DONATE NOW TO HELP UPGRADE LIBCOM.ORG

White Supremacy & Anti-Racism

White supremacy has historically developed intertwined with capitalism and is reproduced in all social relationships and practiced by all institutions to differing degrees. The United States developed a system of capitalism constructed with racial domination of displaced, enslaved, colonized and oppressed peoples that today manifests itself as a set of complex hierarchical social relationships within the entire society. Whiteness, itself, was developed through this long history of oppression as a tool to justify the widespread theft of land and resources, the dehumanizing hyper exploitation of labor and destruction of the societies from which they were violently uprooted. Racist ideologies and policies continually develop not only to rationalize the injustices and horrors perpetrated; but also as an attempt to undermine the potential of inter-racial solidarity among the popular classes against the common domination and exploitation that they face. This historically constructed and socially-maintained cross-class alliance of the white working classes and white elites is a key factor in upholding white supremacy and preventing the entire working class from collectively organizing to advance their larger interests and those of humanity.

We reject a class reductionist position that ignores the specific ways that racial oppression distinguishes the experiences of racially-oppressed peoples from whites regardless of other commonalities. We also reject the race reductionist position that ignores the ways that class, gender, sexuality and other forms of oppression distinguish experiences, and the many forms of racial oppression manifest in people’s daily lives. While the larger structure and reality of white supremacy remains, we also see the emergence of an increasingly globalized and multiracial ruling class. In the face of this we see the need for new and deeper thinking and work from a revolutionary perspective which moves beyond the traditional black-white binary of race. We recognize the significant insights and contributions of identity-based theories and movements. However, we reject the individualistic, guilt-based interpretations and tendencies often found within antiracist work. Rather, we recognise the need for complete dismantling of the capitalistic hierarchical structures upon which white supremacy is based.

We believe that race, class and other forms of oppression in the United States are intrinsically connected to and interact with each other, and they effect different groups of people differently. We recognize that there are historically complex social relationships between and within communities of color and do not assume inevitable or inherent racial solidarity between people of color. These ongoing and evolving divisions, hierarchies and prejudices amongst racially-oppressed peoples were initiated by, and are fundamental to, the overall system of white supremacy. Further, the long history of betrayal, disrespect, hostility and conscious oppression by working class whites against racially-oppressed peoples reaffirm our respect and support for people of color who desire to struggle autonomously. However our support for self-determination will never be a compromising, tokenistic, patronizing or blind support that justifies and backs any actions of autonomous race-based formations; but rather should be supported based on common struggles and principles tied to a respect, humility and degree of deference in areas in which one is not directly affected. We believe that experimentation is needed to develop tools and practices which will aid in the development of a genuine multi-racial, working class movement in the US. We believe that building such a movement is the task of all serious anti-racist, anti-statist, and anti-capitalist revolutionaries.