White workers accrue skin privileges in the form of higher wages and salaries, superior health care, access to quality schools and safer neighborhoods, promising job opportunities and promotions, longer life expectancy, and more compared to their brothers and sisters of color. I’m hardly the first one to make this observation in recent years. A legion of commentators have made the same point far better than me. But what goes unmentioned in many instances is the other side of this dialectic. Which is that white privileges, which are a product of racist exploitation and oppression, aren’t an unalloyed blessing for white workers.

If that is so, and I believe it is, one of the great challenges of our time is to convince white workers that in joining with their sisters and brothers of color in a common class and anti-racist struggle, they have much more to win than to lose, politically, economically, culturally, and morally.