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(“If white slavery be morally wrong,” he wrote, “the Bible cannot be true.”) Nevertheless, the argument that America’s original sin was not deep-seated white supremacy but rather the exploitation of white labor by white capitalists—“white slavery”—proved durable.
It is the presence of a lower caste, those lower by their mental and physical organization, controlled by the higher intellect of the white man, that gives this superiority to the white laborer.Black workers suffer because it was and is our lot.But when white workers suffer, something in nature has gone awry.was gunned down on a Memphis balcony—even after a black president; indeed, strengthened by the fact of that black president—is to accept that racism remains, as it has since 1776, at the heart of this country’s political life. The left would much rather have a discussion about class struggles, which might entice the white working masses, instead of about the racist struggles that those same masses have historically been the agents and beneficiaries of.Moreover, to accept that whiteness brought us Donald Trump is to accept whiteness as an existential danger to the country and the world.Fitzhugh attacked white capitalists as “cannibals,” feeding off the labor of their fellow whites.
The white workers were “ ‘slaves without masters;’ the little fish, who were food for all the larger.” Fitzhugh inveighed against a “professional man” who’d “amassed a fortune” by exploiting his fellow whites.
The former were virtuous and just, worthy of citizenship, progeny of Jefferson and, later, Jackson.
The latter were servile and parasitic, dim-witted and lazy, the children of African savagery.
In the early 17th century, these two classes were remarkably, though not totally, free of racist enmity.
But by the 18th century, the country’s master class had begun etching race into law while phasing out indentured servitude in favor of a more enduring labor solution.
And so an opioid epidemic among mostly white people is greeted with calls for compassion and treatment, as all epidemics should be, while a crack epidemic among mostly black people is greeted with scorn and mandatory minimums. This dynamic serves a very real purpose: the consistent awarding of grievance and moral high ground to that class of workers which, by the bonds of whiteness, stands closest to America’s aristocratic class.