Race and Class in America
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
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?
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.”
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.
By Fred Mazelis, 16 January 2018
The advent of Trump exposes the reality beneath the hypocritical official tributes to the slain civil rights leader.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
As officials end subsidies and resume water cutoffs
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
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
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.
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.
Columnist Myles E. Johnson on Beyoncé at the Grammys
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.
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.
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.
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”
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.
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.
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.
By Thomas Douglass, 12 December 2016
The authentic and genuinely interesting character of the protagonists is one of Moonlight’s greatest appeals.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Tom Eley and David Walsh, 15 October 2016
With the publication last year of African-American journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me, the political and media establishment quickly declared the author to be one of the country’s leading commentators on race.
By Gabriel Black, 11 October 2016
The $100 million allocated by the Ford Foundation is an acknowledgment by a powerful section of the ruling class that the aims of the Black Lives Matter movement are aligned with its interests.
By James Brewer, 1 September 2016
A report submitted as evidence that the Flint water crisis was the result of racism is aimed at concealing the class issues and diverting popular outrage into establishment channels.
By David Walsh, 30 August 2016
A sharp polarization has emerged among African Americans over the past four decades. The privileged layer that has been produced forms an important basis for racialist politics.
By Matthew Brennan, 13 August 2016
The decision by Moraine Valley Community College to drop segregated college-readiness courses, after an initial defense by school officials, came amid criticism from students and parents.
By David Walsh, 22 July 2016
The newspaper currently treats individuals, events, movements, books, films and everything else that comes within its journalistic grasp almost exclusively through the prism of race.
By Barry Grey, 18 July 2016
The central issue in the struggle against police violence and all attacks on democratic rights is the unification of the working class in a common struggle against capitalism.
By David Walsh and Zac Corrigan, 18 July 2016
M.I.A. has every right to criticize Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar, who travel in privileged circles around the Obamas and other leading Democratic Party figures.
By Barry Grey, 14 July 2016
The Times is on guard and ready to denounce anything—a political development, a book, even a movie—that challenges its racialist agenda. This agenda has become more and more central as the class struggle has grown more intense.
By Bill Van Auken, 13 July 2016
To deliver an honest speech, Obama would have had to admit that the epidemic of police killings as well as the shootings in Dallas are either the direct product of or blowback from his administration’s policies.
“The records were full of evidence of dissent and insurrections by common people”
By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 12 July 2016
We are posting a conversation with Victoria Bynum, whose research helped inspire the film Free State of Jones, about an insurrection by Southern Unionists against the Confederacy during the Civil War.
By The World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board, 11 July 2016
The campaign to portray the United States as riven by racial hatred serves definite and reactionary social and political aims.
“I am against something wrong, regardless of what the color of someone’s skin is”
By Nick Barrickman and Matthew Taylor, 11 July 2016
Protesters in Washington DC and Jacksonville, Florida, among the thousands who demonstrated against police killings this weekend, spoke with the World Socialist Web Site.
By Andre Damon, 8 July 2016
Millions of people around the world have reacted with shock, outrage and revulsion at the latest videos and images of police murder in the United States.
By Eric London, 30 June 2016
The California state legislature is poised to enact new mandatory sentencing laws that will greatly expand the prison population and the police powers of the state.
Charles Blow of the New York Times
By David Walsh, 30 June 2016
Free State of Jones, about a white farmer in Mississippi who led an insurrection against the Confederacy from 1863 to 1865, has come under sharp attack from the “new right” of identity politics advocates.
By Tom Carter, 27 June 2016
The protracted and embittered litigation over affirmative action highlights the policy’s central importance to the political, corporate and military establishment.
By Helen Hayes, 2 May 2016
Gary Tyler’s frame-up and decades-long incarceration expose the brutal class character of the American judicial system and its vast prison complex.
By Niles Williamson, 5 April 2016
Amid mounting signs that interest in socialism is on the rise, Kristof is doing his best to promote racialist politics to divide the working class and block the development of class consciousness.
By Hiram Lee, 4 April 2016
A review published in this Sunday’s New York Times Book Review advances a racialist view of art and culture with thoroughly reactionary implications.
“This is not a race issue—we need everyone to support this”
By Nancy Hanover, 1 February 2016
High school students throughout Detroit speak up, walk out and protest to make their stand with teachers.
By David Walsh, 17 November 2015
The student protests initiated over the past two weeks have a decidedly upper middle class character, aimed not at fighting for social equality but at carving out greater privileges for relatively privileged African American and other minority professionals.
By Clare Hurley and Fred Mazelis, 9 October 2015
Riveting video footage along with complacent commentary adds up to a misleading account.
By Shannon Jones, 9 October 2015
Boggs passed briefly through the Trotskyist movement in the early 1950s before becoming a supporter of black nationalism, feminism and the Democratic Party.
