Race and Class in America

After the exoneration of Breonna Taylor’s killers: The way forward in the fight against police violence

By Niles Niemuth, 26 September 2020

The ubiquity of police violence in the US, with approximately 1,000 people killed every year, is bound up with the extreme growth of social inequality and class tensions.

Protests erupt over whitewash of police murder of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky

By Niles Niemuth, 24 September 2020

Neither of the two officers who fired the fusillade of 22 bullets that killed 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in her Louisville, Kentucky home were charged by the grand jury convened by state authorities.

Louisville police chief declares “state of emergency” in advance of state’s decision on charges against policemen who killed Breonna Taylor

By Kevin Reed, 22 September 2020

Federal police agencies have been requested by U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman to provide protection for the courthouse and three other buildings in downtown Louisville in anticipation of protests this week.

The New York Times and Nikole Hannah-Jones abandon key claims of the 1619 Project

By Tom Mackaman and David North, 22 September 2020

The Times has abandoned, without any public announcement or explanation, the central thesis that 1619, not 1776, was the “true founding” of the United States.

Book Review

Wilmington’s Lie: The 1898 white supremacist coup in North Carolina

David Zucchino, Atlantic Monthly Press, 336 pages

By Fred Mazelis, 17 September 2020

The racist massacre in Wilmington was a major turning point in the entrenchment of Jim Crow segregation throughout the South.

Los Angeles Sheriff threatens violence, reporter arrested after shooting of deputies

By John Andrews, 15 September 2020

After the shooting of two deputy sheriffs by an unknown gunman in Compton, California, Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva threatened anti-police violence protesters and deputies roughed up and arrested a local reporter.

Working-class resistance mounts to back-to-work campaign

By Jerry White, 15 September 2020

On Monday, nearly 4,000 service workers at the University of Illinois walked out, joining strikes by 800 nurses at a UI hospital in Chicago and nearly 2,000 grad student instructors at the University of Michigan.

240 UM-Dearborn planned to host race based discussions

15 September 2020

Beyoncé’s Black is King: A self-absorbed ode to “blackness”

By Nick Barrickman, 14 September 2020

The US singer-songwriter’s musical film and visual album seeks to focus its lens on the African continent and its diaspora, with decidedly limited effects.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences plan for racial and gender criteria: A right-wing attack on artistic freedom

By David Walsh, 11 September 2020

The actions reveal that the affluent layer in charge in Hollywood is either indifferent or hostile to the process by which art is created, and determined to pursue its selfish, grasping political and economic agenda.

Student paper defends plan for segregated living spaces at New York University

By Niles Niemuth, 2 September 2020

Responding to the outpouring of public opposition triggered by the WSWS’s exposure of plans for separate housing for black students, the Washington Square News published a defense of the initiative Monday.

Boycott by professional athletes expands in second day of protests against police violence

By Kevin Reed, 28 August 2020

The boycott among professional athletes expanded on Thursday in response to the brutal police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Far-right militia member arrested for fatally shooting two protesters and wounding a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin

By Jacob Crosse, 27 August 2020

Video posted on social media shows friendly interaction between Kenosha police and armed militia members just prior to the murderous assault on demonstrators.

Players shut down NBA playoffs in protest over Jacob Blake shooting

By Alan Gilman, 27 August 2020

The refusal of the Milwaukee Bucks to take the court for their Wednesday playoff game forced professional basketball to postpone all of Wednesday’s games.

Fraudulent Associated Press “fact-check” targets WSWS article on student housing segregation project at NYU

By the WSWS Editorial Board, 26 August 2020

The AP’s “fact-check” of the WSWS is a dishonest piece of hack journalism aimed at discrediting an accurate account of New York University’s plans to accept segregated student housing.

Seberg: The story of actress Jean Seberg racialized and trivialized

By James Brewer, 25 August 2020

Decisions made in the script distorted the film’s narrative before the highly capable cast ever got in front of the camera.

New York University moves to implement racial segregation in student dorms

By Karsten Schneider, 24 August 2020

Calls for race-based student housing stem not from a desire to improve the lives of all students and youth, but to advance the interests of a small layer of the population.

Justice Department accuses Yale of discriminating against Asian American and white students

By Trévon Austin, 22 August 2020

The lawsuit is a cynical provocation by an administration that seeks to stir the pot of racial antagonisms.

