In the concluding paragraph of the article below, the authors write, “In reality, white workers have no stake in the system of exploitation that black oppression is designed to uphold.” I’ve made the same argument myself in the past, but is that really the case? If it is then it is hard to explain the persistence of racism over centuries and the sustained resistance of white workers to anti-racist politics.

A better approach is, in my view, to acknowledge a tension (or contradiction if you will) within the working class movement. In other words, white workers have and don’t have a stake – economic, political, cultural, psychological – in racist exploitation and oppression. What is more, without accounting for this contradiction and how it expresses itself, it seems to me, the struggle against racist exploitation and oppression becomes a steep – maybe insurmountable – hill to climb.