral College. In the midst of his survey of the history of the electoral college system he notes: A candidate can carry a dozen or so large states by small margins and capture the presidency while trailing far —>> read more –>>


  1. more about Foner here:
Briefly Noted, Capitalism, Racism/White Supremacy

Recently Noted – challenging views of Justice Clarence Thomas – the intractable nature of white racism

October 15, 2019

A challenging take on the state of racism in the US. Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson reviews books on Clarence Thomas and his views on countering intractable white racism.

Other, Racism/White Supremacy

Slavery in Hudson – updated

September 14, 2019

9/12/2019 A lecture at the Hudson Area Library tonight, Slavery and Dutch-Palatine Farmers: How did middle class farmers in Colonial New York interact with slavery?’ by Travis M. Bowman. The lecture began with the note that slavery in NY state lasted for over 200 years – from 1625 when the Dutch East India Company began the import and sale of slaves in New York City ending with its outlawing in 1827. Mr. Bowman brought new —>> read more –>>

Briefly Noted, Education, Inequality, Racism/White Supremacy

Recently Noted – busing, re-segregation, white supremacy

July 17, 2019

The recent controversies surrounding Joe Biden’s anti- school busing collaborations with racist politicians from the south has for the moment aroused new comment on segregated America. The New York Times published an excellent review of the history of school desegregation by Nikole Hannah-Jones, “It Was Never About Busing: Court-ordered desegregation worked. But white racism made it hard to accept.” As the article notes the yellow school bus has been in use for almost a hundred years. —>> read more –>>

Family, Inequality, Justice/Jails, Racism/White Supremacy, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Evicted – the book and the exhibition

April 3, 2019

Eviction from home is a regular feature of life for the poor and working class, more so for black and brown people. The civil justice system works with the same imbalance of power as the criminal system. Based on the book Evicted by Matthew Desmond.

Racism/White Supremacy, Videos-Movies-Podcasts

Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman and White Supremacy

January 1, 2019

Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman and White Supremacy Adam Driver stars as Flip Zimmerman and John David Washington as Ron Stallworth in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKLansman,Photo credit: David Lee / Focus Features Spike Lee’s latest movie focuses on the story of a black detective who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan in 1978 and ’79. As a movie that is being widely seen and reviewed by white, probably mostly liberal, Americans it is frustrating that most viewers will feel —>> read more –>>

Racism/White Supremacy

Why “White Supremacy”?

November 28, 2018

The term “white supremacy” has come into widespread usage to identify racist organizations and adherents, especially so in the wake of the Charlottesville incident (8/12/2017) and the ongoing dog-whistle politics of Trump and the Republican Party. “White supremacy or white supremacism is the racist belief that white people are superior to people of other races and therefore should be dominant over them. White supremacy has roots in scientific racism, and it often relies on pseudoscientific —>> read more –>>


  1. accessed 11/27/2018
  2. United States, and National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders. Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders. Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1978.
  3. accessed 11/27/2108
  4. King, Martin Luther. Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution | The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute. Accessed 13 May 2018
Racism/White Supremacy

The Land Rush of 1889 and White Supremacy

August 28, 2018

‘Oklahoma Run.’ Oil on canvas by Robert Lindneux The Oklahoma land rush of 1889 is the subject of much lore including paintings, photographs, movies, and more. The background of how this hord of white people came to acquire stakes in what had been Indian Territory under the removal acts of the pre-Civil War era is an example of long standing white supremacist policies concerning the fate of Native Americans. There is an interesting twist however —>> read more –>>

Inequality, Politics, Racism/White Supremacy

Countering White Male Top 10% Affirmative Action

May 22, 2018

Countering White Male Top 10% Affirmative Action The continuing advances of elite white males1 requires action. They live and procreate in a closed loop of social, educational, and political advantages and protections. Wealth flows to them behind the uniformed doormen of the Upper East Side and the hedges of the Hamptons(or their equivalents in every major city). They justify their status with the politics of free market capitalism, the rugged risk-takers driving the economy forward. —>> read more –>>


  1. Here we are mainly focusing on the US, but much of this discussion can be applied to elite males everywhere.
  2. Chart from accessed 5/20/2018
Racism/White Supremacy

White Affirmative Action – Martin Luther King in 1968

May 13, 2018

White Affirmative Action – Martin Luther King in 1968 In recent years scholars and activists have begun to point out how white privilege is supported by many decades of government action that affirmatively transfers money and resources to whites while explicitly denying the same support to African-Americans.1 To my knowledge Martin Luther King never used the phrase “white affirmative action”, but in his March 31, 1968 speech at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, “Remaining —>> read more –>>


  1. We have written about this phenomenon here regularly - more here:
  2. King, Martin Luther. Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution | The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute. Accessed 13 May 2018.
  3. Listen to the speech here:
Justice/Jails, Racism/White Supremacy

Mass Incarceration – The New Jim Crow – Michelle Alexander

March 7, 2018

Mass incarceration, largely through the War on Drugs, combined with white racism has produced a catastrophe for African Americans. It is hard to imagine that if young whites, despite being no more likely to offend drug laws than blacks, were subjected to these laws that we would have seen a sharp reaction from the white majority. Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow is important reading and a call to action.

