Soopermexican at The Right Scoop found another definitive Melissa Harris-Perry moment on Saturday morning. In rejoicing over how Bernie Sanders is making America safe for socialism (and socialist critiques of capitalism), she asked her panel why America has always been so persistently opposed to socialism. She had a pet theory.
Why could that be? Racism, of course:
MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY: So we see this comparison a lot that the U.S. is alone, and nearly alone, among Western democracies in not having universal health care or guaranteed paid parental leave or many other perks of a more socialist government. But the question is why. What makes the U.S. different? And the way I tend to frame this to my students is why is there no socialism in the U.S.? The great Eric Foner question. And there`s a one-word answer, Kai, I’m looking at you, friend —
KAI WRIGHT, THE NATION MAGAZINE: Let me see. Could it be race?
HARRIS-PERRY: Could it be? I mean that becomes the kind of standard story, right, is that in this country, race and racial privilege has trumped class identity as a way of organizing our politics.
WRIGHT: Well, I mean so we could go way back, right, I mean the whole — if we`re talking about capitalism in the first instance. The whole system globally was built on slavery. The modern economy was built – the cotton was built on cotton which was built on financing, financing slaves. And so from that moment forward, we`ve been in a discussion about capitalism in the United States that has, in fact, sorted people by race. And you can’t — and so when we get back to sort of the public investments that we make in people and that part of democratic socialism that has been challenged and difficult particularly in modern times because, coming out of the Great Society, coming out of the mid-20th century, we have had a politics that makes those public investments giveaways to black people.
Read more: newsbusters.org