[Marxism] Roediger and Zweig: an exchange on race and class

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Wed Dec 13 17:17:02 MST 2006

Who can disagree with Roediger's point that, until white workers address
racial inequality, race will "trump" class?  But neither can anyone expect
that doing this would mean that class would trump race.

On the other hand, when the white capitalists addresses the question of
racial inequality, things would change and class might start to trump race.

So we shouldn't hold our breath on that one.

The substantive prescriptive solution explicitly advocated by a number of
the "whiteness" scholars is not that whites need to address the question of
racial inequality but that whites should reject the privileges of their
"whiteness."  However personally therapeutic, we don't get to decide whether
we're going to accept or reject the race imposed on us by the wider society.
The fact is that any person of any race that buys a home, seeks employment,
collects a paycheck, plans a future, etc., etc., etc. does so in the context
of a racist civilization.  (It reminds me of those flakes who used to attack
us as polluters for leafleting...like pollution would go away if we just
stopped leafleting.)

If we could change the world by making individual choices, it'd be easier.

But all these discussions always wind up in talking to cross purposes....

I believe it was Dick Hinton who ran into John Brown as he was walking out
of an abolitionist convention addressed by the great luminaries of the
movement like Wendell Phillips. Asked what he thought of it, the old man
just shook his head from side to side and said, "talk, talk, talk."

Me, too.

And don't tell me (again) that I'm being hostile to theory is.

Remember that stuff about "philosophers solve the world when the point
is..."  What was that again?

Mark L.

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