In decade after decade, threats of job competition – between men and women, immigrants and native born. Black and white – have perennially revived the fear of loss at another’s gain. The people setting up the competition and spreading these fears were never the needy job seekers, but the elite. (Consider the New York Herald’s publishing tycoon, James Gordon Bennett Sr., who warned the city’s white working classes during the 1860 election that “if Lincoln is elected, you will have to compete with the labor of four million emancipated negroes.”) The zero sum is a story by wealthy interests for their own profit, and its persistence requires people desperate enough to buy it.
From ”The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone And How We Can Prosper Together” by Heather McGhee