Monday, August 9, 2010

The Proud Racist History of Labor Unions

David Henderson at EconLog quotes Morgan Reynolds today:

I do have an answer to this positive question: what is the origin of national origin labels? In the United States, it's labor union racism. Here's what Morgan Reynolds wrote in his Concise Encyclopedia of Economics article, "Labor Unions":


Economist Ray Marshall, although a prounion secretary of labor under President Jimmy Carter, made his academic reputation by documenting how unions excluded blacks from membership in the 1930s and 1940s. Marshall also wrote of incidents in which union members assaulted black workers hired to replace them during strikes. During the 1911 strike against the Illinois Central, noted Marshall, whites killed two black strikebreakers and wounded three others at McComb, Mississippi. He also noted that white strikers killed ten black firemen in 1911 because the New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railroad had granted them equal seniority. Not surprisingly, therefore, black leader Booker T. Washington opposed unions all his life, and W. E. B. DuBois called unions the greatest enemy of the black working class. Another interesting fact: the "union label" was started in the 1880s to proclaim that a product was made by white rather than yellow (Chinese) hands.


As Jonah Goldberg has noted, people on the left have a short memory. They are also usually the first ones to claim racism. Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Some unions have spotty histories with racism although parts of that quote are hilariously misleading, but capitalists and the right wing are still proud of their blatant ignorance and racism today as they were 200 years ago. It seems like you're trying to mask your own racism by making a straw man argument about a group that is generally speaking trying to be progressive and support civil rights. The centrist and even some of the radical left (particularly during the turn of the 20th century)have certainly had their fair share of issues and hypocrisies, but nothing like conservatives comparatively.

It's cute that you chose to cite DuBois, a socialist while spouting pseudo-history about the left.