"The call to class struggle cannot be made at any level of generality in the US because it has to be made to white workers differently than to black or brown. Even at the height of industrial union organization in the 30s, the mutuality represented by the struggle for union recognition, and the fact that recognition itself was central to the construction of the union, both re-affirmed white workers’ sense of standing in white corporate society, while not alleviating black or brown subjugation to the control stratum in the slightest degree. The exceptions, and there have been exceptions, have succeeded only in gaining “recognition” for black workers — but as adjuncts to white hegemony, as white-by-association, and not as black workers. That is, they are deculturated as black within a white form of solidarity, while still marginalized and excluded as black.
Ultimately, the socialist call for class unity, which addresses itself to white workers as workers, has had no meaning for white workers as white. It has remained blind to the fact that race is the foundation for the unity of the white working class within a dual and heterogeneous class structure — that is, that white working class unity is before all else white unity. When socialists call for working class democracy, they imply the inclusion of black and brown workers, which violates the structure of white solidarity within which white workers valorize themselves as workers. Marxism has always considered “racism” to be an ideology rather than a cultural structure, a tactic of division rather than a fundamental dimension of the class structure and identity of the US. But “racism” is the mark of white allegiance, which means that race is not the way the working class was divided against itself, but the way the white working class was constructed, or has constructed itself, as a class. In fact, division in the working class was the foundation for race and racism, not the other way around. Racism is the way white workers reside in a class relation to a black (and brown) working class. What the socialist call has traditionally blinded itself to is that, in the racialized and white dominated condition of US society, the condition for working class unity in the United States is the condition for its disunity."
“The Duality of Class Systems in US Capitalism" by Steve Martinot (via medhanena)