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Recent Opinion Pieces

Sexism + Racism = Tea-Party Power

Many scholars and journalists agree that the largest single impediment to democracy in the USA has been racism. Black slavery, one of the foundations of the country’s wealth, was gradually confined to the southern states. After the alleged emancipation of the slaves, however, the southern white elites managed both to re-subordinate African Americans (as sharecroppers and low-wage laborers) and to limit the expansion of democracy in the U.S. Keeping black people politically and economically powerless allowed white southern rulers to limit what could be accomplished by progressives, not only in the southern states but nationally. The southern bloc in Congress prevented people of color from access to the welfare state created in the 1930s, helped capitalists confine and then shrink labor unions, and supported American military build-up.

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