Impact of Globalization on African Americans
- Length: 2653 words (7.6 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
For many years black people in the United States have struggled for their rights and their piece of the American dream. Now that the world is moving toward a new global era the African American person, worker and human has been left out of this turn in the century and, the system is letting them hang their selves. Globalization has made it so that anyone with the right equipment and knowledge can chat or do business anywhere in the world with just a few clicks of a couple of buttons. Globalization is making the gap between the races bigger every day, and it seems that no body is slowing down to lend a helping hand. Globalization has placed a new standard on the way we live today. Because now that we have reached the technological revolution, you must have a computer or ready access to one to be considered up to date with the world. There was a time when it was unheard of not to have more than one television in your home. Or if you didn't have cable you must have been poor. Is being poor a new kind of crime, a crime that says if you can't log on you are suppose to be were you are, at the bottom. In "ghettos" across America I bet you can count on your fingers and toes how many people have a computer in their house, and I am not talking about a play-station or dream-cast. Is globalization the new apartheid in the United States? Is this away for our land of the free to keep the hold on the poor and lower middle class minorities? Are black people free in the coming of globalization? In Clarence Lusane's book: Race In The Global Era, he talks of automation and its effect on black workers. Lusane shows us that not all blacks are effected by globalization. For instance Michael Jordan and other ball players that have these big shoe deals. Now these sports super stars have their faces and name all over the product but have no say so in how, where, or who will make the product. The funny thing about it is that some commercial ads are to catch the eye of inner city black youth. I remember when I wanted that new Michael Jordan shoe, but my mother could not afford it. Now the commercials are geared for the black youths but the unemployment rate of blacks is two times higher than white's, working the same job.
Lusane has quotes from Rifkin notes, Sidney Wilhems, and Holly Sklar that powerfully show the effect on black Americans in globalization. "The story of automation's effect on African Americans is one of the least known yet most salient episodes in the social history of the twentieth century." The Rifkin notes "Wilhems predicted that African Americans were being made obsolete as workers by new technologies." "While some workers have jobs with no future, others have futures with no jobs." Holly Sklar Automation has played a major role in the decline of industrial jobs for blacks. Rifkin calls automation a salient episode; it seems that automation is like a disease or even a plague for some black workers. Wilhelm also uses words like uselessness, and displaced Negro, to describe what is happening to the African American worker, no future is said by Sklar. These are strong words being used here to describe the effect on the majority of a minority. Now Company's can us machines to do job in factories and all other industrial work that was done by blacks. So if they have no jobs and they are becoming useless and displaced than where and what are the blacks to do, where is their future? Lusane writes about a study done in Ontario over an eight-year period of time that showed that the black imprisonment grew 204 percent, and the white was 23 percent. Plus the whites that committed the same drug crimes were released at twice the rate of blacks. For the middle and lower class blacks is this the new placement and their future, jail? Since the 1970's the manufacturing employment in the U.S. has lost about 1.4million jobs, from 1978-1990. Some of the hardest places hit were Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and my hometown St. Louis. These are all places that have a high crime rate in the city and of course predominantly all black. I can remember when GM closed down in St. Louis; it was the largest plant in the city. The plant was more than three city blocks long and wide. Thousands of people lost their jobs and soon after the crime rate jumped up. This was in the mid-1980s. The reason I remember is because my grandparents house was broken two time in less than one year. That wasn't the only factory that shut down either. My grandfather and both of my uncles worked in a packinghouse factory. Lusane also talks about how new investors seem to start new manufactures out in the suburban areas where predominantly only white people live. To add to it this is foreign and domestic investors that are doing this. "It's not that they have less education, experience, or seniority. The difference has nothing to do with job performance…Blacks are fired more often because of their skin color…Rank didn't help. Black senior managers went out the door as often as black clerks." The Mercury News Now everything they tell you in school has nothing to do with nothing if you are black? All the hard work that a black person might do to move up in a company can all be taken away because of their skin color, and from this article quote is says nothing of class. It's just being black. The same study showed that only one out of every one hundred appeal was over-turned. So black workers are in a no win situation. Lusane goes further about how the National American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is taking more jobs out of the hands of black workers and placed these jobs over seas. Black women are also losing a sexiest and raciest battle in globalization. They are paid 56 percent less than a black male doing the same job. Lusane also writes about how in the black community of Washington D.C. were blacks are 64 percent of the population. But they own less than10 percent of the business. It is sad that a black high school graduate is more likely to be unemployed than a white high school drop out. "Some analysts have argued that African Americans and the working population in general should prepare for the 21st century by reeducation themselves in the areas of high technology and computer science." Who are these analysts, and where are they to get the reeducating from? Because most black high school students don't have a good education in the first place. Young blacks need to understand who people like Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X died. Even before their time know why black slaves were beaten if they caught reading or writing. I don't think the inner city black youth under stand what and why it was against the law to educate a black slave. With out education of your past you cant under stand your present and cant see your future. Frothier