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Jeffrey B. Perry Blog

The "White Assumption" Food for Thought

Theodore W. Allen describes the "White Assumption" as “the unquestioning, indeed unthinking, acceptance of the ‘white’ identity of European-Americans . . . as a natural attribute, rather than a social construct.”

He writes that for most labor and left historians in the U.S. there has been “an unbroken continuum of . . . ‘white’ as a norm, with respect to which African-American labor is only a relative, secondary concern.”

Based on this, it followed for them “that organized popular challenge to the socially ruinous policies of the ruling capitalist class necessarily requires the adherence of a 'white’-majority working class.”

Allen maintained that for “the true reflection” of U. S. history, “the beginning of wisdom for labor historians must be the recognition that from 1619 on the history of African American bond-laborers is a history of proletarians. From this all else follows.”

See “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” by Jeffrey B. Perry by clicking HERE and going to TOP LEFT
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