The nomination of Kamala Harris and the right-wing logic of identity politics

By Niles Niemuth, 20 August 2020

The Democrats hope that the endless celebration of the trite, empty symbolism of Harris’ candidacy will serve as a repeat of Barack Obama’s run for president in 2008.

The cancellation of professor Adolph Reed, Jr.’s speech and the DSA’s promotion of race politics

By Niles Niemuth, 18 August 2020

The effective ban on criticism of identity politics within the DSA and vicious denunciations of Marxism as “class reductionism” are in line with the Democratic Party’s broader goals of promoting racialist divisions.

The selection of Kamala Harris and the degradation of American politics

By Joseph Kishore—SEP candidate for US president, 13 August 2020

There is something incredibly degrading and shameful about the whole process, testifying to the intellectual and cultural collapse of American politics.

US Attorney General Barr gives fascistic tirade against Antifa, Black Lives Matter

By Patrick Martin, 11 August 2020

Barr made a political amalgam connecting the Democratic Party, Black Lives Matter, Antifa and terrorism.

New York Times calls for de facto racial quotas in classical music

By Fred Mazelis, 5 August 2020

Anthony Tommasini now opposes the use of blind auditions.

Corporate press promotes Susan Rice as Biden running mate

By Patrick Martin, 30 July 2020

The former Obama national security advisor is identified with illegal wars, drone missile assassinations and an aggressive posture towards both Russia and China.

999 Racialist attack on Portland protests

29 July 2020

The “Strike for Black Lives” protest stunt

By Tom Hall, 22 July 2020

The “strike” was a union-organized stunt endorsed by business, the corporate media and the Democratic Party to divert anger over police violence and unsafe working conditions along racial lines.

210 Bogus strike for black lives

21 July 2020

From Selma to the CIA

John Lewis, civil rights militant turned big-business politician, dies at 80

20 July 2020

The outpouring of tributes from reactionaries and war criminals demonstrates the class role that Lewis came to play, despite his youthful part in asserting the democratic rights of African Americans.

Michigan teen sent to juvenile detention for failing to do her homework

By Will McCalliss and Nancy Hanover, 18 July 2020

Amid the chaotic transition to online learning during the pandemic, a teenage girl has been taken into criminal custody for “failure to submit any schoolwork.”

Demands mount for racial quotas at elite US universities

By Jonathan Burleigh, 13 July 2020

There is nothing democratic or progressive about the mandating of quotas of different races at schools or workplaces.

Protests erupt after Detroit, Michigan police shoot and kill 21-year-old man

By Stephen Fuller, 11 July 2020

Tensions are high in the city after weeks of protests against police brutality in which hundreds have been arrested and police have rammed into protesters with their vehicles.

An interview with Ed Achorn, author of Every Drop of Blood: The Momentous Second Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln

By Shannon Jones, 10 July 2020

In a recent conversation with the WSWS, Achorn discussed his book on Lincoln’s Second Inaugural address and weighed in on efforts to slander the president who won the Civil War and destroyed slavery in the United States.

The campaign to smear novelist Charles Dickens as a racist

By David Walsh, 10 July 2020

Dickens was one of the greatest novelists of the 19th century and a world-historical literary and cultural figure. In the English language, he is perhaps second only to William Shakespeare in enduring significance and popularity.

The significance of the July 4 online discussion, “The Place of the Two American Revolutions: Past, Present and Future”

By David Walsh, 6 July 2020

The World Socialist Web Site marked the 244th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence by hosting a discussion with five significant historians: Victoria Bynum, Clayborne Carson, Richard Carwardine, James Oakes and Gordon Wood.

The two American Revolutions in world history

By David North, 4 July 2020

Today marks the 244th anniversary of the public proclamation of the Declaration of Independence, on July 4, 1776, which established the United States of America. It is not only the direct political impact of the document, but, rather, the principles it proclaimed that determined its world historical stature.

Workers, young people denounce undemocratic efforts to keep Socialist Equality Party off the ballot in Michigan

By our reporters, 2 July 2020

Workers and youth voiced support for the SEP election campaign in the United States.

210 Announcement of July 4 event

1 July 2020

New York Times’ Charles Blow demands the removal of monuments to Washington and other “amoral monsters”

By Niles Niemuth, 1 July 2020

The Times’ latest assault on the American Revolution is part of the effort by the Democratic Party and its operatives to derail the popular multiracial protests against police violence in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.

