Race and Class in America

SEP and IYSSE meeting series in the United States

Race, Class and the Fight for Socialism: Perspectives for the Coming Revolution in America

11 October 2019

This meeting series will refute the historical falsifications advanced in the New York Times “1619 Project,” explain their underlying political motivations and present the strategy for socialist revolution in America today.

The strike at General Motors: Class struggle vs. the reactionary politics of racial division

By Joseph Kishore, 18 September 2019

The strike by American autoworkers refutes all those who have proclaimed the end of the class struggle, supposedly replaced by conflicts centered on race, gender and sexual orientation.

210 Review of Masterless Men

7 September 2019

The New York Times’s 1619 Project: A racialist falsification of American and world history

By Niles Niemuth, Tom Mackaman and David North, 6 September 2019

The 1619 Project, launched by the New York Times, presents racism and racial conflict as the essential feature and driving force of American history.

The New York Times’s 1619 Project: A racialist falsification of American and world history—Part Two

By Niles Niemuth, Tom Mackaman and David North, 4 September 2019

The 1619 Project, launched by the New York Times, presents racism and racial conflict as the essential feature and driving force of American history.

035 Seattle teachers and social equity

3 September 2019

The New York Times’ 1619 Project: A racialist falsification of American and world history

By Niles Niemuth, Tom Mackaman and David North, 3 September 2019

PART ONE | PART TWO | COMBINED
The 1619 Project, launched by the New York Times, presents racism and racial conflict as the essential feature and driving force of American history.

Dear White People Volume 3 and the weaponization of identity politics

By Nick Barrickman, 24 August 2019

In the third season of Justin Simien’s series, events culminate in a #MeToo-style attack on a popular professor.

San Francisco school board proposes “compromise” in move to suppress historic Depression-era murals

By Toby Reese, 15 August 2019

School board officials in San Francisco continue their attempt to censor the left-wing murals painted by Victor Arnautoff at George Washington High School despite broad popular opposition.

“We can come together as a force:” Nashville resident who saw neighbors stop ICE speaks out

By our reporters, 13 August 2019

Rosheda Martin lives in the Hermitage neighborhood, where residents physically prevented ICE from snatching their neighbors.

220 Facial recognition and identity politics

31 July 2019

Trump aide demands of Jewish reporter: “What’s your ethnicity?”

By Patrick Martin, 18 July 2019

Kellyanne Conway’s outburst, which has been hailed by neo-Nazi groups, gives a glimpse of the fascistic climate within Trump’s inner circle.

Racialism and money-grubbing: The New York Times explains why “more critics of color” are needed

By David Walsh and Fred Mazelis, 9 July 2019

In the interests of honesty, “Race-fixated upper middle class continues its campaign for positions and money” ought to have been the headline of an opinion piece published by the New York Times July 5.

A conversation with Mike Kaplan, the producer of The Whales of August (1987), Lillian Gish’s final film

The famed actress “was filled with curiosity, creativity and imagination”

By David Walsh, 6 July 2019

Kaplan helped organize the petition urging Bowling Green State University to restore the names of famed actresses Dorothy and Lillian Gish to its film theater.

House Democrats give $4.6 billion for Trump’s concentration camps

Ocasio-Cortez plays critical role in ensuring passage

By Eric London, 28 June 2019

House Democrats voted for a Senate bill that exposes the critical role of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other “progressive” Democrats in facilitating Trump’s crackdown on immigrants.

016 Profile of US attorney who defended denying children soap

28 June 2019

28 June 2019

Biden under fire over comments about working with segregationist senators

By Patrick Martin, 21 June 2019

The controversy has put the spotlight on the role of Southern Democrats in defending racial discrimination well into the 1970s.

Why are reparations for slavery being made an issue in the 2020 US elections?

By Niles Niemuth, 21 June 2019

At a time when social inequality is motivating a growing movement of workers and youth, race is being brought forward to divert opposition to capitalism and attempt to block growing interest in socialism.

