The Betrayal And Abandonment Of The White Worker; Democrats Must Embrace America's Working Class.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Betrayal And Abandonment Of The White Worker; Democrats Must Embrace America’s Working Class.

December 8, 2018 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( There are many factors involved in shaping a person’s values. However, I have learned that I am no outlier in regards to the construction of values. I, like most people, have several items that consistently appear on my list of priorities.

Considering that I am a black man in America, items such as Race, God, and family are standard; however, many are surprised that my commitment to the working-class is as strong as the items listed above. I take such surprise as a significant indicator of how little outsiders (strangers, colleagues, and others) know about the forces that shaped me.

I’ll tell you that for the longest time, I reasoned that my relationship with my father was best articulated by the social critic and Race theorist James Baldwin when he offered the following observation.

I am not so much my father’s son as he was his father’s son.

For years, I believed that this description was custom-made for myr elationship with my father. After all, my paternal grandfather — the original James Thomas Jones — and his first son — James Thomas Jones II — were country boys hailing from Stone Mountain, Georgia. They enjoyed nothing more than fishing trips that began before “can’t see in the morning and didn’t until can’t see at night.” As a life-long urban dweller, the only enjoyment that I received from these weekend trips to some fishing hole or lake was that it provided me opportunity to skip Sunday School. The opportunity to spend extended periods of time with my father, whose success and love for fishing should have led him to some professional fishing tour. I give props where props are due; my Dad is a phenomenal fisherman; his only son, ahhhhh not so much.

It was not until I reached my thirties that my perspective regarding the suitability of James Baldwin’s quote that “I am not so much my father’s son as he was his father’s son”  waned. Time impressed on me that although I would never grow into the outdoorsman persona of those men whose name I wore, there were several things that I did inherit. At the top of the list was a recognition that my loyalties must always reside with poor and working-class struggles. In hindsight, it is obvious that this priority flows from my father’s status as a steelworker with Detroit Empire Steel.

My working-class identity was the driving force behind my decision to study Labor History as a graduate student at The Ohio State University. In hindsight, it is obvious that the lessons my father taught me regarding his status as a black working-class man seeking to provide for his family were as impactful on my understanding of Labor and Class struggles in America as was the phenomenal mind of Dr. Warren Van Tine, my Dissertation advisor. It was Dr. Van Tine that stretched my understanding of class matters beyond the small confines of Mansfield, Ohio, by teaching me that the ultimate goal was the generation of a worker’s paradise that honors the CPUSA (Communist Party of the United States of America) credo of “From each according to his own abilities and to each according to his own needs.”

My current social democrat political station informs my angst with both Capitalism and those short-sighted individuals who worship at that putrid troth of economic greed and unconscionable exploitation of American laborers. I am confident that you are sensing my belief that there is nothing that Capitalists will do to secure even a marginal economic profit.

The above perspective removed any surprise that I may have had at the news that American automotive manufacturer General Motors, the recipient of GOP tax breaks last year, was planning to terminate 14,000 workers by closing up to five automotive plants in the coming year.

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) offered the following commentary that called the decision disastrous for the Youngstown, Ohio, region. Brown’s statement highlighted the fact that

GM received record tax breaks as a result of the GOP’s tax bill last year, and has eliminated jobs instead of using that tax windfall to invest in American workers.

I am sure that there will be loads of political commentary regarding GM’s decision that most analysts believe will be replicated by other U.S. automotive manufacturers in the coming year.

Despite American workers refusal to acknowledge it, this matter proves that the American worker remains a man without a country. There is no more obvious symbol of American workers struggle to find a suitable “home” than the gravitation of white workers to the G.O.P. for reasons that have nothing to do with their economic station. It is difficult to argue against the notion that not since Reagan’s debut of “voodoo economics” has that side of the aisle represented the American working-class. In many ways, white workers gravitation to the “Right” speaks most loudly about a Democratic Party that has left them untended to. It is not outlandish to assert that the GOP inherited white workers by default.

Make no mistake about it, today’s Democratic Party is led by elites whose political priorities and economic interests no longer match those of working-class American. It is reasonable to assert that the American worker’s allegiance was lost by the Democratic Party, not won by the GOP.

The absence of significant protest by Democratic Party leaders in the wake of this latest betrayal of the American worker by GM, a company that American taxpayers dollars bailed out several years ago, speaks volumes about the Democratic Party’s inability to develop a strategy that would allow them to reassociate themselves and then recapture working-class voters in the 2020 elections.

The silence of Democratic Party leaders regarding the maneuvers of industry leaders seeking to increase profit margins reeks of either disinterest in the plight of workers or tacit support for such decisions. Unfortunately for the Democratic Party, either interpretation further ostracizes disenchanted American laborers and does little to increase faith in the Left. If nothing else, the relative non-response of Democratic Party leaders highlights the need for a new charismatic leadership cadre.

It is past time for the Democratic Party to understand that “if they do what they have always done, they will get what they have always gotten.” Trust me when I say that if they do not divert from their present course, the white worker will continue to languish without a place to advance their class interests. Trust me when I say that the continuation of such a situation will further weaken a directionless Left.

Staff Writer; Dr. James Thomas Jones III

Official website;

One may also connect with this brother via TwitterDrJamestJones.

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