By Patrick Martin, 22 August 2015
The much-publicized encounter sheds light on the essentially right-wing character of both the Democratic frontrunner and the proponents of identity politics.
By Tom Mackaman, 13 August 2015
The move to disassociate the Democratic Party from the two figures it has long claimed as its founders, allegedly because they were slave-owners, marks a new milestone in the party’s embrace of identity politics.
By Barry Grey, 28 July 2015
A careful reading of the actual poll indicates that racial animosities are continuing to fade and basic class issues are coming to the fore.
By Barry Grey, 30 June 2015
The rush to take down symbols of racism that the American political establishment has kept in place for decades is a defensive response to an outpouring of public horror over the Charleston killings and popular hostility to racism.
By Niles Williamson and Barry Grey, 24 June 2015
The revelation that the head of a local NAACP chapter, since forced to resign, is a white woman has driven the purveyors of identity politics into a furor.
By Andre Damon, 23 June 2015
The political establishment has seized upon the tragedy in Charleston to promote the conception that race is the fundamental category in American society.
By Nick Barrickman, 11 March 2015
Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which has historical ties to the antebellum South, has been involved in a rash of incidents of a reactionary character.
By Fred Mazelis and Joseph Kishore, 9 March 2015
Obama’s commemoration of “Bloody Sunday” was a political farce aimed at sanctifying a corrupt apparatus with the blood of those who made great sacrifices as part of the civil rights movement.
By Joseph Kishore, 9 December 2014
In response to popular anger over police violence in the US, the Obama administration has strengthened the apparatus of repression while deploying the practitioners of identity politics to obscure the basic class issues at stake.
By Lawrence Porter, 26 November 2013
The killing of McBride, who was shot on the doorsteps of a suburban home, is being seized on by sections of the political establishment to promote racial politics.
By Matthew MacEgan, 25 November 2013
The Alabama Board of Pardons and Parole decided unanimously to posthumously pardon three of the “Scottsboro Boys,” who were wrongfully accused of two rapes during the early 1930s.
By Helen Halyard and Shannon Jones, 31 January 2013
In recent years, Davis has been brought forward as part of an effort to give an oppositional gloss to the Democratic Party.
By David Walsh, 27 July 2010
The Shirley Sherrod affair, the case of the black US Department of Agriculture official fired July 20 because of an allegedly racist remark, is profoundly discrediting to every wing of the American establishment.
By Patrick Martin, 26 April 2010
The new anti-immigrant law passed in Arizona last week and signed by Governor Jan Brewer is a blatantly racist and anti-democratic measure authorizing police-state methods against the Hispanic population of the state.
By Peter Daniels, 24 March 2010
A trial began last week in a tense courtroom in the town of Riverhead, Long Island, in connection with the killing of an Ecuadorean immigrant 16 months ago.
By Hiram Lee, 14 December 2009
The US government will settle a class action lawsuit brought against it by the American Indian owners of land trusts who say the government has deprived them of billions of dollars in royalty payments.
By Lawrence Porter, 17 November 2008
The Obama presidential campaign carefully cultivated the illusion that an African American president would prove sympathetic to the plight of average working people. However, the social layers that Obama represents have different class interests; far from being sympathetic to the conditions of the working class or the poor, they have used their connections to take advantage of the very people they claim to defend.
By Kate Randall, 16 October 2008
The US Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to hear the appeal of Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis. The case against Davis, convicted in the 1989 killing of an off-duty Savannah police office, has gained worldwide attention, with demands by human rights activists and high-profile figures for his life to be spared.
By Joseph Kay and Patrick Martin, 3 May 2001
Conflicting rulings by two federal district court judges on lawsuits against the affirmative action policies of the University of Michigan may well provide the vehicle for a major ruling by the US Supreme Court on the subject, for the first time in 23 years.
By Joseph Kay, 3 May 2001
During the University of Michigan (U-M) Law School case and afterward, U-M and various radical groups on campus have taken up the defense of affirmative action, advancing a political perspective that in no way addresses the basic crisis of education in the United States. What is their program? That the University should remain off limits to the majority of working class and most middle class youth, but that it should be made “diverse” through the selective admission of a small percentage of minority students, who are given preference over qualified white students.
A socialist viewpoint
By Helen Halyard, 21 April 1997
The main issue in the dispute over Ebonics is not language, but perspective. Those who base themselves on the permanence of capitalism are seizing upon racial differences in order to make them a barrier to unifying working people in the struggle to change society. They promote the conception that the great division in American society is between black, white and Hispanic or American born and foreign born.
13 January 1997
Until very recently, the term Ebonics (literally, black sounds) was unknown to all but a handful of academics and black cultural nationalists. Within the last month, however, the public has been bombarded with news reports, talk shows and opinion columns all dealing with the issue.