230 Poet in New York Times: "My Body is a Confederate monument" article

1 July 2020

Trump retweets video of supporter shouting, “White Power”

By Jacob Crosse, 29 June 2020

Seeking to bolster an administration in crisis by appealing to the most backward and reactionary elements in society, Trump left the video on his timeline for over three hours before deleting it.

999 Poet in New York Times: "My Body is a Confederate monument" article

29 June 2020

Hands off the monuments to Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Grant!

By Tom Mackaman and Niles Niemuth, 22 June 2020

The justifiable demand for the removal of monuments to defenders of slavery and inequality has been unfairly accompanied by attacks against memorials to the men who led the American Revolution and the Civil War.

Amy Klobuchar ends bid to become Biden’s running mate in favor of a “woman of color”

By Genevieve Leigh, 20 June 2020

Neither Klobuchar nor the “women of color” being considered for vice president have anything to do with progressive politics.

The UAW’s Juneteenth stunt

By Jerry White and Tom Hall, 19 June 2020

If the UAW has suddenly "discovered" its opposition to discrimination, it is only in order to use race in order to divert workers' anger along harmless, officially sanctioned forms of protests.

Voices of young protesters: Police violence, COVID-19 and the 2020 elections

By our reporters, 17 June 2020

The young people expressed concern over attacks on democratic rights, the acute economic distress facing youth, and imperialist war among other issues.

Police violence and class rule

By Niles Niemuth and Joseph Kishore, 17 June 2020

What is absent from all of the media commentary on police violence, let alone the statements from bourgeois politicians, is any examination of what the police are and their relationship to capitalist society.

Washington Post op-ed calls for news media to censor videos of police brutality

By Nick Barrickman, 17 June 2020

ESPN journalist and University of Maryland Professor Kevin Blackistone has called for the removal of videos of police killings on the grounds that they “dehumanize” black men.

Washington, DC’s Democratic mayor renames city street “Black Lives Matter Plaza”

By Dmitri Church and Nick Barrickman, 15 June 2020

Mayor Muriel Bowser’s co-option of the slogan as protests surge throughout the US and internationally is an attempt to cover up the record of the Democratic Party.

Facing anger over budget cuts and early reopening, Detroit school officials promote racial politics

By Mitch Marcus and Phyllis Steele, 15 June 2020

The Detroit Public Schools Community District called a march and rally for “Equality and Justice for All” on June 11 that attracted 2,000 teachers, parents and students.

999 Oprah program on race

13 June 2020

999 Oprah program on race

12 June 2020

George Floyd laid to rest as nationwide protests over police violence continue

By Niles Niemuth, 10 June 2020

The murder of Floyd, caught on bystander cellphone video in excruciating detail, has served as a catalyst for the largest nationwide and international outpouring of political opposition in decades.

Proponents of racial politics react with hostility to multi-racial protests against police murder of George Floyd

By Nick Barrickman, 10 June 2020

Democratic Party officials and their black nationalist supporters have denounced white “outside agitators.”

Thousands pay respects to George Floyd as Minneapolis cop is arraigned on murder charges

By Kevin Reed, 9 June 2020

Protests demanding justice for Floyd and against police violence continued on Monday for the fourteenth day in a row.

Democrats announce toothless police reform bill

By Barry Grey, 9 June 2020

The “Justice in Policing” bill, a collection of minor reforms that has no chance of being passed by the Senate and signed by Trump, is aimed at containing and dissipating mounting social protest.

New York Times editor James Bennet resigns over fascist op-ed

By Patrick Martin, 9 June 2020

The last straw was the publication of a column by Senator Tom Cotton calling for military intervention to suppress the protests against police violence.

Four Tacoma, Washington police officers put on administrative leave three months after killing Manuel Ellis

By Julio Patron, 6 June 2020

Ellis, a father of two, could be heard on dispatcher radio calling out “I can’t breathe” after being brutally detained and handcuffed by the police.

Protesters defy Trump’s threats, expand nationwide movement against police killings

By Jacob Crosse, 3 June 2020

Curfews, mass arrests and police terror have not quelled the powerful movement of youth and workers of all races and ethnicities in response to the police murder of George Floyd.

Democrats cover for Trump’s coup d’état

By Andre Damon, 3 June 2020

In contrast to the heroism of the demonstrators, the Democrats have responded to Trump’s dictatorial measures with their typical display of fecklessness, cowardice and complicity.