in this passage it puts numbers to what jobs will created or more available in the 21st century. The top ten include cashiers, janitors, retail salespersons, waiters and waitresses, registered nurses, general managers and top executives, security guards, nurses aides, orderlies, and attendants. Most of these jobs are low paying. Just a full time job to keep paying some bills, the majority of these jobs will keep those workers under the poverty line. To understand the classification of the black race we need to know how they are put in to classes. In Exploitation and Exclusion Thomas D. Boston has broke down the way the black race is classified. "Historically, racial subjugation has created a unique class stratification among; blacks; one whose internal composition differs both quantitatively and qualitatively from that of whites. This inferior status is constantly regenerated by economic dynamics and the legal, cultural, the growing marginalization of the working class and the creation of a so-called 'black underclass' are the result of declining manufacturing employment and growing international competition, which hit blacks hardest because institutional and employment discrimination have concentrated them disproportionately in the most vulnerable occupations." To brake this quote down I have to put it in my own words. Over time racial control or enslavement has created a special class formation or deposition among blacks. Their internal make-up is different in amount and quality of whites. There are reminded of their lower status legally, culturally and by being confined to a lower outer limit of social standings of the working class, the black underclass. This was used to explain to you in a different way the globalization effects blacks. Thomas starts on the 3 things we must look at in the race and class analyses. First we must look at the boundaries of the class and what factors are placing these groups into their class. Also we have to find the similarities to other classes. Then look at their interaction and see what the impact is on the interaction. Then find the problems that are from the class interaction. 2nd we must see what relationship the classes and their collective identity have. 3rd we have to analyze the interaction among the race class and their ranking. Plus determine the effect of economic and social arrangement on the existing classes. In putting blacks in a class many problems can come about in the analyzing process. One problem is putting the black capitalist class with the black middle class. "It is important to analyze the historical conditions responsible for maintaining its feeble existence because the black capitalist's weak state could well be a major aspect of modern racial inequality. The black capitalist is the victim of a long history of illegal property expropriation, financial discrimination and, for many decades, a legalized system of racial segregation." The inequality doesn't stop at the front door of ghettos. It does reach the property owners and investors, which are black. What is the black underclass? Is it a class segment, a class or a useful term at all? Who do we consider to be a black underclass? Would it be all the poor useless displaced in the inner city? Because if this is so than how can you take a single parent mother and a drug dealer that live on the same block? While she rides the bus to get to work or the grocery store the drug dealer is driving a brand new Lexus truck just to ride the streets. So what is class? Pryor defines class as: "the designation of a group into which persons are placed by either objective criteria, subjective criteria, self-identification, or mixed criteria. Depending upon the theory of social stratification that is proposed, 'class' can be defined in terms of 'objective' criteria (for example income, wealth, position), 'subjective' criteria (solidarity in terms of social or economic interests; or self-identification with some group) or mixed criteria (for example, evaluation by others in society in terms of esteem or some other scale of value). Depending upon the theory of social structure that is proposed, 'class' can be defined in terms of a group that is struggling together to change the structure; or statistically in terms of the position or power of the group concerning the operations of the societal causation that is proposed, 'class' can embrace a difference defined terms of a single criterion or of some combination of set of criteria." Class deals with political economy relations external and internal in the black society. The criteria of self-identification and wealth, income social structure, and their roles in the economy, and the class ranking of the group or what political party one group might stand behind. We can see in this definition how the black race is singled out. Anything that deals with income, wealth and positioning blacks know that they set at the bottom of all these categories. Then if we look at what the middle and lower classes have evolved in it would poverty, crime, drug abuse, illegitament children, and a continuing failure in education. Blacks seem to one of the only groups who can't get it together. Because immigrants from Asia and India seem to do exceptionally well in academics and economically. It seems that white America has open arms of hostility for these other groups and the underclass black is left to fin for them selves. In the definition of class boundaries are never brought up. But in "America" there is not suppose to be boundaries. Anyone can move up and down the ladder of success. Although, different classes have over lapping characteristics for example consumer goods, political views, religion, and goals and dreams, plus there is variety with in a class. The book uses the example of a core surrounded by fringes, which are attached to a core. In this definition I ask can the fringes leave this and attach to another core? Than can a fringe becomes a core? Better yet can a black homeless man or woman start a new computer monopoly and buy out Microsoft one day? I think that this is a bit to far fetch for anyone to do. But growing up you were told that you can be anything that you want to be, should your parents have said but only if you are not black? Now that we know how to class black people, we can move forward and show deeper into the prescription for the falling poor black race. For my third prospective I use the text from Race and Class U.S. the Black poor and the politics of expendability. This book was published in 1996 and the words are hitting home more than ever. Barbara Ramsby the writer of this chapter, says that there was two major US political parties that combined for a "campaign of terror against poor and working class people, especially poor Black and brown people." For more than two generations the welfare state as we know it is being eradicated. Unemployment and underemployment rate has shot right off the charts. The aid from