Robin D. G. Kelley-What is Racial Capitalism and Why Does it Matter?

What a brilliant man. I was just going to make notes, but ended up transcribing almost the whole thing. The text is as follows:

He opens up by acknowledging that the University of Washington in Seattle sits on the stolen land of the Duwamish and Suquamish peoples, and others who occupied that area.

Gentrification is a modern form of settler colonialism. Racial capitalism is about value. Race and gender are not accidental features. Capitalism emerged as a racial and gendered regime, they are the modality within which classes live. Race isn’t simply about an identity, it is a means of structuring power through difference, so skin color is not an essential feature of racism. It’s about who’s being radicalized. The central story of race in the making of the capitalist order isn’t always the most obvious story but rather the capacity of capital and the state to capture the white working class to tie its identity to race, it is the secret to capitalism’s survival. The term racial capitalism originated in South Africa where they enacted certain state and corporate strategies to strip Africans of land, create a racially segregated and super exploited working class, manufacture precarity through population transfer, and to destroy black economic institutions.

(Note from Kimberly: Sound familiar? Yeah…it’s happened to just every African American neighborhood and city in the United States. I wonder where they got from. I’ll tell you, the good old U.S. of A. Just like the Nazis got it from us. See Caste by Isabel Wilkerson.)


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