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The focus of this new section is on how commons-based solutions can be effective in reducing disparities.

Key Articles

  • The Class Path to Racial Liberation. By Adaner Usmani and David Zachariah. Catalyst, VOL 5 NO 3 FALL 2021: "To choose race-based politics or coalitions over class-based ones is to elevate the interests of the rich over the interests of the poor."

"The debate is also a debate about strategy. What kinds of coalitions should egalitarians build? And what kinds of remedies should these coalitions demand? Some people defend race-based coalitions and race-targeted remedies like reparations. In the second part of this essay, we address those egalitarians who dedicate themselves to the specific goal of reducing racial inequality (e.g., the gap in earnings between the median black and the median white person). We argue that even these egalitarians will find that race-based politics has fatal limits. In societies in which racially oppressed groups are a minority of the population, race-based coalitions are fatally constrained by demography. Thus, even if all one cares about is racial inequality, race-based politics are a dead end. Class-based politics are the only viable route to racial liberation.

To defend this conclusion, we argue that conventional race-based and class-based goals can be conceptualized as different ways of redressing inequality in modern societies. We show that these two agendas will have radically different bases of support. Partisans of “race-based” politics appeal to electoral coalitions built on the support of the black population. They will find it impossible to build viable electoral or working-class coalitions because, in the United States, they have nothing to offer to a majority of the potential members of either group. “Class-based” politics, by contrast, can be anchored in either the disruptive power of a multiracial working class or in electoral coalitions of the poor.1 Class-based politics are thus a much more promising vehicle for egalitarian change in the advanced capitalist world.

In the final part of the essay, we argue that, even in countries where the parameters of racial demography furnish more hospitable foundations for race-based politics, the case for class-based over race-based strategies is still overwhelming."

Key Books

  • Transcending Racial Divisions: Will You Stand By Me? By Christine Louis Dit-Sully: a historical account of race ideology up to contemporary identity politics.

Key Statistics


  • "If you look at how white and black wealth are distributed in the U.S., you see right away that the very idea of racial wealth is an empty one. The top 10 percent of white people have 75 percent of white wealth; the top 20 percent have virtually all of it. And the same is true for black wealth. The top 10 percent of black households hold 75 percent of black wealth."

- Adolph Reed [1]

  • “The overall racial wealth disparity is driven almost entirely by the disparity between the wealthiest 10 percent of white people and the wealthiest 10 percent of black people.” While Bruenig is clear that a discernible wealth gap exists across class levels, he explored the impact of eliminating the gap between the bottom 90 percent of each group and found that after doing so 77.5 percent of the overall gap would remain. He then examined the effect of eliminating the wealth gap between the bottom 50 percent—the median point—of each population and found that doing so would eliminate only 3 percent of the racial gap. So, 97 percent of the racial wealth gap exists among the wealthiest half of each population. And, more tellingly, more than three-fourths of it is concentrated in the top 10 percent of each. If you say to those white people in the bottom 50 percent (people who have basically no wealth at all) that the basic inequality in the U.S. is between black and white, they know you are wrong. More tellingly, if you say the same thing to the black people in the bottom 50 percent (people who have even less than no wealth at all), they also know you are wrong. It’s not all the white people who have the money; it’s the top ten percent of (mainly) whites, and some blacks and some Asians. The wealth gap among all but the wealthiest blacks and whites is dwarfed by the class gap, the difference between the wealthiest and everyone else across the board."

- Matt Bruening [2]

Pages in category "Race"

The following 47 pages are in this category, out of 47 total.