Healthcare, Justice/Jails, Racism/White Supremacy

Opioids and White Privilege – Lock’em Up vs. Treatment

December 12, 2017

Opioids and White Privilege The arrival of opioids as a national concern might focus your attention on the role of drug companies, doctors, and hospitals in creating this new addiction path. In the October 30 New Yorker Patrick Radden Keefe provides a through introduction to this in his piece, “The Family That Built an Empire of Pain: The Sackler dynasty’s ruthless marketing of painkillers has generated billions of dollars—and millions of addicts”. But taking another —>> read more –>>


Briefly Noted, Empire, Racism/White Supremacy

Thanksgiving – a bit of a corrective history telling and turkey adaptation

November 22, 2017

Corrective History The NYTimes posted a bit of Turkey Day corrective history: “Most Everything You Learned About Thanksgiving Is Wrong” By MAYA SALAM “The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth,” from 1914, by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe borrowed from NYTimes Adaptive Turkeys The Trump pardoned two turkeys yesterday at the White House. But, no surprise for us here in Columbia County, wild turkeys are doing just fine. Once again the NYTimes, ever on spot for trending issues, has an article —>> read more –>>

Briefly Noted, Racism/White Supremacy

Recently Noted – 1930s Redlining and Segregation Today

August 29, 2017

More evidence that today’s segregated America didn’t just happen out of individual choices and preferences. The 1930s redlining of neighborhoods by the Home Owners’ Loan Corp, a New Deal housing agency, has had long term effects of segregating people.

Racism/White Supremacy

Recently Noted – More White Affirmative Action

August 24, 2017

The 8/24/2017 New York Times featured a lengthy well researched study, “Even With Affirmative Action, Blacks and Hispanics Are More Underrepresented at Top Colleges Than 35 Years Ago”  demonstrates that affirmative action for whites that began during the Jim Crow era and continued during the post-WWII boom in education persists to this day.

Politics, Racism/White Supremacy

Trump, Charlottesville, and Presidential Blinders to White Terrorism

August 15, 2017

Viewed from a bit longer lens of history this reaction to white supremacist terrorism fits in very well with the lengthy history of Presidents, Congress, and the judicial branch turning a blind eye to white terrorism used as a tool to oppress African Americans during the so-called Jim Crow era.

Briefly Noted, Racism/White Supremacy

Recently Noted – “Making Affirmative Action White Again”

August 13, 2017

Ira Katznelson (see my earlier post “Affirmative Action for Whites – began in the 1930s”) wrote a brief opinion piece in the 8/13/2017 NYTimes, “Making Affirmative Action White Again” that encapsulates the real history of affirmative action for whites.

Briefly Noted, Racism/White Supremacy

Recently Noted – about racism

August 2, 2017

New Trump focus on race reminds us, “All of the liberal praise for civil rights has produced no results over these six decades excepting the ritualized celebration of African American History Month. This is so embedded in our calendar that even Trump issued another executive order announcing it.”

Racism/White Supremacy

White Affirmative Action Seen Through Income Gap

July 30, 2017

So, despite the apparent legal victories for civil rights of this year, America remains as segregated in housing, education, and jobs as ever. The preferential treatment of whites that became embedded in the government and private sector in the 1930s continues on to this day.

Books, Racism/White Supremacy

Affirmative Action For Whites – began in the 1930s

July 17, 2017

Segregated America didn’t happen by chance nor by choice of the victims. Consistent white supremacist government action supported by private institutions created the segregation that persists and flourishes in the 21st century.

Racism/White Supremacy

New Orleans, Mayor Landrieu, and the Future of Race in America

July 13, 2017

On Friday 5/19/17 Mayor Mitch Landrieu gave a powerful speech about the need to deny the falsifications of history that are those statues and to embrace the phrase, e pluribus unum, from many we are one. The speech is well worth listening to.

Books, Racism/White Supremacy

Creating Segregated America in the 20th Century – Government in Action

July 12, 2017

Government, Federal, state and local took affirmative actions to set up and sustain segregation that is clearly unconstitutional and illegal. The de jure nature of the history then puts the burden on the government, our government, to remedy the situation. 

Racism/White Supremacy

Slavery in Hudson and nearby – continued

June 18, 2017

It is clear that though slavery in the North was not the dominant economic engine that was true of the South, slavery was present and visible on a day-to-day basis.

Books, Racism/White Supremacy

Slavery in Hudson and Columbia Cty NY

June 14, 2017

Notices of runaways slaves from the Hudson River Valley. Many were notices from slave owners in Hudson and Columbia County dating roughly from 1795 to 1840. Northerners may think that slavery was a Southern institution, but this history casts a decidedly different picture.

Racism/White Supremacy

White Privilege – White Racism

February 28, 2017

Borrowed from: James Baldwin pointed out repeatedly that racism is a white issue. In the US, only white people can end the 400 years of racism against black people. To that end there has been talk of coming to grips with white privilege. This would be an important first step for white people to engage in, to recognize their privileged state This can then lead to concrete efforts to undue the embedded racist structures —>> read more –>>

Books, Racism/White Supremacy

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II

November 13, 2010

This book brings to light the extent to which the Jim Crow laws were in fact part of a totalitarian system of government that ruled the South for more than seventy five years. How these laws came to be called Jim Crow by historians instead of  “a system of racist oppression and exploitation” is a mystery. The fact that historians and school textbook writers  adopted this term,which is derogatory in its basis, points to a shameful lack of focus on —>> read more –>>

Books, Racism/White Supremacy

The Warmth of Other Suns – Isabel Wilkerson

October 10, 2010

Isabel Wilkerson’s book, The Warmth of Other Suns – the epic story of America’s great migration, ((New York City, Random House 2010)) creates  whole new planes of awareness of our history. This book startled me to a new understanding of how encompassing and pervasive the Jim Crow laws and social rules of the South really were. Without much thinking on my part, I have always equated Jim Crow with images of separate water fountains, lunch —>> read more –>>