999 US worker repsonse to corporate hypocrisy over police protests

3 June 2020

Protests in Louisville continue day after local restaurant owner killed

By Jerry White, 2 June 2020

Claims that David McAtee was killed after police and National Guard troops “returned fire” from protesters fell apart after the Louisville mayor declared there was no body camera footage of the incident.

Police in the US fire tear gas at protest against brutal Memorial Day murder

By Kevin Reed, 27 May 2020

Video shared on social media shows that George Floyd was killed by a police officer who kneeled on his neck while he was subdued on the ground.

FBI investigating Georgia officials who failed to arrest Ahmaud Arbery’s killers

By Matthew MacEgan, 27 May 2020

Federal investigators are reportedly looking into potential criminal and civil violations on the part of the district attorneys who initially handled the Arbery case.

Biden’s “gaffe” and the black vote

By Patrick Martin, 25 May 2020

The verbal outburst against host Charlamagne Tha God gave a glimpse of the cynical calculations that underlie the Democratic presidential campaign.

New details emerge in Ahmaud Arbery killing

By Matthew MacEgan, 20 May 2020

Recently released surveillance video shows that Travis McMichael had an encounter with Arbery two weeks prior to fatally shooting him on February 23.

Indianapolis cops fire pepper balls on group protesting police shooting of Dreasjon Reed

By Kevin Reed, 11 May 2020

Police arrested one protester and fired pepper balls at demonstrators who assembled at the scene where Dreasjon Reed was shot and killed by an officer on May 6.

The Times’ 1619 Project is damned with faint praise

Hannah-Jones receives Pulitzer Prize for personal commentary, not historical writing

By Tom Mackaman and David North, 9 May 2020

The Pulitzer awards took no notice of the New York Times’ pretentious claims that the 1619 Project is an important contribution to the understanding of American history. It granted Hannah-Jones an award for “Commentary.”

As southwestern states begin to reopen

Navajo Nation COVID-19 cases rise while emergency federal aid remains delayed

By Evan Cohen, 2 May 2020

Endemic impoverishment and a lack of critical infrastructure imposed on Native Americans by Washington have contributed to some of the worst coronavirus infection rates in the country.

What is behind the high percentage of COVID-19 deaths among African Americans?

By Eric London, 13 April 2020

The data shows the deadly impact of the virus on the entire working class, especially the most vulnerable workers of all races.

A conversation with Mark Harris, director of Black & Privileged

By Nick Barrickman, 11 April 2020

The World Socialist Web Site spoke last week to the Chicago-based director and discussed issues related to his recent film.

999 Race and COVID-19

11 April 2020

210 Race and COVID-19

10 April 2020

Black & Privileged: Poor African Americans “intrude” on an affluent Chicago neighborhood

By Nick Barrickman, 4 April 2020

Mark Harris’s television film tells the story of a middle-class black community “disrupted” when low-income people are forced to move in.

New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein attempts to slither away from central 1619 Project fabrication

By Tom Mackaman, 16 March 2020

Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein is attempting to palm off a minor semantic change as a cure for a totally false presentation of the American Revolution.

New York Times hypocritically accuses Russia of “weaponizing race” in 2020 elections

By Eric London, 14 March 2020

The purpose of the article, published by the primary purveyors of racial politics, is to advance an anti-Russia foreign policy and deny the existence of real social divisions in America.

999 NYT clarification on 1619 Project

14 March 2020

Right-wing attack on performance of African-American spirituals at Western Michigan University

By Joe Lorenz, 13 March 2020

The concert, “Spirituals: From Ship to Shore,” was organized and led by Dr. John Wesley Wright, an award-winning tenor and professor at Salisbury University in Maryland, as part of a week of study into the history of the musical genre.

New York cops caught on video assaulting unarmed man

By Shuvu Batta, 10 March 2020

Yet another display of NYPD gangsterism sparks outrage.

New York Times ignored objections raised by 1619 Project fact-checker

By Eric London, 9 March 2020

A fact-checker for the 1619 Project has revealed that the Times ignored her objection to the Project’s claim that the American Revolution was a counterrevolution waged to defend slavery.

Race vs. class in the South Carolina primary

By Patrick Martin, 2 March 2020

Black Democratic Party officials have been mobilized to use racial politics as a barrier to the campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Video shows Florida school police officer boasting after arresting six-year-old

By Shuvu Batta, 27 February 2020

Dennis Turner bragged that he had made more than 6,000 arrests and that Kaia Rolle had “broken the record” for the youngest child he had ever detained.

