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The middle-class —the ultimate social construct

The middle-class —the ultimate social construct

We in the US have defined that the middle class is between the working-classes and the upper-classes. The average person in the US has accepted and embraced that definition, a definition based on income. But this definition is a half-truth. It is only a piece of the essence, and it is not even a requisite part of the definition. Your income does not make you middle-class. The most important characteristic of the US middle class is whiteness.

The United States’ middle-class dream is that through hard work and sober, conservative choices, you can earn a house & a car, woo a beautiful spouse, and together have 2.5 children. It is your birthright that you should not have to struggle unnecessarily. It is a protected class for whiteness. It is a class of complacency and acceptable mediocrity. Middle-class is a protected buffer that will not allow you to fail.

If you are Black or Indigenous, you will never be middle-class. Children of rapes and out of wedlock side pairings will never be equals. You will never be able to be safe and mediocre. Neither you nor your children will ever be “protected” by a middle-class lifestyle. Your degree will not protect you —if you can even get one. 

A Black person will never experience the comfort of the middle-class; the expectation of watching your children do better than you. No, your children will fall out of the middle-class, because of the delusions you passed to your children

That as long as they tried your best, there would be a space for you.

There will be no legacy for your children. No politician will have a campaign to fight for you to have middle-class status, based on you having a home and the right to an education, just because you were born in the United States.

Speeches for you will be about the right for you to live on a park bench and not being murdered by the police, because the truth is this, you are not middle-class, you’re not white. Your place in society is to be the permanent underclass used to keep the white middle class loyal to the system.

The middle-class is the code for white people. All this time, we thought working-class was the wink. No, middle-class is the most crucial wink of all.

Why do many former middle-class white people who need help from the government hate it so much? It is because if you are white and doing everything you’re supposed to, you are supposed to succeed. To quote Donald Trump, “We’re going to win so much you are going to get sick and tired of winning.” They are working hard, are falling deeper in debt, and watching their kids sink into working-class poverty. They won’t blame the rich since they aspire to become rich. So they sycophantically repeat the demands of the rich to unchain them. It’s like unchaining Fenrir because he promises to eat your enemies on the way to eat the sun. 

Middle-class is about being white, ordinary, and not failing AS LONG as you protect the institutions of oppression and capitalism. Black Lives Matter sticker, fine, dismantling the police department, not acceptable, the middle class’ job is to stop that conversation and to be a safety valve.

The middle-class was created to create division within the working-class. It is a US phenomenon that exists owing to a need to control the class that is NOT bourgeois or petit-bourgeois.

The middle class no longer exists in New York or Los Angeles. This is why certain white people hate those two locations. They have been excluded from these former cities as they have become playgrounds for the world elites and Disneylands for adults where every ride requires a Golden E-ticket. Many resent their lack of mobility—just being white for a very long time in the US allowed you to anywhere and do OK.

If you didn’t make it in LA, you could wash up in the San Fernando Valley and at least send your kid to good schools and live in a split level.

Of course, white people have privileges in LA and NY locations, but their whiteness will not protect them from failure. A white person in Los Angeles can end up homeless, it will be a slower fall than it would be for a Black or Indigenous person, but it can happen. 

It won’t happen in New Jersey or Wisconsin, at least not for the descendants of people with mortgages and college degrees.

But that will dissipate like an amazing dream on a workday morning for everyone soon. The United States no longer needs non-elite white people to be functionaries of World Corporations and technicians for their machines. White is flexible, and just like the wealthy brought people into whiteness, the wealthy will soon throw people out. 

Whiteness is a made-up concept that has to do with you not being Black or Indigenous and being a buffer between the rich and the rest. It is the middle management of capitalism.

Middle management has a dress code in the United States, white skin or white-passing skin.

The idea of the middle-class must be abandoned like the sinking ship it is before it sucks you down into the abyss. Being middle class is not something that should be a goal or a desire as it is a dream of death through fraud.

The middle-class is not be confused with quality of life, because that is not what we are discussing here. We are debating dismantling the barrier to a conversation on oppression.

The dismantling of the race idea we have long discussed is locked up in the desire to be AND maintain the middle-class.


Teka Lo, Public Intellectuals

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