The polarisation of poverty involves not only the colour of one’s skin, but the context of your tribe and its relativity to others in that tribe – its called ‘class’. Like it or not, there are classes in every aspect of tribal life. I may be of the European tribe, sub-tribe of say France, and therefore superior to other sub-tribes like, for example, the Greeks. My place in the wider world is determined by my tribal wealth and consequent influence. Few would argue that the bankrupt Greeks carry the international influence of the French.
Within any sub-tribe there are classes, also determined by wealth. Even wealth, passed, now perhaps depressed, can confer a lasting ‘class’ aura despite its fading. The self image of former wealth and influence is frequently distorted as in the case of once Great Britain, now the UK. The clinging to past glories has caused an incredible introverted re-examination of British values that have influenced everything from Brexit to tribal nationalism and class consciousness. As UK becomes relatively poorer its internal class systems become more exaggerated and sub tribal influences increase. The United Kingdom becomes less united every day.
There are ranks even in the classes, e.g. even in the criminal classes. In each tribe, the over reaching or social climb is mostly driven by acquired wealth, which in turn bestows the benefits of education and consequent culture. There are of course tribal cultures and belief systems that transcend wealth, however they seldom influence ‘class’. As materialism and science increase the agnosticism of the tribe, so wealth becomes more a marker for ‘class’ as it is now, not what it once was.
What then of colour? It seems that the wealthier an individual becomes, especially if he or she is of colour, then the poorer of the tribe resent that success. Colour prejudice is driven most by the poorest in society because colour is the easiest difference to spot in the tribal closet. In America and Europe the consequence of colonialism and immigration have traditionally place those of colour outside the tribal group and therefore became the object of class indignity. Now as wealth becomes the increasingly appropriate judgement instead of class, then colour becomes less relevant. My friends are doctors, bankers, professionals first, cultured second and coloured third , a very distant third.
If I was poor, then it is likely that these perceptions would be in a different order. Hence today we see a good deal of overt colour prejudice expressed about wonderful athletes who happen to be well paid footballers, some of who are exceptionally articulate, bright and compassionate. It is not the wealthy or the comfortable that express disdain, it is that poorer element of the jealous and ignorant poorest sub-tribe who shout their prejudice the loudest.
The elimination of the very poorest in all communities is perhaps the common aim across all tribes, be they totalitarian or democratic. All leaders profess to have this universal aim as their goal. Sadly the natural greed of man, sometimes called the enterprising spirit is at odds with the idea of social equality, sometimes called totalitarianism. Colour is becoming less an issue overall, unless of course you are coloured, and suffer everyday from the prejudices so deeply rooted in the white tribes of colonialism.
The fight is against racism and against poverty, it is against class and unequal wealth. Ignorance and poverty walk hand in hand no matter what tribe you belong to. Creating a wealthy and cultured community is ultimately the only way to eliminate the class system and with it, colour prejudice.
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