How did White America become so rich? Those hard-working, pull-themselves-up-by-their-bootstraps White Americans experienced at least three windfalls in their history:
- Land: The largest piece of virgin farm land in the world as of 1500, more farm land than in all of China! White Americans took it from Native Americans at low cost.
- Labour: at cut rates from people of colour: slaves, coolies, migrant workers, Mexican nannies and landscapers, etc. Blacks are still markedly underpaid even when you take education into account.
- Money: much of the wealth of the British Empire. The British Empire went broke fighting Hitler. Where do you think most of that money went? To America, nearly all of it to White Americans (see #2).
And that is not all. I am sure readers can think of a few more.
So White Americans who think it was all just a matter of hard work and the right values are missing the bigger picture.
And even the narrower picture: As much as White Americans like to narrow history to just their own family (“My family never owned slaves”, “My grandfather came to America with $25 in his pocket”), they are forgetting even that little bit of history: if hard work and the right values were enough, then why on earth did their forefathers leave Europe to live the rest of their lives in a foreign land across the ocean? Because they knew that hard work and the right values were not enough in themselves, not by a long shot.
There are white countries, and even some Asian ones, where people are just as well off as White Americans without enjoying any of these windfalls. What about them? Some of them had empires of their own. Even Belgium once ruled the Congo. As for the others, like Norway or Switzerland, it is hard to believe they would have got so rich without America and all the wealth that poured into Europe from the white empires.
Given that white people ruled most of the world in 1900 and are now so rich it is profoundly dishonest to believe:
- It was just a matter of brains, hard work and clean living.
- It was because white people are just a cut above people of colour, like it or not.
White Americans like to believe that stuff because:
- It appeals to their white pride (which they deny they have);
- It fits their racist picture of the world (which they think is just seeing the world as it is);
- It covers over their dirty, ugly history of how they got so rich.
If whites are just naturally better than others then they would have been rich and powerful all throughout history, or at least most of it, not just during chance bits of it – like now and in the time of Rome (which also got rich by robbing and ruling other lands).
And if it is just a matter brains, hard work and clean living, then why all the slaves and dead natives?