More White Racism & The Current Financial Crisis

The current financial crisis turns out to be quite an opportunity for exposing the modus operandi of white privilege and white racism. In this short clip (3:05), Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann (R-Minnesota), you can see and hear this white woman blame “blacks and other minorities” for the current financial crisis. Specifically, she refers to something known as “CRA,” the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. The clip begins with a shot of the (rather empty) chamber, then the camera turns to her:

In fact, Rep. Bachmann is wrong and is simply re-iterating conservative talking points, as Think Progress notes. Bachmann’s assertion is based on a series of racist lies, nicely dissected here by Sara Robinson. Bachmann’s strategy of blaming black folks “and other minorities” is an old, racist trope that even mainstream news media types are beginning to recognize. (This speech earned Bachmann the dubious distinction of Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World” award on last night’s broadcast.) So, this is how white racism and white privilege are working together here. Economically privileged white men built, implemented and profited from this elaborate financial scheme, a good deal of it on the backs of people of color and their mortgages. Then, other privileged whites – like Michelle Bachmann – come along and do the ideological work of blaming the people at the bottom of several, interlocking social hierarchies (race, class, gender) for the economic collapse. Meanwhile, the 400 richest Americans continue to get even richer and can easily claim that “they’re not racist” and convince themselves that they are not implicated in this deeply unequal and unjust system.