Famed film actress Lillian Gish’s name removed from Bowling Green State University theater: The issues raised

By David Walsh, 12 June 2019

The Ohio university’s cowardly decision is a capitulation to the worst sort of ahistorical moralizing and the current obsession with race and gender politics within the affluent middle class.

Dr. King and Mr. Garrow

By Patrick Martin, 4 June 2019

The historian and King biographer David Garrow has unleashed a #MeToo-style slander campaign against the martyred civil rights leader.

The attacks on Green Book and the racialist infection of the affluent middle class

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 8 March 2019

The decision to bestow the Best Picture award on Green Book (directed by Peter Farrelly) at the Academy Awards on February 24 has triggered a furious and ongoing response in the American media.

The Jussie Smollett controversy: Must all accusations be believed?

By Eric London, 22 February 2019

Smollett has been arrested for filing a false police report after the Democratic Party adopted his story as proof that identity—not class—defines social relations.

Stanley Hill, who presided over wholesale corruption in NYC unions, dead at 82

By Alan Whyte, 7 February 2019

Hill personified the transformed role of the unions, in both the public and private sectors, as junior partners of big business and the government in imposing attacks on jobs and living standards.

FBI conducted surveillance of BAMN in the name of combating “domestic terrorism”

By Tom Carter, 5 February 2019

Newly released documents establish that the FBI launched a “full investigation” of By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) based on allegations that the group had conspired to violate the rights of neo-Nazis and the KKK.

The Governor Ralph Northam affair

By Patrick Martin, 4 February 2019

The Virginia governor is under mounting pressure to resign after a 35-year-old incident of his wearing blackface was made public.

230 Covington

28 January 2019

Critic-at-large Wesley Morris on the Academy Awards

Why does the New York Times keep pushing pernicious racialism?

By David Walsh, 28 January 2019

The New York Times critic-at-large Wesley Morris published an article January 23 headlined “Why Do the Oscars Keep Falling for Racial Reconciliation Fantasies?”

The bicentenary of Frederick Douglass

A leading figure of the anti-slavery struggle

By Fred Mazelis, 20 December 2018

The foremost black Abolitionist escaped slavery as a young man and went on to advise Abraham Lincoln in the Civil War.

Killings at Kentucky store were hate crime, police say

By our reporter, 30 October 2018

The gunman, 51-year-old Gregory Bush, had a history of mental illness and racist abuse.

A discussion with Helen Pluckrose, co-author of “Grievance Studies” hoax article

By Eric London, 18 October 2018

The WSWS spoke to one of the authors of a recent study exposing the charlatanry that dominates postmodern-obsessed academic circles.

Chicago police officer convicted of second-degree murder in 2014 killing of Laquan McDonald

By Jessica Goldstein, 6 October 2018

The trial and guilty verdict followed an attempted cover-up of the murder by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Police Department.

“Keep out your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…”

Trump administration moves to impose class-based restrictions on immigration

By Eric London, 26 September 2018

The explicit formalization of a class-based immigration system marks a turning point that will substantially alter the state of social relations in favor of the rich.

As National Football League season opens

Nike unveils ad featuring blacklisted quarterback Colin Kaepernick

By Alan Gilman, 10 September 2018

The National Football League season has opened against the backdrop of Colin Kaepernick becoming the face of Nike’s new “Just Do It” campaign and a ruling allowing his collusion lawsuit against the NFL to go forward.

Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman: The illogic of racialism

By David Walsh, 16 August 2018

Lee’s new film takes as its point of departure the infiltration in the late 1970s of the racist Ku Klux Klan by a black police officer, Ron Stallworth, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

After 63 years, US reopens Emmett Till murder case

By Trévon Austin, 16 July 2018

The Department of Justice has reopened its investigation into the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American from Chicago who was murdered while visiting relatives in Mississippi.

The second season of Netflix’s Dear White People: More of the same selfish, racial politics

By Nick Barrickman, 4 July 2018

The second season picks up where the first season left off: focused on the petty and self-centered exploits of a group of African American students at a fictional upscale university.

Donald Glover’s hit music video “This is America”

By Zac Corrigan, 1 June 2018

Within 24 hours, “This is America” had been viewed 12.9 million times and the song debuted at #1 on the Billboard chart. It has now been viewed more than 200 million times.

