The New Racism Shaping America’s Foreign And Domestic Policy

I don’t mean to suggest that racism dictating America’s foreign and domestic policy is a new thing. Almost since the country’s origin, race has shaped many of our policies. Don’t take my word for it. Here are the words of South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun:

aaa-racismcalhoun

Photo: clemson.edu

“We have never dreamt of incorporating into our Union any but the Caucasian race—the free white race. To incorporate Mexico, would be the very first instance of the kind, of incorporating an Indian race; for more than half of the Mexicans are Indians, and the other is composed chiefly of mixed tribes. I protest against such a union as that! Ours, sir, is the Government of a white race…. We are anxious to force free government on all; and I see that it has been urged … that it is the mission of this country to spread civil and religious liberty over all the world, and especially over this continent. It is a great mistake”

Sen. John C. Calhoun – SC

Our country’s borders have been partially determined by white nations agreeing amongst themselves as to how to divide up North America. After the War of 1812, the Canadian border was set as England and America agreed on who shared what. The Louisiana Purchase was our deal with France. The Monroe Doctrine was a deal with Britain to keep primarily Spain and Portugal out of North and South America. Our growth west was guided by Manifest Destiny in which God apparently decided we needn’t be concerned about the existing inhabitants as it was literally “white man’s right” to occupy the land. The concept of American Exceptionalism was introduced in the mid-1800’s which I posit is simply another name for white exceptionalism. As Senator Calhoun noted in quote included above. America elected not to expand into Mexico because there were frankly too many Mexicans there. I mention for no particular reason there’s a statue of John C. Calhoun in Charleston, SC.

aaa-racismmm

Photo: thinglink.com

Throughout history, the wars we’ve fought, the foreign aid we provided, the atrocities abroad where we either intervened or looked away. All were influenced by race. In the television series West Wing, President Jed Bartlet said to Will Bailey, “Why is a Khundunese life worth less to me than an American life?” Will answered, “I don’t know sir but it is.” The fictional show was speaking of a fictional nation but the idea that foreign lives are worth less than American lives is a real thing. I go one step further in saying that there is a ranking system of foreign nations and the two primary factors are natural resources and race. This is why we can ignore famine in West Africa yet rush to the aid of countries less pigmented.

aaa-racism

Photo: twitter.com

This is the racism of our policies we’re accustomed to. Then we got our first Black President, Barack Hussein Obama. There were certainly those who opposed him for ideological reasons. To be against Obama’s policies because you disagree with them is not racist. To completely overturn your own beliefs to oppose Obama very likely is. It is why a larger percentage of American’s than one would have thought possible are willing to ignore Russian ties in the Trump administration and Russian hacking during the election process. The racial animus of some towards our President is why an Israeli Prime Minister knew he could basically call the sitting President of the United States a liar with no offer of proof and get away with it. It’s why a Congressman could shout, “You lie!”

Netanyahu

Photo: newsweek.me.com

It’s not unusual for America to shape it’s foreign and domestic policy as it always has where race was a consideration. What’s new is the desire to upend every piece of the Obama legacy with a desperate need to wipe out any and every contribution of the first Black President. The sad thing is that many of the people rabidly against the President are the primary beneficiaries of his policies. When they find out they’ve been bamboozled. They’ll probably blame him for that too!

Featured Photo: twitter.com

The History of American (White) Exceptionalism: Chapter Four

Chapter Four: The History of American (White) Exceptionalism:

 

 

The Monroe Doctrine was allegedly about foreign policy. Rather than being a strictly American policy, it was one where Great Britain and America schemed to shut out other Europeans from North and South America. At the time, most of the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in South America were gaining their independence and it was America’s and Britain’s combined intent that other European nations not move in.  At the time the United States boasted having 24 states and they had an interest in preserving the land west of the existing states to the Pacific Ocean for future growth which they would later justify under a policy called Manifest Destiny.

 

They didn’t wish to be involved in the types of regional wars that had forever plagued Europe by having to deal with primarily Spanish and French territories adjacent to the US. The Monroe Doctrine basically banned further European intervention in the North and South American continents while agreeing to stay neutral in European conflicts.

 

Britain’s interest in agreeing to the policy was not in seeking the preservation of the United States but to maintain a superior trade position in South America. Despite whatever altruistic reasons might have been given. Much like our intervention and foothold in the Mideast, it’s all about the money. With Spain and Portugal losing their presence in South America, Britain had a virtual stranglehold on trade which they wished to maintain. This US policy was enforced in South America by the Royal British Navy (America was just building a Navy at the time) who did their all to keep other Europeans out, especially the Spanish with whom they had always had problems.

 

One must place The Monroe Doctrine in historical perspective to understand it. It came 9 years after the end of the War of 1812 when the United States and Britain fought again. Of American wars, we hear surprisingly little about the War of 1812, a war which many historians view as one the United States lost. Britain repelled American attempts to invade and take over all or parts of Canada. They hurt America financially by blockading Atlantic major ports and the agreement to end the war in 1814 was highly favorable to the British. America was perhaps fortunate that Britain’s military was heavily engaged nearer to home in the Napoleonic Wars and was little focused on the war across the ocean.

 

While the winner of the War of 1812 might be debated. The loser was clear; the native American people. By war’s end their casualties were great as they had been engaged as “partners” by both sides and their land stripped. The war ended with Indians having no major European Allies and as American conflict with Britain ended they turned to advancing not north into Canada but west into the Indian territories. America increasingly broke their treaties with the Indian as it marched west and placed the remaining inhabitants on reservations, until they ultimately wanted most of that land too. Canada denied to it, America quenched its thirst for acquisition by taking from the Indians with no requirement to obey its own treaties and laws. The red man was only an impediment to the white expansion America claimed as its privilege.

 

The Monroe Doctrine likely wasn’t explicitly designed based on a racist design to conquer and absorb peoples of color on their route to expansion. Two things that likely were true though:

  1. The people of color whether red or brown were not valued or respected in the same manner as even the white British with whom America had fought two wars in their brief existence. Their land was not recognized nor treaties to be respected.
  2. The policy to exclude European Powers from the America’s did not include Britain who was in truth the primary enforcer of the policy. In 1833 Britain took control (again) of the Falkland Islands which would be the exact type of European expansion in South America prohibited by the doctrine but the United States said nothing. This is but an example of how the policy was interpreted in reality. In North America the policy was basically US protectionism, in South America it was basically anti Spain.

 

The Monroe doctrine basically set the stage for what was to become the creation of the greatest white country on the planet. While diversity existed, keep in mind that although most of the Irish at the time were either indentured servants or prisoners banished from England. Their terms or sentences would eventually end and they would be free to then attempt to assimilate into America. After a couple generations they were becoming simply white and able to start assuming the privilege associated with it. In the cities where they had major presence they found acceptance in the police forces which then as now were primarily designed to protect the property and interests of the rich.

 

Red Americans, not recognized as such but how can they be denied the American Heritage that preceded the Europeans, were to be discarded and contained. Their land you see was white America’s by right and destiny. Brown Americans were forced south and west. In another Chapter it will be discussed why America ultimately concluded it didn’t want to absorb Mexico, because with it came too many Mexicans. But I digress.

 

Black Americans, also not recognized as such were for the most part property. There were few free exceptions but even they had almost no rights. They were the cheap labor force which enabled America to have a competitive advantage in trade and to therefore enrich their owners.

 

When white American leaders, decided on the path to enlarge and enhance our nation. Black people and other minorities were not seen as beneficiaries of this plan but either as obstacles or an economic advantage to be exploited. America marched on, on the backs or through the land on its non-white inhabitants.