One conversation that rarely makes it into the headlines is the effect that globalism has had on black Americans. There are two major problems with the globalized economy that critics of it repeatedly point to. First, the wandering gaze of multinational employers and second the simultaneous loss of companies based in the U.S. who offer a living wage to the working class. As quiet as it’s kept, the outcome of both of these phenomena have hit African-Americans especially hard.

Multinationals and racism

As Clarence Lusace’s “Persisting Disparities: Globalization and the Economic Status of African-Americans,” showed when it was published in 1999, foreign run companies tended to open shop in areas of the US where they would be less likely to have a non-white labor force. Kia’s Korean owned plant in Georgia as one example. One human resources manager reported that he was told by higher ups to limit the number of jobs given to black applicants. His whistle blowing revelation came during a discrimination lawsuit against the car company Immigrants have always been applauded for their entrepreneurialism and economic growth. Immigrant owned stores populate American cities, particularly those such as Los Angeles and New York where ethnic neighborhoods will often have extensive commercial areas that cater to their communities, but a poor record of hiring local black workers. “The impact is serious, according to experts who study poverty. These aren’t entrepreneurs who are creating the very kind of entry-level, low-wage jobs that poor young blacks need to begin their climb out of poverty,” Jonathan Kaufmann even wrote in the Social Contract Journal way back in the summer of 1995 .

The phenomenon of U.S. factories relocating to Mexico

The sixties will ever be looked back upon as the era in which the American middle class began its boldest economic growth. The number of blacks who owned cars and homes also grew. In Detroit, blacks who were able to obtain mortgages and put down payments on their first homes were likely to work for major car companies, the same families earning enough to amass retirement savings and not living from check to check. Jobs with manufacturers such as Chrysler and Dodge afforded African-Americans an economic stability that would be lost once the car industry began its migration to manufacturing hubs such as Leon and Saltillo in Mexico where the costs of labor are significantly lower.

Chrysler has three plants south of the border. So does Ford. GM has four. “For the last 100 years, the automobile industry has played a crucial role in African-American history, for blacks were both producers and consumers of the car. The car brought mobility – – geographic and economic – – to blacks. It freed them up from the shackles of economic aspirations and served as one of Black America’s major employers,” Thomas Sugrue, the author of “The Origins of the Urban Crisis; Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit,” once wrote. Automotive work that most involves production and doesn’t require expensive college degrees is the kind most likely to go missing. 3,500 hourly manufacturing jobs were taken out of the U.S. in 2017. The statistics don’t lie. They bluntly tell the story of policy that’s no friend to the black poor and working class in the United States.

There has been a significant spike in American cars manufactured South of the Border in spite of all the talk between politicos, so when the cry for products to be made in America rings out, it’s not one of bigotry or discrimination. It’s actually in defense of American laborers, many of whom are black. It also points an uncompromising finger at globalism and shows how destabilizing it is.


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