The cancellation of Roseanne Barr’s television series

By David Walsh, 31 May 2018

On Tuesday, ABC television cancelled the revived Roseanne after its star Roseanne Barr posted a racist tweet.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar wins the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music

By Hiram Lee, 28 May 2018

Pulitzer’s choice to recognize the rapper cannot be viewed as anything but a nod to identity politics and the Democratic Party.

Black Lives Matter, ACLU stay lawsuits, promote Chicago police “reform”

By Jessica Goldstein and George Marlowe, 25 April 2018

The involvement of BLM in the CPD consent decree is intended to provide further cover for police and the political establishment while giving middle class activists a “piece of the action.”

220 Rudd on 1968 Columbia protest

25 April 2018

The legacy of the Gershwins and Porgy and Bess

An interview with Marc George Gershwin and Michael Strunsky, nephews of George and Ira Gershwin

By Barry Grey, 23 April 2018

“What stands out is the genius of the music.”

The New York Times on race and class

What determines social mobility in America?

Part two

By Eric London, 6 April 2018

The New York Times cites a new working paper published by the non-profit Equality of Opportunity as proof that race, not class determines social status. But what does the data really show?

The New York Times on race and class: What determines social mobility in America?

Part one

By Eric London, 5 April 2018

The Times cites a new working paper published by the non-profit Equality of Opportunity as proof that race determines social status, not class. But what does the data really show?

Fifty years since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

By Fred Mazelis, 4 April 2018

The life of Martin Luther King Jr., as well as his premature death, raise questions that have lost none of their urgency in the past five decades.

Howard University students occupy campus building in Washington, D.C.

By Nick Barrickman, 2 April 2018

Students have been occupying the university administration building since it was revealed that campus employees had inappropriately received college grants and waivers.

Washington Post fulminates against Black Panther’s white supremacist supporters

By Nick Barrickman, 23 March 2018

Far from rejecting Black Panther’s “pro-black” message, white racists have endorsed its depiction of a feudal African monarchy whose rulers have sealed the borders.

At the University of Michigan

Racialist attacks mar landmark performance of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess

By Barry Grey, 7 March 2018

Given the generally deplorable state of culture and intellectual life in contemporary America, it was perhaps inevitable that this remarkable event would be tarnished by the purveyors of racialist conceptions of art.

New York Times columnist Charles Blow blames Russia for the fall in black voter turnout

By Fred Mazelis, 21 February 2018

Blow brands the decision not to choose between two candidates of the ruling class as an illegitimate display of “apathy.”

209 Charles Blow

20 February 2018

Minnesota school district removes To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn from the curriculum

By Sandy English, 14 February 2018

The Duluth school board has decided to stop teaching two literary classics, To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn, because of their frequent use of racial slurs.

Martin Luther King Day marked with an open racist in the White House

By Fred Mazelis, 16 January 2018

The advent of Trump exposes the reality beneath the hypocritical official tributes to the slain civil rights leader.

Trump retweets fascist anti-Muslim videos from Britain

By Fred Mazelis, 30 November 2017

The White House is doubling down in its appeals to its fanatical ultra-right base and laying the groundwork for a mass fascist movement.

African American man attacked by white supremacists in Charlottesville charged with felony

By Shelley Connor, 12 October 2017

A magistrate issued an arrest warrant on Monday charging DeAndre Harris with unlawfully wounding one of his attackers during the “Unite the Right” rally in August.

Race, class and the protests against police violence in St. Louis, Missouri

By Genevieve Leigh, 3 October 2017

As part of its efforts to inject racialist politics into the protests against the police officer who killed Anthony Lamar Smith, groups around the Democratic Party held a “white allies only” rally.

Pseudo-left groups push identity politics on seventh day of St. Louis protests

By Genevieve Leigh and George Gallanis reporting from St. Louis, 22 September 2017

A “White Allies Only” protest endorsed by the DSA, Socialist Alternative and Black Lives Matter drew several hundred people on the seventh day of protests against police violence in St. Louis.