the government is being cut so rapidly and on such a large scale that more poor and middle class working people will be out on the streets. "Thirty per cent of the manufacturing jobs eliminated by downsizing in 1990 and 1991 were held by blacks. This economic trend, which has persisted for more than a decade with little abatement, means that there now exists a class of permanently unemployed men and women are essentially surplus labuorers in an increasingly 'streamlined' economy. These are the men and women whom social scientists condescendingly refer to as the 'Black underclass'. There have been bills past that are to effect the poor blacks the most the Welfare Bill and the Crime Bill. The welfare bill places a new degree of terrorism on single black mothers. You can only receive welfare for five years in your entire lifetime. Mothers are penalized if they have another child while on welfare. Colleges and Universities are closing their doors to exclude the poor. Funding has been cut for job training to the poor, in a shrinking job market already. Analysts estimate that 2.6 million people, including 1.1 million children will be under the poverty line by the year 2000, just 39 more days away. The Crime Bill has a three strikes rule for provision for violent offender's treats a high-level drug offense like a foul ball and this puts you away for life. The new death penalty can be applied to large-scale drug importers, sellers, manufacturers or cultivators even if no one is killed. This is basically for young black dope dealers. The system makes it seem as if poverty is the fault of the person and not poverty itself. The attempt to reduce births out of wedlock and to get people off welfare puts a higher standard of moral on the poor than the people and persons whom enforce and made this system. While the rich stay rich and set back and call the lower classes lazy, the poor work even harder to keep food on their tables. "In the past, when new technologies have replaced workers in a given sector, new sectors have always emerged to absorb the displaced laborers. Today all three of the traditional sectors of the economy agriculture, manufacturing, and service are experiencing technological displacement. The only new sector emerging is the knowledge sector. Made up of a small elite of entrepreneurs, scientists, technicians, computer programmers, educators and consultants." The black underclass and displaced Negro are the words that come to mind when I read this. This is permanent unemployment for blacks. Even jobs in fast food and other service sector jobs are becoming harder to come by. The Reagan administration in the 1980's began to make unions a thing of the past. This was another place were black could get a good paying job with benefits. While money for reform programs are being cut the prison budget have grown at unbelievable rates. In Michigan led cuts for services for the poor it has a $200 million dollar building project. In Missouri $94 million spent and just $50 million in Maryland on new prison projects. This is supposed to be the answer for the prison being over crowded. Its like the Doritos commercial you keep eating we will make more. You blacks keep going to jail we will build more. In all three books we can see that there is a serious problem in the way the system is set up, aspecially for working class black people. There was a time when the systems depended of the poor and lower middle class to do all the things that the upper class didn't want to do. The poor and lower class also depended on the system so that the unfortunate could have something to fall back on. With the wide spread of the web and other technologies the black worker has be come useless and increasingly more or under the poverty line. For this gap to at the least slow down and let some catch up a lot of reforms need to take place. First in the way blacks think, they must learn and know this system doesn't owe them anything. Also they must stop being so dependent on the government system. For this to happen there has to be a change in the education of young inner city black youth, school reform is greatly needed. More teachers with the right training and education need to teach these kids. The schools should have the right to paddle kids for doing wrong in or around the schools, and do it in front of his or her pears. Parents should be called if a student misses class or homework, so the parent has more inter action and knowledge of what is going on with their child. This should go on until the student is in college or some sort of technical training. Education should not stop just with the black youth; the black men and women also need the schooling and training. We must set examples for the children, so we must educate the mothers and fathers and the neighbors of these children. Next issue would the lack of fathers in the household. We are in need of a better system to find died beat dads. All of the little holes and gaps that they can escape threw need to be closed. Fathers should have to spend time with their child. Next the prison system is losing and forgetting about a large number of black males and females. The system that is in place now is not working, it just helps make the gap between the races larger. We don't need more prison or better prisons we need more reform and better reform. Make it mandatory for en-mates to spend time in the library, and to take up some kind of trade or skill on the inside. Make en-mates work out in a field or some other hard labor job, even if it is just digging a 6 foot hole everyday and filling back up. Let prisoners do some of the jobs that are being sent over seas like the making of clothes and shoes. This way the working class is not paying as much for the prisoners to live in a 6 by 6. This also gives them less time to do drugs or to kill educating that is reform. Make jail the last place you want go. Make it so bad that when a person does get out that he or she thinks before they do anything and say I am not going back and I mean that. Next our government system needs to look at. Funding for programs that give inner city youth more places to go for free instead of the street corners. More places that parents can take their children that don't cost an arm and a leg. More events that a geared toward getting the attention of young black people. More block parties, neighborhood gardens, and have local DJ and rap contests. The pro-athletes need to get out in streets of the ghettos. At public schools let there be give always for grades and attendance tickets to football, basketball and baseball games. At the halftime show let these kids be announced and get on the court or field. Make them fill like they have really done some thing special. Then at the end of the school year the pick two students in different categories to get to set in one of the box sets or set on the bench. These are just a few things to help the growing problem in the United States.