Race, Racism & Capitalism: The Social Construction of Race


  1. Brian Jones – “The Social Construction of Race


  1. Start by viewing this short clip together (Video: “Not All White People Were Created Equal: White Privilege in America”)
  2. Has racism always existed? How has whiteness changed over time?
  3. Write down the following quote on the board and discuss: “So when I say it’s all made up, I mean it. It’s made up. But that’s not to say it’s not real. It’s very real. It’s real in the same way that Wednesday is real. But it’s also made up in the same way that Wednesday is made up.”
  4. Cite some contemporary examples of how people in positions of power (elected officials, landlords, corporate shareholders, bosses, etc) benefit from racism. How does the ruling class reproduce itself in part through racial ideologies? How did the ruling class use whiteness to maintain power?
  5. What are some of the ways that social movements, political parties, and campaigns have tried to combat this? How does the ruling class use race to divide the working class? How can we combat this?
  6. In what ways does racism shape access to education, health, employment, and housing  in our society? 
  7. Analyze your chapter’s current organizing work. How do your current campaigns aim to dismantle racism and build power for the working class? Where are there areas for improvement? How does all of this relate to a socialist strategy to build working class power?