Dangerous Compassions

capitalism needs racism

Hey, how are you doing?  Ming and I came home.  I like home, but I get overwhelmed.  Too much to do!  So much mail to read!  Buy fruit, ride trike, dance a jig.  Theorize how capitalism needs racism.

This morning I was thinking about how capitalism needs racism to function.  I was lying in bed with Ming, trying to wake him up.  About four times, I tried.

I clung on his back, kissed his shoulder, asked him if he wanted to take a pill, rubbed his tummy, asked him if he wanted to ride bikes with me.  He fell asleep over and over.

Then I said, “That’s it.  You’re getting up!”  I got out of bed and pulled one of his legs, then the other.  I pulled on his hand.  He was smiling, so cute, with his hair all wild, eyes still closed.  Finally he got up.

“Wow, I slept seven hours and twenty minutes!” he just told me, standing in the doorframe.

“Yeah, I know!  That’s why I was trying to wake you up!”  He’s supposed to sleep less than that.  He has an optimal amount, due to narcolepsy.

“Thank you for waking me up!” he said.

“Sure!” I said.  “My pleasure.”

low wages

But before he woke up, I was lying there, thinking about racism and capitalism.  I grabbed my phone and txted this to myself.

capitalism’s winners need a lot of losers, and racism helps specify who will lose.  racism is a way that capitalism finds people to exploit, blame, sacrifice, and destroy.  racism keeps capitalism going.  racism ensures a supply of scapegoats and cheap labor paid impossibly low wages, for the comfort and convenience of the rich.  the problems of poverty aren’t an accident.  racism isn’t an accident.  

Capitalism needs racism for a pool of readily available victims, pretty much.  I was thinking how “low wages” sounds like an undesirable abstract thing, but inside those words, I see: kids without food, kids without internet service and reliable computers for school, kids without clean clothes that fit them, kids without menstrual products to catch their menstrual fluids, kids without beds, kids without cockroach poison…

“Low wages” could sound like someone is greedy for a shiny car or bigger tv, but the people most harmed by poverty are not really suffering from an unshiny car or small tv.


I was thinking of how my parents chose the house near the toxic waste dump, when I was a kid.  Who wants to live by a toxic waste dump?  Of course they thought it was ok.

And Mexican-American people are mostly the ones working in the fields, where I come from.  Pesticide dose going to brown people isn’t an accident.  My white dad in the field processing tomatoes was anomalous.  He had his own reasons for being there.

Joy to you, reader, wherever you are.  I hope you have what you need and a landslide of justice.  Wishing you justice with extra justice to spare, more justice than you need.  So much justice, you feed some to the cow with her grass-breakfast.

bi the way



Yesterday was bi visibility day–I hope you can see me.  I cast a shadow, reflect in mirrors, and show up in photographs.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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