19 February 2020

Actor Jussie Smollett indicted on six counts of disorderly conduct in Chicago

By Brian Brown and Alexander Fangmann, 17 February 2020

The case against Smollett was revived by special prosecutor Dan Webb, brought in to investigate the original decision by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to drop the charges against him.

Chicago high school students hold sit-in in defense of students who refused to stand for national anthem

By Andy Thompson, 15 February 2020

The sit-in is an example of young peoples’ complete rejection of nationalism and racism promoted by the ruling class.

Black Democrats endorse Bloomberg after release of racist boasts on “stop-and-frisk”

By Niles Niemuth, 14 February 2020

The immediate response of elected African-American Democrats to the exposure of the billionaire Bloomberg’s racist remarks was to boost him as the only candidate who can defeat President Donald Trump in November.

999 Jussie Smollett charges

14 February 2020

On the eve of the Academy Awards ceremony

New York Times’ Wesley Morris complains that eight of the films nominated for Best Picture “are about white people”

By David Walsh, 8 February 2020

Morris, the ideological product of decades of selfish identity politics, espouses a thoroughly racialist interpretation of history and culture. He seemingly cannot perceive anything else aside from race.

220 NHJ on The Daily Show

8 February 2020

999 Race and the Academy Awards

7 February 2020

Amy Klobuchar, endorsed by New York Times, denounced for railroading black teenager to prison for life

By David Walsh, 3 February 2020

Like Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, Klobuchar personifies the use of gender and racial politics to provide a phony “progressive” veneer to the grasping ambitions of middle class reactionaries of all stripes.

An examination of the anti-immigrant campaign in early 20th century America

The Guarded Gate, by Daniel Okrent (Scribner, 2019)

By Fred Mazelis, 3 February 2020

A century after the imposition of racist immigration quotas in the US, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and racism are once again on the rise in the US and around the world.

Maryland police officer faces murder charges after shooting handcuffed man seven times inside patrol car

By Harvey Simpkins, 1 February 2020

With highly unusual swiftness, Prince George’s County police charged the officer, Michael Owen, 31, with second-degree murder and manslaughter within 24 hours of the shooting.

A reply to the American Historical Review’s defense of the 1619 Project

By David North and Tom Mackaman, 31 January 2020

The disrespect expressed by editor Alex Lichtenstein toward leading historians reveals the extent to which racialist mythology, which has provided the “theoretical” foundation of middle-class identity politics, has been accepted, and even embraced, by a substantial section of the academic community as a legitimate basis for the teaching of American history.

My Response to Alex Lichtenstein Regarding the 1619 Project

By Victoria Bynum, 31 January 2020

Bynum, one of the many academics who have raised fundamental criticisms of the New York Times’ 1619 Project, wrote this letter to the editor of the American Historical Review in reply to his defense of the project published online last week.

Martin Luther King Jr. and the fight for social equality

By Tom Mackaman and Niles Niemuth, 23 January 2020

King’s conception of a mass democratic movement for civil rights based on the unified action of all the oppressed sections of the population is being replaced with an essentially racialist narrative that presents all of American history in terms of a struggle between whites and blacks.

“The saddest part of this is that the response of the Times is simply to defend their project”

An interview with historian Clayborne Carson on the New York Times’ 1619 Project

By Tom Mackaman, 15 January 2020

Professor Carson is professor of history at Stanford University and director of its Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute. He is the author and editor of numerous books on King and the civil rights movement.

The New York Times’ 1619 Project promoted in schools across the US

By Genevieve Leigh, 10 January 2020

Despite its historical errors and omissions, major efforts are underway to establish the 1619 Project as the official narrative of American history at schools and major academic institutions.

“A preposterous and one-dimensional reading of the American past”

Oxford historian Richard Carwardine on the New York Times’ 1619 Project

By Tom Mackaman, 31 December 2019

The World Socialist Web Site recently spoke with leading Lincoln biographer Richard Carwardine about the Times’ 1619 Project

31 December 2019

The 1619 Project and the falsification of history: An analysis of the New York Times’ reply to five historians

By David North and Eric London, 28 December 2019

New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein, reviving discredited racialist distortions of the American Revolution and Civil War, refuses to correct historical errors in the 1619 Project.