New York Times surveys the results of 35 years of affirmative action

By Fred Mazelis, 13 September 2017

The Times article reveals that masses of Hispanic and African-American youth are unable to afford higher education, but obscures the underlying class reality.

060 Cop tells woman "We only kill black people"

1 September 2017

The New York Times and “white nationalism”

By Barry Grey, 17 August 2017

The politics of race, whether in the form of anti-black racism or black nationalism, has long been used as an ideological weapon of the capitalist class to divide the working class and impede the struggle for socialism.

The political and social roots of fascist violence in the US

By Joseph Kishore, 15 August 2017

The fascist violence in Charlottesville is not an aberration. It is, rather, the manifestation of a profound crisis of American capitalist society.

Locking Up Our Own, by James Forman, Jr.

New book describes the role of black mayors and police officials in mass incarceration

By Fred Mazelis, 5 July 2017

Forman’s account provides further evidence that the massive growth of the US prison population is rooted primarily in class oppression, not in racial divisions.

An assault on free speech

Trinity College suspends professor over Facebook posts

By Josh Varlin, 1 July 2017

Professor Johnny Eric Williams’ suspension after a right-wing media campaign is a grave attack on academic freedom and democratic rights.

Trinity College suspends professor over Facebook posts

By Josh Varlin, 30 June 2017

Professor Johnny Eric Williams was targeted by a right-wing media campaign after he shared an article on social media saying that racial minorities should not help dying bigots.

Evergreen College professor harassed, slandered as racist for opposing “exclusion day” on campus

By Genevieve Leigh, 5 June 2017

After speaking out against a campus event in which all white students and faculty were “invited” to leave campus, Bret Weinstein was denounced by a group of students who have called for his resignation.

The case of punk duo PWR BTTM: The erosion of democratic rights in pop culture

By Norisa Diaz, 5 June 2017

The New York-based band has been banished from the music industry following social media allegations of sexual assault, undermining the long-standing legal principle that the accused is presumed “innocent until proven guilty.”

Two men stabbed to death in Portland, Oregon anti-Muslim incident

By Toby Reese, 29 May 2017

Two men in Portland, Oregon were killed by Jeremy Joseph Christian as they attempted to stop him from yelling ethnic, racial, and religious-based obscenities at passengers on a commuter train.

Fifty years after racist anti-miscegenation laws struck down

American public overwhelmingly accepting of interracial marriage

By Niles Niemuth, 26 May 2017

Contrary to the racialist narrative depicting a country hopelessly riven by racial division, the number of interracial marriages and popular approval are at an all-time high in the United States.

The political issues behind the removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans

By Tom Hall, 20 May 2017

The decision by Mayor Mitch Landrieu to remove the statues is a tactical move aimed at bolstering the tattered reputation of the Democratic Party.

Lecture at San Diego State University

Should art be judged on the basis of race and gender?

By David Walsh, 27 April 2017

This is an edited version of a talk given at San Diego State University on April 18 by WSWS arts editor David Walsh. Audio of the talk is included.

Black Lives Matter cashes in on black capitalism

By Lawrence Porter and Nancy Hanover, 4 April 2017

The class character of Black Lives Matter has become exceedingly clear as it openly embraces “Backing Black Business,” a new “black debit card” and other opportunities under the Trump administration.

Once again on Dana Schutz’s painting of Emmett Till: The New York Times intervenes to preserve identity politics

By David Walsh, 31 March 2017

The media establishment clearly senses that in the case of the Schutz painting in the Whitney Biennial, the identity politics zealots may have overstepped the bounds.

220 BLM comment, part one

17 March 2017

US Republican congressman defends racist diatribe against immigrants

By Patrick Martin, 15 March 2017

Representative Steve King of Iowa endorsed ultra-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders on the eve of elections in the Netherlands.

Trump’s anti-immigrant orders and the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

By Tom Mackaman, 14 March 2017

There are many parallels—and even a direct connection—between the notorious Fugitive Slave Act and Trump’s executive orders attacking immigrants.

