The Paradox of Racial Caste

Interesting story in The Hill today. There, in the context of Oprah Winfrey’s new talk show, Emmanuel Acho is found declaring that white people “run American.”

This sounds a lot like a conspiracy theory I have heard before. The CEOs and Fortune 500 companies that comprise collective white rule, aren’t these disproportionately run by Jews? Isn’t the conspiracy that Jews and their gentile white allies run America? This is Louis Farrakhan’s thesis (Farrakhan is the leader of the Nation of Islam). Dressing it up in the pseudo-intellectualism of woke social science doesn’t make it any better.

In real life, is it not actually the case that capitalists and their functionaries run America? Isn’t this a capitalist society? We don’t live in an apartheid system. Any privileges white people enjoyed were abolished more than half a century ago. How does the out-of-work white coal miner in West Virginia living in a trailer addicted to fentanyl made in China and carried into the United States by Mexican cartels enabled by lax border controls figure into the white ruling caste? I’m asking as a plain Marxist. I am trying to understand the logic of this vast white conspiracy to run America.

Oprah Winfrey Honors Breonna Taylor with Historic Magazine Cover ...
Acho’s comments were made on Winfrey’s new interview show “The Oprah Conversation.”

If whites run America how did Oprah Winfrey get to be so filthy rich? And she’s not the only one. What about Herman Cain? To be sure, progressives mocked him for dying from COVID-19 (because they are so full of empathy), but he was a highly successful black businessman.

I could go on all day giving examples of prominent and wealthy black men and women. One of them served two terms as president and remains wildly popular. Are prominent and successful blacks like Winfrey and Obama part of the white cabal to run the world? Or is Winfrey a capitalist and Obama a functionary for the capitalist class like so many wealthy white people are?

I hope my comrades can see what is going on here. Capitalists sow racial division to disrupt proletarian consciousness. They’ve been doing it for hundreds of years. At different moments in history the system of racial antagonisms gets tweaked for effectiveness. The contemporary version is the rhetoric of “white privilege.”

Winfrey is part of the prevailing hegemony that has taken up the language of “fragility” and “caste” to perpetuate the system of class privilege—a privilege she enjoys.

I am reminded by (black political economist) Adolph Reed, Jr.’s observations sitting in a room from of prominent and successful blacks talking about white privilege and white racial oppression. I don’t think I even need to repeat those observations here. The paradox is obvious.

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Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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