I was just reading the interesting discussion on socialism and Black nationalism over at Advance the Struggle and I came across a classic piece by Harry Chang critiquing Stalinist and Maoist approaches to Black liberation. The last paragraph is a pretty stunning and precise historical summary of how white supremacy has functioned as an integral part of capitalism the past 500 years. The second sentence of this paragraph suggests that the rise of "races" as modes of social organization was part of the ascendency of the bourgeoisie and it's attack on previous modes of social relations, including religious ones. I know this is something that Loren Goldner has explored, and I hope to post on his work here in the future. All I can say is that this is disastrous for Christians who are supposed to be baptized "neither Greek nor Jew, slave nor free." I can't help but notice that at times it seems in church we are asked to worship "Western civilization" (code word for "the white race") instead of God. But at this point we can't go back to a parochial identification with past forms of Christianity instead of with Western Civilization. No, we have to take up what Chang suggests - class struggle organizing that can target and destroy the socio-economic base of white supremacy, replacing it with true global solidarity.
Racist thought is probably the most inhuman thought produced by the bourgeois era. In its origin, it carries the bourgeois birthmark, being premised on the dissolution of tribal, religious, and cultural "ethnics." In its career, its virulency closely parallels the progress of primitive accumulation from Portuguese and Spanish colonies, through Dutch and French colonies, to the English-speaking world. In its death-throes, it has become married to fascist thought. The proven ability of Marxism to smash all the illusions of the bourgeois era must now come to aid us in our effort to keep vigilant against all attempts to reproduce racist thought, in our movement to expose its inhuman irrationality, in our struggle to destroy its socio-economic base.