220 Flint systemic racism comment

10 March 2017

As officials end subsidies and resume water cutoffs

Michigan blames Flint water crisis on racism: Part two

By James Brewer, 4 March 2017

A 138-page report on the Flint water crisis delivered on February 7 covers up the class issues in the poisoning of the city.

As officials end subsidies and resume water cutoffs

Michigan blames Flint water crisis on racism: Part one

By James Brewer, 3 March 2017

A 138-page report on the Flint water crisis delivered on February 7 covers up the class issues in the poisoning of the city.

A contribution on art and identity politics

It isn’t a highway and it doesn’t have lanes

By Steven Brust, 3 March 2017

The comment by fantasy and science fiction writer Steven Brust is a response to the effort to restrict art and literature according to the dictates of racial and gender politics.

230 Flint water crisis and racism

27 February 2017

230 Flint and systemic racisim

25 February 2017

Mounting anti-Semitic attacks in US draw half-hearted response from Trump

By Niles Niemuth, 22 February 2017

Since January, there have been 68 bomb threats at 53 community centers in 26 states and one in Canada, and some 200 headstones toppled at a Jewish cemetery in Missouri.

210 Reply to Black Block

17 February 2017

Columnist Myles E. Johnson on Beyoncé at the Grammys

The New York Times opens its pages to frenzied racialism

By David Walsh, 16 February 2017

The February 14 op-ed piece in the Times by Myles E. Johnson (“What Beyoncé Won Was Bigger Than a Grammy”) is an especially repugnant example of racialism.

Recording artists voice opposition to the White House at 2017 Grammy Awards

By Nick Barrickman, 15 February 2017

Numerous Grammy Award-winning music artists took to the stage on Sunday’s awards ceremony to criticize the new US administration.

I Am Not Your Negro: Raoul Peck’s documentary on James Baldwin

By Clare Hurley, 14 February 2017

The film takes as its point of departure Baldwin’s proposal to his editor in 1979 to write a piece about civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Roy Innis, black nationalist turned right-wing Republican, dead at 82

By Fred Mazelis, 20 January 2017

The trajectory of Innis provided a stark exposure of the reactionary politics of black nationalism.

New York Times film critics watch “while white”

Against racialism in film and art

By David Walsh, 19 January 2017

It would be very nearly possible at present to post a daily column devoted to the fixation of the American media and Hollywood filmmaking with race.

250 Roy Innis

18 January 2017

From Selma to the CIA

John Lewis, Donald Trump and the demise of the “civil rights” establishment

By Patrick Martin, 16 January 2017

The former civil rights leader and longtime Democratic congressman has now joined the campaign to prepare US public opinion for war with Russia.

After election debacle, Democrats debate identity politics

By Niles Niemuth, 15 December 2016

The publication of an op-ed by Columbia University professor Mark Lilla questioning the efficacy of identity politics continues to draw a heated response from figures in and around the Democratic Party.

205 Democratic party and identity politics

13 December 2016

From a reader: A second comment on Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight

By Thomas Douglass, 12 December 2016

The authentic and genuinely interesting character of the protagonists is one of Moonlight’s greatest appeals.

220 Identity Politics and the Democratic Party

9 December 2016

Black Lives Matter blames “white supremacy” for election of Trump

By Evan Blake and Barry Grey, 30 November 2016

The organization ignores factual analyses of the actual vote to present a false interpretation of the election as the expression of a society dominated by racism.

29 November 2016

210 Black Lives Matter's response to Trump election

28 November 2016

The myth of the reactionary white working class

By Eric London, 12 November 2016

The claim that the election of Trump was due to the racism of the “white working class” is a false narrative exploded by the most basic analysis of the data.

The New York Times’ Amanda Taub and “the crisis of whiteness”

By David Walsh, 3 November 2016

Taub’s November 1 article pins the blame for the unprecedented character of the 2016 US presidential election on “white” defensiveness and resistance to change.

Following meeting, leading Black Lives Matter activist endorses Clinton

By Gabriel Black, 25 October 2016

The meeting and subsequent endorsement express the deepening political collaboration between the Democratic Party establishment and the official Black Lives Matter movement.